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NEW YORK — Pierre Cardin Beaute will make its television debut this spring.

This story first appeared in the November 5, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The designer, who owns the licenses for more than 800 products in over 140 countries around the world, will launch his Beaute line in North America on the Home Shopping Network.

“You can do everything in my name,” noted Cardin. “I can go home and have everything except salt.” When asked how he feels about merchandising cosmetics on TV, Cardin said his decision to launch in the U.S. on HSN is based on his opinion that “TV is publicity.” He explained that the creativity and quality of the products are the important elements. “If you like to sell you must find the best means you can.”

In North America, Pierre Cardin Beaute is managed by Marketing Options Inc., a privately held company based in New York and Clearwater, Fla. The product line is manufactured by Intercos, Italy’s premier supplier of color cosmetics and was launched about 10 years ago. It has distribution in the Middle East, Europe, Korea and Japan. The Pierre Cardin Beaute collection comprises foundation, lip, cheek and eye products that range in price from $14 to $49.50.

“The first step to being successful is a universal name,” said Gerard Semhon, president of Marketing Options. “We felt that HSN would give you a very broad audience where if you went to a few department stores it would take you years. There [HSN] you are reaching millions and millions of women instantly.”

Industry sources estimate sales for Pierre Cardin Beaute could amount to as much as $5 million in the first year.

“We looked at our overall product portfolio and, besides our core business, see a trend with our emerging business to bring in brands that are positioned as beauty around the world,” noted Michael Henry, vice president of health and beauty merchandising for Home Shopping Network. He explained that Pierre Cardin Beaute will fit a niche as a prestige, French brand and that it could be exciting to go with the launch of Cardin’s beauty business. “I don’t think he’s had that much exposure in the U.S. in the past 10 years,” said Henry.

Last Wednesday, Cardin became the first honorary member of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Alumni Association during a black-tie dinner at the Art Directors Club in Chelsea. The FIT alumni association and Cardin’s business are celebrating 50-year anniversaries this year, so the alumni decided the timing was right to honor the designer.

In addition, the designer announced plans to establish a student scholarship in his name. The Pierre Cardin Scholarship will provide full tuition for one student per year and is expected to begin with the fall term next year.

The event also included a retrospective fashion show featuring about 100 of Cardin’s most iconic pieces including couture and ready-to-wear that ranged from a man’s patent leather jumpsuit to spacy evening gowns and a plethora of Mod looks.

“That looks like Marc Jacobs right now,” said one guest, referring to the Mod mini daytime dresses.

Meanwhile, during a lunch the previous day, Cardin said he still plans to sell his business — something he has said during the past year he plans to do — but gave no further details about whom the potential suitors may be.

Retail sales of Cardin products are estimated at $1.5 billion, which includes about 800 licensed products, theaters, hotels, a cultural center in eastern Paris, galleries and some 30 restaurants.

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