NEW YORK — While eponymous beauty lines may be nothing new in the world of makeup artistry, one artist — Scott Barnes —is taking a road less traveled with the rollout of his own newly created cosmetics collection.
This story first appeared in the November 7, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Barnes, who creates looks for movie and pop stars on both the red carpet and editorial circuits, will introduce his cosmetics line on QVC, as reported, during a one-hour presentation in late January. Then, the collection, called Scott Barnes, is expected to roll into upscale retail chain distribution by next fall.
“For me, it was obvious,” Barnes said of his choice for a launch venue at an event in New York last week. “It’s a great way to connect directly to consumers.” Speaking to TV’s capacity for connecting a face with a name, Barnes added, “When you just put product out there and [consumers] don’t see you, you become an enigma.”
Currently, the line consists of nine items in sleek packaging. A range of seven color cosmetics kits include Canvas, a two-piece foundation and concealer set; IlluminEye, an eye shadow and pencil kit, and Lip Service, a lip gloss and liner kit. There are also two individual color products and approximate prices for both kits and individual items range between $21 and $42. Additional products are in development and the assortment could include more than 20 items for the planned introduction in stores next fall.
The inaugural QVC broadcast could generate sales in excess of 10,000 units, according to industry sources. That means at an approximate average price of $35 per item, sales volume could be in the neighborhood of $350,000 for the hour. QVC’s plans beyond the initial broadcast haven’t been determined.
“I believe we have an enormous future talent in Scott Barnes,” said Marvin Traub, president of Marvin Traub Associates, who is consulting on retail development of the line. Of the interplay between television and traditional retailing today, Traub said stores have recognized that carrying products seen on QVC “is a positive for the business.” He added that stores “didn’t always feel that way.”
Allen Burke, director of beauty merchandising for QVC, called the Barnes rollout strategy a “first,” adding, “we’ve thought of bringing a lot of lines we’ve [introduced] into traditional retail distribution. The conventional wisdom is if you want to start a new line, you enter a department store and advertise to get something going.” But Burke noted, “exposing [Barnes] to 84 million households is a great start to letting [people] know the line is created and available.”
Barnes came to New York in the late Nineties as an aspiring painter and began doing makeup while working as a photo assistant. His clientele now includes Jennifer Lopez, Lil’ Kim, Kate Hudson and Julianne Moore, among others. He said the “Sixties and Seventies über-rich, private jet kind of woman” inspired the line. Thus it may come as no surprise that Barnes’ priciest item is an allover illuminator called Body Bling.
“Barnes’ vision was very clear and articulated,” said Thomas Moloney, president of Clarecastle Group, which holds an equity stake in Barnes’ licensee, Cosmetico LLC. “He sat down and hammered it all out,” Moloney added.
At last week’s launch event, Lil’ Kim wore Barnes’ highlighting powder under her eyes and chimed in about his ability to customize looks. “No one’s skin is one specific color,” she said. “[Whether] you have pink, yellow or brown tones, he’ll say, ‘I’m going to make you something’ and the tones are perfect.”