NEW YORK — Physicians Formula is exhibiting an interest in history.
Its creative vice president of marketing, Ingrid Jackel, is accustomed to traveling the world for inspiration for new products. But for its latest collection, set to launch in January, she had to look only as far as the 65-year-old brand’s dusty closets.
"We were cleaning out the offices and looking through the archives," recalled Jackel, who said she was struck by the quaint and delicate beauty of some of the brand’s earliest items.
There were dusting powders in round pink and white containers and lipsticks in heavyweight gold-toned tubes with swirly white lettering. There was cake mascara and a facial cleansing set, called Three Step Skin Care, containing Cleansing Lotion, Skin Freshener and Moisture Lotion.
Physicians Formula was born in 1937 out of necessity. Dermatologist Dr. Frank Crandall developed beauty formulas for his wife, who suffered from lupus and whose skin was too sensitive to use most commercially available products. Word spread and demand grew.
To recapture the essence of those early years, the brand will introduce the Retro Glow Makeup Collection, a group of colorful powders, shadows, blushes and mascaras and eyeliners. Packaging has been uniquely designed for each product in the line. And Retro Glow will reprise the original Physicians Formula logo, said Jackel.
Physicians Formula tested the waters last year with a face powder with a cameo imprint called Retro Glow, and "it did very well," said Jackel. "So we thought we should push it a little further."
For now, there are six shades of eye shadow with names like Timeless Taupe and Vintage Silver. Packaging is in the shape of a cameo locket, and the plastic case will have an antique silver tone. The outer package for all items is a pillowbox-type container with a scalloped edge design. "It looks more upscale and precious," remarked Jackel.
There are two loose powders in powder puffs in Victoriana and Cleopatra shades. Each is housed in a round cardboard container and priced at $10.95. Retro Glow also contains ultrafine powders in Porceline and Cameo shades. Those will come in round tins that will be engraved. The accompanying puff is "of high quality," remarked Jackel. Additionally, there are three shades of Illuminating Blush in Vintage Rose, Vintage Toffee and Vintage Mocha for $9.95 each.The collection is designed to create "a porceline doll makeup look with dramatic eyes and an underplayed lip," said Jackel.
To build the eyes, Retro Glow offers a mascara with a full brush to create big, thick lashes with one stroke. It comes in a tube that looks like an elixir vial. "We don’t want to have to build the mascara. We want it to have a ‘wow’ effect with one stroke," said Jackel. There is loose kohl powder eyeliner, which is applied with a foam tip and comes in a metal tube. It comes in three shades, at $5.95 each. "It is gentle and safe for eyes," said Jackel. There is also a liquid kohl eyeliner in black, bronze and charcoal.
Retro Glow is getting star treatment. Within the Physicians Formula planogram, Retro will be cut in the center and will be segmented by dividers that protrude from the wall. The entire Physicians Formula section will be receiving a new look early next year, as the whole section will be highlighted by strips of multitone silver beads on either side and at the top of the display. "We are working on creating more brand image," noted Jackel. "It will make the whole planogram more shopable."
Consumers have already been shopping Physicians Formula. Last year, the brand’s sales grew 59 percent, according to Jackel. Retail sales data from Information Resources Inc. show Physicians Formula is up 30.1 percent to $37.3 million for the year ended Oct. 6, far outpacing the overall industry, which has grown in low single digits. However, IRI figures do not include Wal-Mart.
Sources said Physicians Formula is expected to spend $15 million on advertising next year. Jackel noted that Retro Glow would have a separate print campaign from the rest of the brand. "There will be ads for the classic line and for Retro Glow."
Retro Glow is expected to bring incremental sales. "I think it has a long potential life. I see this lasting a hundred years," said Jackel. "There is a broad target market and appeal. The concept is universal. It is feminine, very elegant for mature women." Teens will like it, she added, "because they can collect all the lockets."
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty