PARIS — Groupe Clarins is giving its cleavage-enhancing Bust Beauty range a lift.

This story first appeared in the March 27, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Extra-Lift Gel and Firming Lotion will replace the brand’s existing two-unit offer, which was first introduced in 1995 and has since attained worldwide leader status in the bust-care segment, according to the French company.

“At Clarins, our strategy is to relaunch a line only when we have made a truly significant discovery,” said Clarins laboratories and logistics managing director Lionel De Benetti.

The discovery that sparked the line’s latest iteration is that of vu sua, a fruit native to the Mekong delta in Vietnam that is said to have a powerful firming effect due to its anti-glycation properties.

Known by locals as the “nourishing breast,” a reference to the fruit’s milky nectar, vu sua also helps skin form a protective barrier against free radicals and stimulate cellular growth, according to Clarins’ research. In light of encouraging test results obtained with the new bust-firming line, De Benetti noted the company could incorporate vu sua extract into the brand’s future skin care formulations.

In keeping with its corporate philosophy on sustainable development, Clarins has funded the reconstruction of a school in the Vietnamese village where it sources the vu sua used in the new products.

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The revamped Bust Beauty line also features antioxidant rich pomegranate; Centella Asiatica, which is said to boost collagen synthesis, and katafray bark, which purportedly has moisturizing properties.

“With this new launch, we aim to increase the line’s existing turnover by at least 50 percent,” noted Clarins president Isabelle Herbreteau. She would not discuss projections, but industry sources believe the products will generate first-year worldwide retail sales of $15 million.

Bust Beauty targets consumers of all ages and begins its global rollout in France this month. The line will hit shelves in the U.S. in May. Extra-Lift Gel and Firming Lotion, both sold in 50-ml. pump bottles, are to be priced at 54 euros and 47 euros, respectively, or $58 and $54 at current exchange.

The two products are complementary and meant to be used in tandem; Extra-Lift Gel triggers a lifting action and nurtures the skin’s collagen structure, while Firming Lotion moisturizes and improves the skin’s elasticity, according to Clarins.

The line will be promoted in Asian and Western European markets with single-page ads and point-of-sale material depicting a model in a see-through nightgown. Deemed too revealing for their clientele, Herbreteau said several U.S. retailers declined to use the in-store materials.

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