Today’s Fashion Headlines: Friday, March 29, 2013

March 29, 2013 • Fashion Blog, Fashion News

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Vera Wang Launches New Fragrance

Vera Wang has a sparkly treat for her fans this spring: Be Jeweled, the Kohl’s exclusive scent that will hit counters in late April. Wang launched her first fragrance, referred to as Signature, in 2002. Be Jeweled is the sixth major launch for the brand; counting all limited-edition scents and flankers, Wang has produced 16 scents altogether. In addition to her ready-to-wear business, Wang has built an empire at Kohl’s with her Simply Vera collection. It includes clothing, accessories, sleepwear, shoes, jewelry, home and color cosmetics. “We’ve carefully built a lifestyle brand at Kohl’s, and this is right in line with what we’re doing there,” added Wang. “We’re not going to date anyone, but this scent will skew to a youthful sense of romance and fun.” Eaux de parfum in three sizes — 1 oz. for $45, 1.7 oz. for $52 and 2.5 oz. for $68 — will be offered. The bottle, which lives up to its name with a faceted shape evoking a gem and a neck and cap adorned with purple, pink and champagne stones, was designed by Wilhelm Liden with Jon Dinapoli, Coty’s creative director.

Bare Escentuals Plan For Expansion

The Shiseido-owned beauty brand has an ambitious priority list for this year that includes a broader array of color cosmetics, a store redesign and international expansion and a mobile tour that’s a turbo-charged version of founder Leslie Blodgett’s bus expeditions of years past. Over the past few years, the company has put a greater focus on expanding its assortment beyond its hero product, loose mineral foundation. That effort has resulted in the introduction of solid foundations, blushes, bronzers and eye shadows under the Ready franchise, as well as a skin care range under the BareMinerals moniker. In May, the company will heavily emphasize the lip category with the introduction of BareMinerals’ Marvelous Moxie, a 42-shade collection of lipsticks, liners and glosses. Shade names nod to the brand’s girl-power point of view, and include Finish First lipstick for $18, Maverick lip gloss for $18 and Amped lip liner for $15.

Bare Escentuals’ expansion beyond loose formulas into solids have attracted new users to the brand and prompted loyalists to buy more. It’s also fueling the brand’s growth. Prestige beauty sales gained 7 percent last year, according to the NPD Group, which would put Bare Escentuals growth rate at roughly 10 to 15 percent. The company aims to herald the changes across its brand with a new store concept designed by Pompei A.D. in New York, which is now visible at its location at the Westfield Valley Fair shopping center in Santa Clara, Calif. This year, the company will roll out the design to seven more locations, including Novi, Mich., Columbia, S.C., Schaumburg, Ill., Syracuse, N.Y., Berkeley, Calif., and two in Bloomington, Minn. The remodeled store is meant to foster a friendly environment, and the beauty bar has been turned into the communal center of the store. There are testers galore, and also images and cheeky messages that imbue the brand’s personality into the store. For instance, there’s a graphic picture of Blodgett and the slogan, “Be a Force of Beauty,” mounted in bold pink.

The storefront has been stripped of architectural elements that, while perhaps pretty, prevented customers from seeing directly into the store. Now, it’s basically only glass. “We wanted to open the whole thing up and signal that things are evolving. We are changing and are proud of the change,” said Michelle Boudreau, senior director of visual merchandising and store design at Bare Escentuals. The company continues to expand the footprint of its stand-alone stores internationally. Last year, it opened five boutiques in Brazil and this year it plans to open an additional nine units there (which includes three mall kiosks), making the country the company’s largest market for stand-alone stores. The brand also is sold in Sephora stores in Brazil. As a point of comparison, there are five BareMinerals stores in the U.K. with another planned to open this year. The company currently operates a total of 232 boutiques, including its 11 stores outside the U.S.

In the U.S., Bare Escentuals plans to hit the road. The mobile “Go Bare” tour spotlighting loose and pressed foundations will begin the weekend of the Nike Women Half Marathon in Washington, D.C., which will take place on April 28, and then travel to New York City, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The set-up will mimic the new store design with a clean white, bright environment. A Twitter-activated vending machine will be on site. To activate the machine, visitors Tweet their favorite guilty indulgence using the hashtag #gobare at BareMinerals. Once they do, the machine will release a mystery box containing either a BareMinerals product or a gift certificate for a like-minded retailer in that market. In a first for the brand, selling will also take place on site with Ready Eyeshadow 2.0 offered as a gift with purchase. Blodgett is expected to appear at several key events along the way.

Saint Laurent To Open Abu Dhabi Flagship

Yves Saint Laurent said it has established a joint venture with Dubai-based Al Tayer Insignia, allowing it to directly enter the United Arab Emirates. Previously, YSL was present in the region via a franchise agreement with Al Tayer that was established in 2003. At present, the French fashion house boasts stand-alone stores in Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi and the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, along with corners in Harvey Nichols and Bloomingdale’s in Dubai, plus a shop-in-shop within Level Shoe District at The Dubai Mall. The new joint venture, headquartered in Dubai, plans to open a flagship Abu Dhabi store at Sowwah Square later this year.

Part of Al Tayer Group, a UAE-based diversified business conglomerate, Al Tayer Insignia operates more than 35 international luxury brands and nearly 80 stores in the region, including Bloomingdale’s and the largest Harvey Nichols outside the U.K. at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai. Al Tayer also has operations in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Qatar. Paul Deneve, chief executive officer of Yves Saint Laurent, said “now is the time” to enhance the company’s presence even more in the Middle East, “in order to offer our customers a renewed experience with the Saint Laurent brand.” Khalid Al Tayer, ceo of retail at Al Tayer Group, called Saint Laurent “a favorite with the luxury connoisseur in the UAE. With this joint venture, we not only strengthen our relationship, but create a platform for the brand to extend its presence in the market.” Earlier this month, Gucci said it had signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture with Al Tayer Insignia. Gucci and YSL are among luxury brands controlled by French group Kering, previously known as PPR.

– Selicia A. Walker

Source: WWD

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