FORMER AWAKE COLOR CONSULTANT SUE DEVITT BRANCHES OUT ON HER OWN.
Byline: Alev Aktar
NEW YORK — Sue Devitt is her own best advertisement.
When she suggests products from her new cosmetics line, people tend to take her advice seriously. After all, she’s beautiful, her own makeup application is subtle and sophisticated, and she’s a top makeup artist who has worked on numerous ad campaigns and runway shows.
What’s more, she was Francois Nars’s right hand for two years and the creative color consultant for the Japanese makeup line Awake.
Devitt is unveiling her makeup collection, Sue Devitt Studio, at Barneys New York in September. It will be sold there exclusively for one year before it rolls out to a wider distribution. The line was introduced first in Devitt’s native Australia in February 1999 and could reportedly generate $2.5 million retail globally in the first 12 months.
Devitt, who lives in New York but makes at least two trips home a year, created her line for Australian light and humidity. “I felt the need for a professional makeup line geared to the conditions of the Southern Hemisphere,” she explained. “Someone needed to focus on the market, and as an Australian, it made sense for me.
She has since adjusted the formulas for global distribution.
“My palette is sheer but vibrant, and the blendability factor brings color in a soft and beautiful way,” added Devitt, noting that the colors were inspired by the dramatic Australian landscape and Aboriginal art. “European formulas tend to be heavy, while U.S. palettes are very pink-toned and too bland for Australia.”
Devitt says she went to a lab and custom-blended the shades with the help of a chemist. “With my expertise and the chemists’, you get an absolute clarity of color,” she observed.
The 110-stockkeeping unit collection consists of 13 color cosmetic products and 10 brushes. Prices range from $18 for an eyebrow pencil to $36 for a Balanced Foundation, with Balanced Matte Lipstick and Sheer Formulation Lipstick retailing for $20 apiece.
The company is owned by Devitt, who is the president. Although heiress Samantha Kluge was originally part of the team and some people even thought the line was hers, she and Devitt have since parted ways. “I hired her in a public relations capacity and it wasn’t quite the right fit,” explained the makeup artist.
The line will be promoted by sampling, special events and in-store public appearances by Devitt, who said that sales can increase by as much as 400 percent when she promotes it in store.