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Boss Skin Makes Smooth Entry

Boss Skin was three years in the making, and while Boss certainly isn't the first big name to tap into men's skin care, it's the first skin care program to come from a primarily men's, versus women's, brand.

BERLIN — Procter & Gamble Prestige & Professional is entering a new Boss era with Boss Skin, the men’s skin care line that will bow in perfumeries and department stores in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the U.K. and Scandinavia in September.

The eight-unit range is slated for global distribution, but P&G executives wouldn’t disclose any further details now, nor would they reveal sales targets for Boss Skin, which industry sources estimate could generate first-year sales of at least 25 million euros, or about $31 million at current exchange.

Boss Skin was three years in the making, and while Boss certainly isn’t the first big name to tap into men’s skin care, it’s the first skin care program to come from a primarily men’s, versus women’s, brand, P&G executives said.

“It’s the first men’s skin care line with a truly masculine brand heritage,” stated Oliver Kastalio, vice president of P&G Luxury and Prestige Fragrances, Geneva. “If there are men out there hesitant to use skin care products because they question whether it’s a masculine thing to do, there could hardly be a better brand than Boss to do [skin care]. It’s why we were drawn to the concept.

“It’s a big step into a new category, but an obvious step,” he continued. “More and more stores are building male skin care areas with increasing speed. You can see it happening at Sephora and Douglas. It’s an emerging trend.”

The range is straightforward, with two cleaning products, two shaving products, two moisturizers and two special products. Prices range from 16 euros ($19.76) to 40 euros to ($49) for the refreshing face wash, smoothing face scrub, performance shave gel, aftershave balsam, instant moisture gel, revitalizing moisture cream, perfecting skin serum and reviving eye gel.

The packaging was designed by Webb Scarlett de Valm, an industrial design agency. The dark gray tubes and pump packs, shaped like the cylinder of a car engine, sit easily in the hand. There are no caps to lose; the brushed aluminum tops — a first in the category, according to the company — have a pump mechanism that delivers just the right amount of product.

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A TV and print ad starring Johann Samuelsson, a 32-year-old Swedish art director, will support the Boss Skin launch, but the real push will be in-store.

“For Hugo Boss as a brand, skin care is almost a natural element to complete the Hugo Boss lifestyle,” Kastalio said. “Boss stands for a wide range of products, not just a suit. There are accessories, fragrances and we’re adding skin on top with a product that’s both high-performance and emotional in content.”