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Space.NK Enters Color

LONDON — When Space.NK launched a line of makeup accessories in November 2001, including eyelash curlers, brushes, sponges and tweezers, it was a clear sign that a color makeup collection would not be far behind. <br><br>In April, the British...

LONDON — When Space.NK launched a line of makeup accessories in November 2001, including eyelash curlers, brushes, sponges and tweezers, it was a clear sign that a color makeup collection would not be far behind.

This story first appeared in the March 28, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

In April, the British beauty retailer, which operates 31 stores across the U.K., will be launching a range of color cosmetics called Space.NK.Colour, and a spa line called SPAce.NK. The retailer, the first in London to carry a selection of niche, cutting-edge, international brands, already offers a collection of own-brand bath, body and home products.

The color cosmetics collection, which took two years to develop, is a result of Space.NK founder Nicky Kinnaird’s own makeup needs. “I’m not a makeup artist, so I wouldn’t dream of trying to produce a NARS type range. I thought about what women like me want or need, that they’re not [already] getting,” she said. “Then if there are any gaps…we try to find a solution.”

The Space.NK.Colour line is about convenience and achieving sophisticated results on the go, said Kinnaird. The line consists of lip colors, pencils and glosses, eye shadows and mascaras, blushes and bronzer. There’s also a comprehensive range of foundations including concealer, illuminating base, cream foundation, compact foundation and powder, both loose and pressed. Prices start at $9 for a small compact and go to $37 for a cream foundation.

The spa line is more about simple, natural-looking “weekend” makeup, said Kinnaird. Many of the products are treatment-driven, including lip prep; a conditioning lip primer to fix lipstick for longer, a lip treatment with vitamins C and E for lip nourishment and a luminous tinted cream loaded with antioxidants and sunscreen. Prices range from $16 for an eyebrow pencil to $34 for foundation, both of which are part of the spa line.

The spa line has just 31 stockkeeping units and Space.NK.Colour has 90. “They’re very tightly edited and reflect my own approach to makeup,” said Kinnaird. Kinnaird declined to reveal wholesale sales figures for the new lines, but industry sources estimate them at $5 million for the first year.

Although the ethos of Space.NK remains to fill holes in the market, the stores already offer a comprehensive range of makeup brands including NARS, Laura Mercier, Becca and Chantecaille.

Kinnaird doesn’t believe those brands will conflict with the new line. “I see the products as being complements to the other brands, rather than competing with them,” she said. “They’re not meant to offer a complete solution for every possible occasion.”

Space.NK and Michael Nash Associates designed the packaging. The spa line is clean and sleek with no fuss and simple lines, while Space.NK.Colour is based around the concept of custom palettes each with a magnetic base so it’s easy to clean and swap eye shadow squares and compact enough to slip into a back pocket or purse.

Aside from achieving the “click” in a product, referring to the sound when a compact closes, Kinnaird added the aim was to condense a makeup kit into just a couple of palettes, revolutionizing the way women wear and carry their products.

Space.NK.Colour and SPAce.NK will bow in time for the opening of Space.NK’s second flagship on Chelsea’s Kings Road. The collection will be available from all U.K. stores, but there are no plans for a U.S. rollout, at least for the first year.

Meanwhile, Manzanita Capital, a London bank, acquired a stake in the company, but declined to spell out details.