Nicolas Degennes

CHANGING COLOR GUARD: Nicolas Degennes, Givenchy Parfums’ artistic director for makeup and color since 1999, will be leaving the house on June 30.

“For more than 20 years, Nicolas Degennes has put his creative audacity, expertise in light and textures, and passion for color at the service of Givenchy makeup,” the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned house said in a statement Wednesday. “In close collaboration with the maison’s teams, he participated in the creation of product ranges as surprising as they are desirable, which elevate the makeup to the level of luxury accessory. He thus contributed to the brand’s influence and tremendous international success.”

No successor to Degennes has been named.

Romain Spitzer, the house’s chief executive officer, thanked Degennes for his inventiveness and major influence on the brand’s success. Degennes, in turn, thanked all the teams as he prepares “to explore new horizons.”

Degennes has infused daring into Givenchy’s entire color-cosmetics range, shaking up industry norms with cutting-edge formulas, textures and tools.

He has been the mastermind behind such products as Phenomen’Eyes mascara, with a spherical brush, and Le Rouge lipstick. His iconic bestseller is Prisme Libre loose powder, whose airy texture and complementary colors give a luminous glow.

Creativity has always been at the forefront of Degennes’ mind, and to him product creation has been about following one’s gut and thinking about the global consumer.

“You have to have in your mind all the diversity of the world,” he explained in a WWD Beauty Inc magazine article appearing in August 2019.

When he first heard that a product’s color can react according to the pH of one’s lips, for instance, he pushed to use the technique in Le Rose Perfecto, a bestseller. Degennes also added pH factor to a black lipstick, Rouge Interdit Noir Révélateur.

“Everybody said that no one could wear this,” he said. But it sold out in minutes.

“I like to listen to the markets – but not all of the time,” continued Degennes. “You [must] know exactly what they need, and at the same time, prove to them the brand has something else to say.”

 

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