This story first appeared in the December 13, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
When a brand adopts the tagline, “makeup to make you look badder,” you can be pretty sure that it’s not business as usual. With the launch of Ardency Inn, founders Gilles Kortzagadarian and Stephane Siboni delivered on that promise, producing a brand with a decidedly downtown ethos that translates hipster style into innovative formulas and product ideas. The line is divided into three main areas: the all-black Punker, which features inky liners, shadows and even a lip gloss pencil; Modster, where bright colors live, and the natural-toned Americana, whose star product is a Custom Color Concentrate that can be mixed with moisturizer to create a custom foundation. Prices for the line, which launched at Sephora, start at $22 for an eyeliner and rise to $39 for a silicone-free water-based primer. The link to music isn’t simply a marketing ploy for Ardency Inn, which taps musical artists like Marie de Villepin as brand ambassadors. “Every season we produce music videos. Our goal is to offer artists a recording studio,” said Siboni. “We see ourselves as a publisher of content.” Added Kortzagadarian, “In a sense we are more of a fashion brand in terms of how we communicate. Our goal with this brand was to combine our passion of makeup artistry and music.”