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Wexler to Launch Skin Care in BBW

Pat Wexler, Manhattan's well-known dermatologist, is joining forces with Bath & Body Works on a new line of skin care products.

NEW YORK — Patricia Wexler is getting hitched.

No, her marriage of 33 years hasn’t dissolved, but the superfamous dermatologist is partnering with Bath & Body Works on a new line of skin care products that will send her down the aisle — a store aisle, that is.  

“I was always the bridesmaid, never the bride,” said Wexler, referring to her former skin care product collaborations for designers Donna Karan and Calvin Klein. She also worked on Almay’s Kinetin skin care product line.

When and whether Wexler would join the league of dermatologists who already offer their own product line in the retail marketplace — N.V. Perricone, Dennis Gross, Howard Murad and Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields, to name just a few — has always been a topic of conversation in beauty circles. But she’s not a procrastinator, Wexler asserts, she was simply waiting for the right technology and the right retail partnership before saying, ‘I do.’

“I wasn’t gong to launch my product line until I felt I could partner with people who had my vision. This was going to be my last hurrah,” she said.

Neil Fiske, BBW’s chief executive officer, is excited about the partnership, which was months in the making.

“Nevertheless, it was a long courtship before our marriage, on both sides, because we were all so focused on raising the bar for technology, competitive differentiation and quality. So we announce this partnership with a great deal of pride and excitement. As the team has worked to develop this brand under Pat’s guidance, we have come to view this launch as a pivotal point in BBW’s transformation into a world-class beauty destination, and are investing in it accordingly,” Fiske said.

Wexler is excited about the mass line, of which she’ll be fully in charge, from formula to finish, including marketing and product copy. The items in her line, which is still in development, use three patented technologies, addressing, but not limited to, antiaging. The line will be carved into categories “based on the things she sees every day” in her Manhattan dermatology office. The line is scheduled to debut in September.

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Wexler, who always uses either an SPF 45 or 60 when she goes outside, and who is partial to Dove and Cetaphil products, is considered by many as a “dermatologist to the stars.” But choosing to distribute her line in the mass market as opposed to prestige outlets was an easy decision for her.

“The truth is, millions of people cannot afford the technology that’s at the dermatologist’s office. A peel, a treatment and then topical products adds up. That’s why I love the mass market,” Wexler said.

But how will Wexler’s line compete against the sea of competitors already established in the retail arena?

Camille McDonald, executive vice president of BBW, said, “We’ve put together a dream team of internal and external associates to help develop all aspects of this brand, to make it both a step apart and a cut above its competitors. Pat Wexler is the single strongest reason that we are achieving this goal. She is a visible, hardworking leader for our team, whose specific vision about great skin care, and about marketing to women, has not changed from the beginning. In particular, her knowledge, talent and passion for excellence will be seen in the products themselves. First, her involvement in the skin care research sector led us to select the right proprietary technologies. And second, our formulations are truly amazing as a result of her personal direction and attention to detail. Altogether, everyone on the team is recognizing this project as one of the highlights of their careers, and that’s because of Pat.”

Aside from her coup of joining the retail world, Wexler is most excited about getting close to a broader range of people who can benefit from her skin expertise. While she won’t be meeting with the purchasers of her products one-on-one — save for some personal appearances that may help promote the line — Wexler has devised a way to get her message across to customers without actually meeting them: Copy on boxes will reflect how Wexler speaks to her patients in the office.

“They are really getting me,” Wexler said of those who will purchase her new line.