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Gucci Gearing Up to Launch Cosmetics

The range, launching globally in September, offers eye, face, lip, nail and skin preparation products that echo its fashion.

MILAN — Gucci has a new accessories line, and it doesn’t involve bags or shoes: the Gucci Cosmetics range, set to bow internationally in September, offers eye, face, lip, nail and skin preparation products that echo its fashion. Produced under a long-standing licensing deal with P&G Prestige, the cosmetics range will be fronted by Charlotte Casiraghi in an advertising campaign in print, on TV and across the Web.

In a phone interview, Gucci creative director Frida Giannini said while the project officially began four years ago, “the idea emerged much earlier — I’ve always wanted to do a cosmetics line for Gucci.”

“I feel good, and confident: I’m very satisfied with the final result that we were able to achieve, to perfection….As a woman, of course I tried absolutely every product and color we made,” she said, adding she was “obsessed” with finding the right palette, a feat she achieved by scouring the nearly century-old fashion house’s archives and mood boards for inspiration, as well as photos of style icons such as Lauren Hutton, Jerry Hall, Jane Birkin and Veruschka. Makeup artist Pat McGrath also provided valuable input, Giannini noted.

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“Makeup is part of the holistic brand universe for luxury fashion brands and is a natural next step for Gucci,” said P&G Prestige president Joanne Crewes. She added that for Gucci, “the foundation has been laid for a broader beauty offering. Consumers love [the brand]. Since P&G started partnering with Gucci in 2005, sales from the license have more than doubled. This growth has been purely organic.” Crewes also noted that from 2010 through 2013, Gucci fragrances had seen double-digit growth, and that since “fragrances and makeup have a symbiotic relationship, we will be able to increase our visibility and improve product experience” in stores.

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The Gucci Cosmetics line aims to win over die-hard Gucci fans and new consumers with its high-tech, high-performance products, such as an impact long-wear eye pencil that defines the lash line and, once smudged, will set and last, and a triangular bristled brush for more precise nail polish application. A set of eight natural hairbrushes will also be available. Prices will run from $29 for a nail lacquer to $65 for an eye shadow quad, and the skin preparation line will retail for between $49 and $69.

Products aside, Gucci focused intently on packaging, both in terms of aesthetics and sustainability. With Art Deco-era bottles as a reference point, Giannini said she wanted to “create a precious object that you would be proud to pull out of your bag” — hence, the black and gold cases with the interlocking GG logo — and Crewes noted external packaging is Forest Stewardship Council certified and made of 100 percent recycled paper. Practicality was another concern: if women toss the compacts into their bags, magnets will prevent these from being coated in powder. The goal, Giannini said, was to “look for things that were missing from the market, or to improve products that were already there.”

Distribution will strike a balance between luxury and exclusivity, said Crewes, citing, key Gucci flagships and “top department stores in the world’s most renowned luxury capitals such as New York, London, Dubai and Hong Kong.” She declined to discuss sales figures, but industry sources estimated Gucci Cosmetics could earn $15 million wholesale in the first year.

Shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for print and Fabien Baron for video and digital, the ad campaign portrays a glamorous Casiraghi, who has long been a Gucci brand ambassador, in “stolen moments,” when she is applying her makeup and preparing to face the world.

“The moment when we put on makeup is very intimate,” Giannini noted. “It’s just you and your beauty tools, facing the mirror.”