NEW YORK — Versace has designs on expanding its skin care business with two new treatment kits. The duo, which are launching exclusively in nine Neiman Marcus doors this month and will roll out to additional retailers this spring, join the existing 12-stockkeeping-unit skin care line that was first launched in the U.S. last fall. One kit is designed for the body and another for the face. Versace Skincare was launched in the U.S. in November 2001 at Barneys New York, and then rolled out to an additional 30 doors, including Neiman’s. Distribution has continued to grow, with the skin care products and Versace color cosmetics now available in about 80 doors in the U.S."The strategic objective for Versace Skincare was to launch a complete line of technologically advanced and highly effective products with revolutionary formulas," said Ferdinando Silva Coronel, managing director of Giver Profumi, Versace’s beauty division. "Following this strategy, it then was important to launch more specialized products, such as our new body kit and our new eye zone mask and serum. They will be followed next year by two new specific products for the face — Radiance Lift Concentrate, and a serum." The new Modelling Body Programme kit —?a combination of body cream and serum vials — includes two phases, one for firming and one for maintenance, said Carmen Guastamiglio, marketing manager for Versace Skincare. Key ingredients include raffermine, a soy derivative that is said to strengthen collagen and elastin in the skin, and Lanacrys 2B, an extract of chrysanthellum indicu, which is said to help neutralize free radicals and slow the aging process of the skin. It retails for $200.Eye Zone, the new facial kit, also includes two phases intended to protect the fragile skin around the eyes, said Guastamiglio. "Daily exposure to the elements can cause the eye area to become puffy and dry, emphasizing fine lines," she said. "The eye mask and serum that are a part of this kit are designed to combat those problems." One of the key ingredients in the eye kit is daucus carota extract, which is said to be rich in vitamins A, C and E as well as mineral salts and sugars. It’s also said to promote moisture in the skin, she noted. Altheae officinalis is another key ingredient, said to be rich in sugars, thus forming a net that retains water in the skin and improves microcirculation, she added. Like the other kit, Eye Zone also retails for $200.While none of the executives would comment on numbers, industry sources estimate that the complete skin care line will do about $3 million wholesale in the U.S. within the next year. In recent months, Silva Coronel has said that skin care should represent about 35 percent of the company’s overall sales.He reiterated that position this week, adding that growth would come, in part, from a targeted expansion plan. "We are carrying on our original projects, and for the next two years, we would like to consolidate as much as possible our position in the point of sales we are present in now. We would also like to enlarge our distribution, but always in qualified point of sales only. Penetrating the skin care market is a hard and progressive job made by the recruiting of consumers through sampling campaigns. It is a job also made of patience; it is difficult to give exact details, but we think, in two or three years, we will be able to reach a sufficient base of high qualified point of sales —?more or less, we think we will double the actual distribution. However, it is a must, a prerogative for us to consolidate the present point of sales and reach the right consumption and loyalty."Our investments will be principally focused at point of sale through sampling campaigns and training to salespeople about our exclusive technologies and why these products are really effective." The brand will continue to build awareness for color cosmetics in the U.S., he promised. "Our makeup is also a strategic line for us and, in sales, it is going to proceed side by side with the skin care line," he said.

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