La Prairie hopes to add value to its Platinum franchise with its newest skin care product, Cellular Serum Platinum Rare, set for an April launch.

This story first appeared in the March 27, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

While the product is priced like platinum — $650 for 1 oz. — Lynne Florio, president of La Prairie, insists it’s worth it. It is a follow-up to the brand’s September launch of Cellular Cream Platinum Rare, an antiaging moisturizer priced at $1,000 for 1.7 oz. That product will get a 1-oz. size for $650 in April.

“Our customers are telling us that they see skin care as essential, and ours as a luxury experience, not just a product,” said Florio. “We have always been at the high end of the price spectrum, because our technology and ingredients are cutting edge. We have been noticing some differences in replenishment frequency — customers didn’t want to give it up, but they did want to purchase it at a different price point — so we decided to begin offering a 1-oz. size of Cellular Cream Platinum Rare — but they are still buying. And adding a serum made sense — it does everything the cream does, but adds a brightening and tightening effect.”

The serum’s key ingredients include colloidal platinum, said to help maintain the skin’s electrical balance; a sugar polymer which is said to create a mesh on the skin’s surface for immediate firming and line smoothing; Hesperidin Smart Crystals, a proprietary submicron delivery system, said to deliver hesperidin, an antioxidant, to protect the skin’s DNA mechanism in its cellular nucleus; resveratrol and malachite for their antioxidant properties, and watercress extract, vitamin B3 and Kombucha mushroom extract to increase skin brightness. As well, the product contains the brand’s proprietary Cellular Complex, a cocktail of ingredients said to help stimulate the skin’s natural repair process and energize skin.

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Together, the three-item collection — the serum and the two sizes of Cellular Cream Platinum Rare — could do upwards of $8 million at retail in the U.S. in their first year on counter, said industry sources.

Florio intends to send top customers a letter with a 5-ml. sample of the serum in early April, thanking them for past support of the brand and inviting them to try the new product.

For those whose pocketbooks don’t allow a purchase of the Platinum Rare products, La Prairie will also add a new day cream and a new night cream to its existing Anti-Aging Collection, noted Holly Genovese, vice president of retail marketing and sales education for La Prairie. Both include the brand’s proprietary Cellular Complex, a cocktail of glycoproteins, horsetail and ginseng extract, as well as green algae extract, intended to boost skin firmness and protect collagen and elastin; vitamin E and larch tree extract to protect against free radicals, and a mix of glycerin, resurrection plant extract and sunflower seed oil to hydrate and moisturize. Each will retail for $200 for 1.7 oz.

The products will be available in La Prairie’s full distribution in the U.S., currently about 222 doors, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and select Bloomingdale’s.