PARIS — Almost a year after signing on as Christian Dior’s creative and image director of makeup, Peter Philips’ first key product introductions for the house are in view, starting with a revamp of the Diorshow line.
This story first appeared in the April 17, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
First created in 2002, the range gleans inspiration from fashion shows’ behind-the-scenes.
Interviewed at Dior’s headquarters here, Philips said it was obvious that his “first big project” would be the Diorshow mascara, whose big brush was revolutionary at the birth of the line.
“After 13 years it’s time to take a product, upgrade it and bring it to [today],” he said.
And key is the backstage scene, which Philips decorated in Dior’s signature soft gray hues.
“It’s a controlled backstage,” he said. “I really wanted to give backstage an identity. Diorshow mascara was born backstage — I said maybe I can revamp it, and link it with my proper backstage. So that’s where the idea of the communication was born.”
Using the codes of Dior — including the houndstooth pattern, signature colors and Lady Dior bag — one of the two advertising images simulates a model lineup at a show.
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“All the elements in that picture scream Raf Simons’ Dior,” continued Philips, speaking of the house’s couturier and women’s designer. “It was a great way in one hit to pass the message that there’s a bridge between couture and beauty.”
Product-wise, Philips tweaked a few elements of the Diorshow mascara. The packaging’s interior wiper was changed to give the right dose of product and a valve keeps air from penetrating the tube and drying out the bulk.
Some curved microfibers were added to the formula for more volume.
Philips also updated the Dior 5 Couleurs Designer Eyeshadow, a palette including a primer, with a new ingredient called “color lock” that is meant to give a longer-lasting texture and hue, the color that defines the entire palette — a shadow, a liner and a highlighter
Anne Pietropaoli, group manager for makeup at Dior, said shades were created to have a great brightness.
To better differentiate the designer palette from Dior’s classic color range, Philips had the packaging’s shape made more rectangular.
The new Diorshow Pro Liner in six shades was crafted to be “like a calligraphic pen” — a hybrid liquid and pencil eyeliner with a gel formula — whose effect changes according to how it’s placed, Philips said.
“This formula lends itself to smudging,” he explained, adding it is also long-lasting and waterproof. The Diorshow Pro Liner will replace the line’s existing liner.
New to Diorshow is an item for grooming eyebrows, which is called Brow Styler Gel and comes in three shades.
Philips described the lineup as “makeup essentials.”
“They are products developed and created to give women the opportunity to apply her makeup as if it’s done by a makeup artist,” he explained.
Philips said Dior makeup already has a strong identity and loyal audience.
“I don’t want to lose them,” he said. “The idea for me is to try and create collections which are true to this Dior identity but to add some elements to try and seduce new Dior women.”
Philips directed the new campaign for Diorshow that was photographed by Craig McDean and features model Ondria Hardin.
“This might be a nice first step to show that I’m not there to change the elegance Dior is known for,” said Philips.
The makeup artist characterized the Dior client as being fearless about colors and sparkle, and maintained he doesn’t want that to go away.
“But I would also like to open other doors without losing the identity of Dior,” he continued. “So that’s a bit of a balancing act.”
Diorshow’s new product launch is to take place starting May 4 in France, followed by sephora.com and dior.com on May 15 in the U.S.
While company executives would not discuss sales projections, industry sources estimate that this year retail sales from Diorshow will reach $10 million worldwide, up 28 percent on-year.
In the U.S. prices range from $27.50 for the mascara, to $32 for the liner and for the brow gel, and $62 for a designer eye shadow palette.