Over the past 40 years, 60-year-old Christie Brinkley has appeared on more than 500 magazine covers, launched her own fragrance and costume jewelry and served as the longest-running face — more than 25 years — of Cover Girl.
Now she’s adding product development to her résumé with a new skin care line. Called Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare, the eight stockkeeping unit range is, she insists, the reason for her largely unlined skin.
This story first appeared in the November 21, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Developed with the Atlantic Coast Media Group, the line will launch on HSN and hsn.com in early March, then will roll out into Kohl’s 1,163 doors later that month.
Anne Martin-Vachon, while serving as vice president of global cosmetics and beauty marketing for Procter & Gamble, signed Brinkley to her second deal with P&G in 2005. Brinkley became the face of Age-Defying Liquid Makeup, a foundation line designed with skin care benefits. “It’s a cliché, but she doesn’t look like she’s aged at all since then,” said Martin-Vachon, now chief merchandising officer for HSN.
Brinkley admits that with as much time as she spent in the sun over the years, she’s lucky. In 1983, she wrote and illustrated a beauty book, “Christie Brinkley’s Outdoor Beauty and Fitness Book,” which topped the New York Times bestseller list. “I was actually telling people how droplets of water would make them tan faster,” she said with a slight grimace. She’s currently at work on another beauty and fitness book, which is expected to be published in 2016 by Grand Central Life & Style Publishing.
Martin-Vachon noted that at HSN, she looks for three factors in every product range that is signed: “successful brand, great product and great storyteller.”
“Very few have all three, but Christie does,” said Martin-Vachon. “She has all sorts of stories, on everything from her line to her modeling career to her kids [Brinkley’s 15-year-old daughter, Sailor Brinkley-Cook, is also a model; both are represented by IMG]…She has first-to-market technology in the line, which is a fair trade, eco-friendly line that doesn’t test on animals. And she is incredibly passionate about this line.”
Brinkley collaborated with dermatologist Doris Day on the project, incorporating the proprietary Bio-Copper Complex, intended to revitalize skin as well as provide protection from infrared solar rays. “It was very important to me that we formulated something that, as much as is possible, protected against future sun damage,” said Brinkley, noting that broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection are also included. She a very vocal proponent of facial exfoliation, which she credits as helping her skin stay mostly unlined. “Men shave daily and get that exfoliation naturally,” she said. “Women need to add that extra step.”
The Brinkley collection comprises Recapture Day + IR Defense Anti-Aging Day Cream, $69.95 for 1.7 oz.; Recapture 360 Night Anti-Aging Night Treatment, 1.7 oz. for $69.95; Complete Clarity Daily Facial Exfoliating Polish, 3 oz. for $22.95; Refocus Eye + IR Defense Serum Infusion Eye Treatment, $59.95 for 0.5 oz.; Uplift + IR Defense Firming Neck & Décolleté Treatment, 1.7 oz. for $69.95; Close Up Instant Wrinkle Smoother & Treatment, $69.95 for 0.33 oz.; Close Up + IR Defense Skin Smoothing Primer Serum, $49.95 for 1 oz., and Complete Clarity Facial Cleansing Wash $22.95 for 3 oz.
Brinkley is a vegan, and insisted that the collection be both vegan and sensitive to the environment. Glass packaging is rendered in turquoise and amber.
“As Kohl’s continues to establish itself as a beauty destination, Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare offers customers the combination of a recognizable and trusted personality with results-oriented products,” said Jeff Askenas, Kohl’s vice president and divisional merchandise manager of beauty for Kohl’s. “Christie’s many roles of being a mother, entrepreneur, model and actress provides a strong foundation for equipping customers with her skincare secrets through this collection.”
“Cost pretty much wasn’t a concern when we were formulating this line,” said Tom Shipley, co-founder and co-chief executive officer for the Atlantic Coast Media Group, who noted Brinkley’s line represents the company’s most significant launch in its 10-year history. Atlantic Coast also owns three other skin care brands, Hydroxatone, Miracle Skin Transformer and Luminique, and a hair treatment line called Keranique. All are sold primarily via home shopping channels and direct response marketing, added Drew Surwilo, co-founder and co-ceo of the Atlantic Coast Media Group.
While all declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that the line could do upward of $20 million at retail in its first year on counter.
Brinkley continues to have her finger in a number of beauty pies. She launched a wig collection for Hair2Wear in 2013 and her 1998 fragrance, Believe by Christie Brinkley, is still being distributed internationally. She launched a costume jewelry line with HSN-rival QVC in 2010, and will reprise her role as Gayle Gergich in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” in its next and final season.