PARIS — Chantal Roos, the retired president of YSL Beauté, is back in business, with her own beauty product development firm, called Chantal Roos et Associés.
And Roos has teamed up with one of the most formidable names in fashion, Diane von Furstenberg, as her first client. The two of them will work on a concept for a fragrance.
Roos, who has spent the last year as the personal adviser to Gucci Group president and chief executive officer Robert Poulet, said her new firm will be a creative enterprise aimed at developing fragrance and makeup products. Roos said she will be developing product, packaging and juice plus merchandising tools, if need be.
Reached in Europe via e-mail, von Furstenberg confirmed that she and Roos will work together.
“I have always wanted to work with Chantal,” von Furstenberg wrote, while cruising on a boat. “I truly believe she is the most talented person in the industry. She is very enthusiastic about the DVF brand, has done extensive research and is very excited about what she learned. I am honored she has taken me as a client and I look forward to coming up with an interesting strategy. I am totally free, and therefore open to what is the best strategy.”
In 2003, von Furstenberg had entered the color cosmetics market under a licensing deal with Inter Parfums Inc., which resulted in a 90 stockkeeping-unit assortment of makeup and fragrance. Called Diane von Furstenberg Beauty, it was launched at Henri Bendel and rolled out to another 35 doors, mostly specialty stores. That launch was accompanied by the launch of a fragrance called D.
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On Wednesday, von Furstenberg said she had ended her partnership with Inter Parfums “more than a year ago.”
Roos described von Furstenberg as “the modern archetype of the 360-degree woman.” Roos added that von Furstenberg possesses “a fluid and sexy femininity. For women, she is a model.”
In describing the scope of her company in general, Roos said she will be doing the creative work to get a project ready for the market. Then, when the house is finished, she added, “I will give the owner the key.”
Her past mode of operation in working with Yves Saint Laurent, Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gaultier, Stella McCartney and Tom Ford has been to get into the heads of designers and help them to interpret their creative impulses into salable beauty products.
For her, a return to product creation is “a rebirth. I’m free of constraint.”
Von Furstenberg is no novice in this business. In the Seventies, she launched a fragrance, named Tatiana after her daughter, plus a color cosmetics collection. She later marketed an environmental fragrance collection.