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Rodan and Fields Get Sensitive

Drs. Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields, who launched their careers by specializing in acne, are now tackling the problems of sensitive skin.

NEW YORK — Drs. Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields, who launched their careers by specializing in acne, are now tackling the problems of sensitive skin. Their new product initiative was joined this week to the unveiling of a new outpost in Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship here.

On Tuesday morning, the two California-based, Stanford-trained dermatologists gave the industry a sneak peek of Soothe, a regimen designed for sensitive skin that will be launched in January, and showed off their new, 110-square-foot store-in-store boutique.

Produced by the Royal Promotion Group, the boutique consists of bright white fixturing and displays for the existing regimens, with room to grow on each side. Dispensary-style tables front the space and provide an area for the location’s three full-time sales employees to offer consultations. The installation also has a UV-camera, which will be used to analyze customers’ skin.

The Bloomingdale’s 59th Street opening brings the brand’s total distribution to about 40 doors, including select Nordstrom, Marshall Field’s and Bloomingdale’s stores, as well as The Studio at Fred Segal, Henri Bendel and rodanandfields.com, said Shashi Batra, general manager of the brand, which the Estée Lauder Cos. has owned since July 2003.

By yearend, Batra said, the brand, which consists of 27 stockkeeping units broken down into four regimens for varying skin conditions, could be in as many as 60 doors. The added door count will likely come from additional Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom doors.

And the doctors are eager to roll out additional store-in-store locations. The next one will be installed in Minneapolis later this fall.

Fields wielded the scissors for the ribbon cutting and Rodan joked, “It’s the surgeon in her.” Bloomingdale’s chairman, Michael Gould, remarked that his store hadn’t seen such distinguished visitors “since we had Queen Elizabeth visit.” Lauder Cos. executives in attendance included chairman Leonard Lauder, president and chief executive officer William Lauder and chief operating officer Dan Brestle.

“We’re very pleased to be adding Rodan and Fields to our assortment [at this store],” said Howard Kreitzman, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for cosmetics and fragrances at Bloomingdale’s. “We believe the products fulfill a need that is, for the most part, unmet.”

This story first appeared in the October 21, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Soothe regimen, the fifth entry to the duo’s Multi-Med Therapy lineup, will be launched in January and consists of a three-step regimen — Soothing Facial Cleanser, $35; Soothing Facial Cream, $65, and Protect, a UVA/UVB sunscreen, for $30. The three items are also sold as a set, for $135. The ingredients include resveratrol, Vitamin E, green tea, hydrocortisone and sea whip extract to calm and protect skin.

A fourth product in the line is also being produced, intended to be used on an as-needed basis: Anti-Pruritic Lotion, $35, which includes hydrocortisone intended to quickly relieve skin irritation and redness. The line, noted both doctors, helps skin regain its barrier function, often compromised due to environmental stressors and product — and surgery — overuse.

“We came up with this line because we both see so many women complaining of sensitive skin in our private practices,” said Rodan. Added Fields, “Cosmetics intolerance is on the rise. Hypoallergenic used to be the buzzword, but now it is about skin sensitivity — particularly with so many women choosing to have cosmetic procedures. This line can be used in tandem with any of our others, as well.”

While none of the executives would comment on projected sales, industry sources estimated that the new product regimen would do about $750,000 in its first year on counter.

No national advertising is planned, but there will be an aggressive sampling campaign at launch, noted Batra.