Byline: Alev Aktar

NEW YORK — Sylvie Chantecaille’s game is color, so when it came to packaging her new makeup line, she wasn’t about to pick basic black.
Instead, Chantecaille chose a combination of zip and Zen: The boxes are a bold shade of magenta that she calls wisteria, and the compacts are shiny silver with translucent lids. She even steered clear of black for the lettering and used navy blue instead.
“A lot of lines are dark. I wanted mine to be all about luminosity,” said Chantecaille. “Wisteria has the highest vibratory rate; it’s incredibly attractive and very uplifting.”
As for the colors of the products, they’re fashion-forward but wearable, and the formulas are noteworthy for their ultrasheer, silky feel.
“The formulas are meant to mesh with the skin so you don’t see anything,” said Chantecaille. “The pigments are all wrapped [with vegetable protein] so that they’re compatible with the skin, and you don’t see a layering effect. My line is all based on textures.”
The 150-stockkeeping-unit line, called Chantecaille, will be launched on June 22 exclusively at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.
Chantecaille declined to discuss a sales target, but sources said the collection could generate as much as $4 million at wholesale this year.
As far as rolling out the line to a wider distribution, Chantecaille insisted she wanted to remain exclusive. “I think that what’s missing on the market today is diversity and exclusivity,” she argued. “To me, this is how you really grow the business. You really focus on [your distribution] and stay with it.”
However, the line will be sold at selected stores in Europe and Asia, such as Space NK and Harvey Nichols in the U.K. and Joyce in Hong Kong. And Chantecaille plans to open her own stores here and in Paris next year.
Sylvie Chantecaille knows a lot about color, texture and technology — after all, she was a force behind Prescriptives, a division of Estee Lauder Cos., for 20 years. She left the company in 1996 to start her own business, then last year introduced a line of three fragrances called Parfum de Chantecaille.
The scents are sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, where they generated $900,000 at wholesale their first year, beating plan by a healthy margin, said Chantecaille.
Her color line is, of course, a return to her roots. But this time around, Chantecaille has full control. She’s the sole owner of her company, based here — and it’s “empowering.”
“I don’t need to cut corners. I’m not into maintaining market share. And I’m very attentive to detail. I wanted to create something that’s really elegant and well done. “
Chantecaille said her company employs seven people, one of them her daughter, Olivia, who was named creative director.
She and her daughter are working on an aromatherapy line and treatment products, which will be ready early next year.
The makeup line consists of four types of lip color — Lip Stick, Lip Matte, Lip Sheer and Lip Gloss. There are three types of foundation: New Stick, a stick foundation and concealer; Real Skin, a long-wearing translucent gel foundation in a compact, and Compact Makeup, a wet/dry compact foundation. Then there are Cheek Shade, Lasting Eye Shade, Shine Eye Shade and Talc Free Loose Powder.
The lipsticks, cheek shades and eye colors are $20 each; the compact makeup and loose powder go for $45. The most expensive product is Real Skin, which will retail for $47.
One luxurious touch is the navy blue fabric pouches that come with the lipsticks and compacts — items that many women carry in their purses.
Most of the formulas contain botanical antioxidants such as green tea, green apple, ginseng, gingko biloba and aloe vera, said Chantecaille.
Finally, there are nine brushes ranging in price from $20 for a boar bristle eyebrow brush to $70 for an oversized face powder brush made of black squirrel hair.
The line will be merchandised on a multilevel, clear lucite display with a Sixties feel. There will be no seasonal shade statements, as there are in many lines.
Chantecaille will be backed with print advertising in several national magazines, ads in regional publications, pages in Neiman Marcus’ The Book and in the store’s catalog and by direct mail pieces.
In addition, Chantecaille will make personal appearances in stores.

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