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Paris Welcomes La Maison Natura
PARIS — Natura is blooming in Paris.

The Brazilian beauty brand opened its first boutique here in April. The store, located on the city’s Left Bank, serves as a test for Natura, which is sold door-to-door in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Peru.

The boutique, dubbed La Maison Natura, is a veritable dream come true for founder and president Luiz Seabra.

“It is through our dreams that we establish visions in our life,” he told French journalists during a presentation in Paris earlier this year.

 As reported, the firm raised 768.2 million reais, or $304.4 million at current exchange, last year when it went public. Natura generated sales of 2.54 billion  reais, or $1 billion, in 2004.

The boutique is a departure from Natura’s traditional door-to-door sales strategy, which relies on 400,000 consultants to push its numerous brands, including Ekos, Chronos, Mamae e Bebe and Unica.

“The store explains physically what we want to be,” said Joel Ponte, managing director of Natura Europe. He added that France, often regarded as one of the world’s most competitive beauty markets, is a prime launching pad.

“We will have a strong impact if we manage to pass on our message in France,” he said.

Sources estimate the store could generate 700,000 euros to 1 million euros, or $903,000 to $1.3 million, at retail in its first year.

In addition to the brick-and-mortar presence in France, Natura also has an e-tail site. To spread the word about the brand, Natura is recruiting “ambassadors” — people attracted to the brand by word of mouth who will, in turn, be taught about the Natura concept and tell their friends and family about it. The ambassadors will also learn about the Ekos brand, the first of Natura’s product lines to be introduced in France. The 72-unit collection comprises bath, body, hair and fragrance items based on ingredients culled from Brazil’s natural resources in a sustainable and ethical way, according to Natura. Prices range from 7 euros, or $9, for a 300-ml. bottle of shower gel, to 9 euros, or $12, for a 15-ml. lip balm, to 28 euros, or $36, for a 400-ml. fragranced splash.

This story first appeared in the May 2, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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Designed by Brazilian architect Arthur Casas, La Maison Natura was created to resemble a Brazilian home. Its ground floor, which measures 861 square feet, features a texture bar set on a large stone slab where products can be touched and tested. Ponte noted the importance of such a display as the products are not skin-type specific.

“You trust your senses to choose,” he explained.

Natura’s brightly lit, two-level store is designed to maximize the sensorial experience. On both floors, display tables hold fragrant bowls of grains, flowers, herbs and other raw ingredients used in the brand’s aromatic products, showcased along the rows of shelves lining every wall. Soaps, shampoos, lip balms and other hair, body and face items are arranged by scent and color rather than by function. Each comes with a tester inviting customers to see, smell and touch every product. Hand and foot massages are on offer, as will exotic fruit drinks. The 1,292-square-foot first floor also sells CDs by a variety of Brazilian artists.

The store will host conferences and exhibitions focusing on the environment and Brazil’s natural resources. There will also be events for children, and DJs will be invited to play Brazilian music.
— Brid Costello and Jennifer Joan Lee

Maybelline Ad Features Troy Surratt
NEW YORK — Troy Surratt, Maybelline New York’s global consulting makeup artist, will be featured in a 30-second TV spot that is scheduled to begin airing today. In the ad, Surratt highlights his partnership with the mass beauty brand, focusing on how he uses Maybelline’s products in his work as a makeup artist.

The ads feature some of Maybelline’s star products, including Great Lash Mascara, Dream Matte Mousse Foundation and select lip products, as well as several models, including Adriana Lima, Erin Wasson and Ziyi Zhang.

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to reach so many women in their homes and I hope to become an even more valuable resource to women everywhere,” said Surratt, who began his partnership with the L’Oréal-owned brand in January. Cheryl Vitali, senior vice president of marketing for Maybelline New York- Garnier, said that Surratt is a natural fit to represent the brand on-screen. “He understands women from all over the world and not just celebrities, real women,” said Vitali. “He enhances the individual beauty of each woman he works with.”
— Bryn Kenny

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