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Molton Brown Gains Face

LONDON — Molton Brown is celebrating its 30th anniversary by showing a little skin. <br><br>The company, which already offers bath, body, hair, color cosmetics, men’s and baby collections, is venturing into facial skin care for the first...

LONDON — Molton Brown is celebrating its 30th anniversary by showing a little skin.

This story first appeared in the April 11, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The company, which already offers bath, body, hair, color cosmetics, men’s and baby collections, is venturing into facial skin care for the first time in May in the U.K.

The Molton Brown skin line is comprised of 10 products including cleansers, toners, moisturizers and eye cream. It will bow here next month in Molton Brown Emporia and in Selfridges and Harrods, and will enter several U.S. doors this fall.

Charles Denton, joint managing director of the Molton Brown Group, said it was the right time to launch a skin care line. “As a brand, we have built up years of trust and we have a duty to continue taking the lead in defining what is safe for our customers to use,” he said. “Product development remains fundamental to our growth.”

Products in the line — made by Dale Daxon Bowers, the creative force behind Molton Brown — are designed to recharge the skin’s natural stores of nutrients, while actively defending against external age aggressors.

Items range from a 200-ml. skin-calming, soluble cleanser for $27 to $45 for a 30-ml. skin-boosting, nourishing tonic. Other products include a 30-ml. moisture lock 24-hour replenisher for $42; a 30-ml. active defense, city day hydrator at $39, and a 15-ml. French honey lip saver with SPF 8 priced at $16.

According to Denton, the concept behind the collection is wellness as the pathway to beauty. “This has been the guiding philosophy behind everything we do at Molton Brown for the last 30 years,” he said. “By providing effective skin treatments, which improve long-term skin health, we can focus on active protection and prevention.”

Denton said the line, which took three years to produce, is aimed at the “discerning metropolitan,” who wants skin care to fit into her lifestyle. “They also want value, performance, quality and great service,” he said. Molton Brown skin is also adaptable to any environment, age and skin type, he said. Denton added that natural ingredients, multiple benefits, ease of use and understated chic packaging are also key elements to the line.

Molton Brown skin will also preview at Barneys and at Molton Brown’s flagship store in New York during September. The company is currently working on plans to widen its distribution to include a number of stores-in-stores in U.S. department stores and are in discussions with several retail partners in France and Germany. However, Denton added that no firm dates have yet been agreed upon.

Projected first-year U.K. retail sales of the skin care line are expected to be between $12 million and $16 million.

In other news, Molton Brown, which already has 25 stores-in-stores in department stores and 12 stand-alone stores in the U.K., is planning to open at least eight more stores later this year. The company also plans to revisit its existing color and hair lines, and plans to launch a luxury leather line of accessories — including travel and cosmetic bags — in June.