Lorac is putting itself back in the spotlight. The indie color cosmetics line is rebranding itself as Lorac: The Red Carpet Authority. To kick off the effort, the brand teamed with apparel line Miss Davenporte, the Hollywood label designed by fashion stylists Estee Stanley and Cristina Ehrlich, to create a limited edition color cosmetics palette.
"It made sense to align ourselves with Hollywood because of my background," said Carol Shaw, the brand's founder and chief creator, who started her brand in 1995 after celebrity clients clamored for her hand-mixed lipsticks. The Lorac range has since grown to include more than 200 stockkeeping units ranging in price from $12 (for an eye pencil) to $52 (for a limited edition palette). "After all, that's our heritage. I am a working makeup artist. We're just bringing it back into focus. Before, we were a little disjointed. Now, we're telling a story."
The Miss Davenporte palette is a Sephora exclusive. The $35 black jeweled compact includes four eye shadows and a blush and will be available in August. Its outer packaging is a black sparkly reusable box with a jeweled belly band that can be used as a choker or hair band. "It's the best of beauty and fashion," she said.
Shaw sees the two brands as a natural pairing. "Our tastes are so similar," she said. "And the key thing is that Estee and Cristina and I are all working artists. We are touching these celebrities every single day. They're inspired by that and the trends around them, and so am I." Shaw noted that her clients include Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Debra Messing, Teri Hatcher and Cindy Crawford. "When I do their makeup, I'm using my cosmetics and mine only to make them up," said Shaw.
Shaw is also working with Sephora to retrofit its gondolas in every store, an effort that will continue through September.
The old gondolas were wood with black accents. The new units are made of a texturized black material and white Lucite. A top panel features a black-and-white editorial image with flashbulb imagery, which is meant to be representative of what goes on on the red carpet, said Shaw. A red stripe across the bottom of the image says the Red Carpet Authority. "We have a 'get the look' section in the center that will change seasonally," said Shaw. "It will feature the seasonal products we're using on the model [on the editorial image] and show exactly how to get the look. We all want that type of information — it's my way of using the gondola to show a look I'm doing for that season on the red carpet or on a celebrity client."Lorac will be in 188 traditional Sephora doors and 75 Sephora store-in-store locations at J.C. Penney by yearend. Her products are also sold at 18 beauty boutiques, including Apothia at Fred Segal, and at sephora.com, beauty.com, apothia.com and QVC.com.
Shaw is boxing many of her products for the first time to visually unify her line. Every outer box will be black with flashbulb imagery on the front and a red velvet rope image on the back, once again intended as a reference to Shaw's Hollywood chops. "Across the board, the packaging, products and merchandising will all work together to reinforce the red-carpet authority of this brand," said Shaw. "Also, we have so much information now that we have to have a box to communicate the message and talk about the key ingredients and key ways to use the product." That effort will continue throughout fall 2008 for existing products; new products will get the new boxes as they roll out.
Shaw has also put together a limited edition set called Lotsa Gift, which includes her three favorite "red carpet essentials" — Lotsa Lash, a mascara; Lotsa Lip plumping lipstick, and Plumping Lip Gloss with the brand's proprietary Maxi-Lip, a tripeptide ingredient said to visually enhance lips.
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