NEW YORK — Isabella Rossellini, who has been the face of L’Oreal’s Lancome division since 1982, has joined a rival cosmetics company, Lancaster Group Worldwide Inc., as a vice president.
Under the agreement, however, Lancome retains the right to continue using the actress’s pictures and film clips through 1997, according to her attorney, Loren H. Plotkin.
Lancaster’s announcement on Tuesday confirms a report that appeared on page 16, Feb. 6.
Rossellini’s appointment is a highly unusual move for Lancaster and for the industry because she will concentrate on developing cosmetics and fragrance products, rather than modeling or public relations.
Peter Harf, Lancaster chief executive officer, said the launch of a Rossellini cosmetics line is one possibility under discussion. Harf said she could eventually appear in ads, but that role is not part of her contract.
The post is new, and Rossellini has been given an office at Lancaster’s corporate headquarters here.
Lancaster executives said they could not give details of the plans under discussion because Rossellini still has some obligations to Lancome. According to L’Oreal, she will be released from her exclusive contract with the French cosmetics company at the end of this year, making her free to promote other brands next year.
Until then, she said she cannot even pose for publicity photos with Lancaster products.