THE 2001 HOT LIST
NEXT YEAR WON’T BE AS INTERESTING AS STANLEY KUBRICK ENVISIONED, BUT 2001 WON’T BE A TOTAL DUD — ESPECIALLY FOR THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY. LAUNCH MADNESS WILL CONTINUE, THE WEB WARS WILL ESCALATE AND A NUMBER OF GLAMOROUS NEWCOMERS WILL MAKE THEIR DEBUTS. THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE ISN’T FUTURISTIC, BUT IT SURE IS BRIGHT. HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMPELLING PROJECTS COMING DOWN THE PIKE.

Byline: Kerry Diamond

Gloss.com: Hands down, this is the most highly anticipated beauty Web site yet. It will feature all the Estee Lauder brands and probably a handful of non-Lauder names already found on the existing Gloss site. It’s anybody’s guess as to who will make the cut. Lauder’s not revealing when it will launch, but we do know one thing about the date: It could spell doomsday for those beauty e-tailers limping around in cyberspace.

The Uma era: It seems that every day, another beauty company announces it has signed on some overexposed B-list celebrity or pop star as its new “face.” But Lancome wasn’t thinking B-list when it went after its new spokesmodel. The company snagged Uma Thurman, the actress and new mom who many consider one of the most gorgeous women in the world. She’ll be beautifying the ad pages in your favorite magazines very soon.

Pegasus acquisitions: This fledgling fashion conglomerate plans to acquire some beauty brands as it builds its portfolio. The past few years have seen many of the top indie names pair off with the likes of Estee Lauder, L’Oreal and LVMH, but there is plenty left to go around. Like Trish McEvoy, Fresh, Tony & Tina, Demeter, Vincent Longo, Face Stockholm, Peter Thomas Roth and Chantecaille, just to name a few.

Sanofi Beaute: The industry applauded when the Gucci Group tapped Chantal Roos to head its beauty division, which includes YSL Beaute. After all, this is the woman who launched Opium when she was at YSL in the Seventies and the person behind the highly creative Issey Miyake and Jean Paul Gaultier fragrance franchises. Look for a total rehaul of the YSL beauty business, as Tom Ford told WWD that the team is “reworking everything, going product by product and reworking packaging, product, fragrance and advertising and image and countertops.”

Helmut Lang’s perfumeries: Don’t worry, Sephora. Lang, who launched his first fragrance earlier this year, is not intent on global domination. His beauty boutiques will be old-world European-type apothecaries, with soap, toothbrushes and customized essential oil blends for sale. “It will be the haute couture version of fragrance,” said Lang. The first three are scheduled for SoHo, Paris and London.

Designer makeup lines: What makeup artist lines were to the Nineties, designer lines could be to the ’00’s. We’ve already seen the goods from Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Anna Sui and Giorgio Armani, and Cynthia Rowley and Escada have introduced collections in Asia. Rumored to be in the works are cosmetics from DKNY, Ralph Lauren and Jean Paul Gaultier. The completely revamped Givenchy makeup line will launch in fall 2001. One notable absentee is Stella McCartney’s Chloe. Wouldn’t the line’s girly glamour translate perfectly into a cosmetics collection?

Quick Bliss nail bars: Marcia Kilgore, the feisty founder of the growing Bliss empire, wants to open a nail salon on every corner. Given her can-do attitude, Kilgore just might make this Gap-like strategy a reality. But the current real estate situation could put a crimp in her plans as Kilgore continues to hunt for the perfect location. Bliss fans should also be on the lookout for a London spa.

Fetish by Christina Aguilera: Back from bankruptcy, the Fetish teen makeup line is hoping this bubbly blond pop star can put some fizz into its future. The revamped line will hit stores in January, but Aguilera might be off the charts and old news by then. Despite exceptions like Madonna and Prince, pop stars don’t exactly have the shelf life of Spam. Remember Tiffany and Paula Abdul?

Hard Candy fragrance: Best known for its nail polishes, Hard Candy could become a full-fledged beauty brand next year with the launch of its first fragrance. Founder Dineh Mohajer has been dying to do a scent for ages, but it wasn’t possible financially without a backer. Now that there’s a sugar daddy in the picture — LVMH — it is a reality. As for the name of the fragrance, you’ll have to wait to find out. Mohajer originally planned on calling it Baby Doll, but a certain someone — that would be Yves Saint Laurent — beat her to the punch.

Kate Spade beauty line: Wondering what to expect from Estee Lauder’s newest licensor? The company is keeping quiet about the new collection, but one would imagine that Spade would want the chicest versions of that stuff typically thrown into the bottom of a Kate Spade handbag. You know, compacts, lipstick, lip balm, perfume, hand cream. Of course, the items in Spade’s collection wouldn’t crack, break, leak or otherwise ruin the inside of those delightful bags.

Vera Wang fragrance: Will Vera Wang and Unilever prove to be the perfect match? We’ll find out in fall 2001 when the revamped beauty group launches the designer’s first scent. Scheduled to coincide with the publication of Wang’s bridal book, the fragrance will be the initial component of Wang’s beauty empire. Wang recently told WWD she will have major input when it comes to her products. “I would never sign a license where I didn’t have control. Control has been a big issue for me since I was seven years old!”

Kevyn Aucoin makeup line: Historians might wonder who built Stonehenge, but the beauty industry has its own mystery to ponder. Why doesn’t Kevyn Aucoin have a makeup line? Bobbi’s got one. Jeanine’s got one. Vincent’s got one. Francois’s got one. Laura’s got one. Carol’s got one. Sonia’s got one. Heck, even Aucoin’s assistant — Troy Surratt of Tarte — has one. But Aucoin is better known than any of them — except Bobbi Brown, of course — thanks to his celebrity connections, his monthly Allure column, his Beauty.com relationship and his best-selling book. Sources say that all may be revealed in 2001.

The Fubu fragrance: In June, Fubu signed a licensing agreement with Inter Parfums, making it the first of the urban clothing companies to break into the beauty business. Between this and MAC’s use of Lil’ Kim as a spokesmodel for Viva Glam, it could be the start of beauty’s hip-hop era. Licenses for Sean John, Enyce and Phat Farm could be next.

Kenneth Cole: The industry has him pegged as the next megabrand king, but you can’t rock with the royals unless you have a fragrance license. Cole’s no dummy, which is why he told WWD that securing a beauty licensing agreement is his current priority. Competition among the beauty companies is said to be intense. If a deal is signed soon, expect to see his first products next year.

The 2001 FiFi’s: The Fragrance Foundation’s annual awards ceremony is generally a staid affair. But next year’s FiFi’s could have all the excitement and drama of the typical New York Knicks playoff series. Why? Anybody whose anybody is launching a fragrance this year (see page 16). Mark your calendars now.

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