WGSN’s Senior Beauty Editor Theresa Yee speaks to the VP at Kendo (Marc Jacobs parent company), about hero products and future plans for the Marc Jacobs Beauty brand.
The Marc Jacobs Beauty cosmetics collection, which includes products for the face, eyes, lips, nails and brushes, has just landed in department store Harrods. And to celebrate the launch, giant sculptures of some of the brand’s new products fill the windows including Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara and Le Marc Lip Crème in Charlotte, a Harrods exclusive named after the royal baby girl.
WGSN’s Senior Beauty Editor Theresa Yee talks to Catherine Gore, VP at Kendo (the Marc Jacobs parent company), about why the UK is a dream market.
WGSN: Hi Catherine, we are really excited to be here at Harrods for the exclusive UK launch of Marc Jacobs Beauty. Can you tell us why you chose to launch into Harrods and not another major department store?
Catherine Gore: The Harrods team shared Marc Jacobs Beauty’s very ambitious vision and helped bring it to life in a unique and unexpected way. The UK has always been an important market for us to launch. The timing was based on finding an ideal partner and building a best in class plan. From partner selection to assortment and launch events, we wanted it to be flawless.
WGSN: Which regions/markets have been the most successful for the brand?
Catherine Gore: The brand is currently sold in 21 countries worldwide and has been successful across the board. Globally, the beauty client is a beautifully discerning client and they seek a bespoke experience not only in terms of product performance but also through products that offer and evoke a luxurious, considered experience.
WGSN: Can you name some of the bestselling products in the different countries?
Catherine Gore: Our bestsellers are consistently the same across the globe, with slight differences due to client needs and preferences. For example, Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Blacquer is a top product in North America, while Magic Marc’er Precision Pen in Blacquer takes that position in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America.
‘The wide-sweeping contour trend, greatly amplified by social media, clearly affected everyone around the world last year.’
Lastly, Le Marc Lip Crème was a top collection in France, which helped inspire us to create an exclusive shade of Le Marc, Charlotte, to commemorate our launch here in the UK.
WGSN: How would you describe the classic Marc Jacobs beauty?
Catherine Gore: The beauty of the collection is that Marc believes many women can represent the “classic” heart of the brand. So, although the brand itself is unexpected, provocative and equally covetable, any woman can be empowered to amplify her beauty with it and become the woman she’d like to portray.
WGSN: What are the hero products of the range?
Catherine Gore: There are a few true heroes and one of those in Marc Jacobs Beauty is Highliner Gel Eye Crayon. It was created to be the first gel eyeliner in a pencil, and revolutionised the category as an innovation. It withstands hours of wear on the lashline and the waterline, making it a must-have for clients on-the-go. We believe in this product so much that we included it in Sephora’s Beauty Insider Birthday Gift programme in North America, along with Le Marc Lip Crème – both staples that everyone needs. That said, Velvet Noir Major Volume mascara just launched and is doing very well because of incredible client love and support from artistry, beauty influencers, and celebrities.
WGSN: Can you tell us more about the Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara?
Catherine Gore: From an innovation perspective, it offers instant volume in less than three strokes, effortlessly building epic lashes with the look of false lashes – without fibers. From an inspiration perspective, the mascara itself was developed to reflect Marc’s first beauty memory from childhood, in which he remembers watching his mother shave the fibers of a velvet ribbon and applying them onto her lashes to create a more dramatic eye effect.
WGSN: What is the main inspiration behind the collection and how much of this comes from Marc himself?
Catherine Gore: Marc Jacobs is the complete force and inspiration behind the Marc Jacobs Beauty brand, and he draws from endless sources of inspiration: film, music, fashion, texture, fabric, and imperfect charm are just a few. His involvement from product ideas, to formulas, to shade ranges, shade names and packaging runs deep through the brand…and he has such talent in designing fully considered products for the client seeking modern luxury.
WGSN: How is Harrods promoting the new Marc Jacobs beauty launch in-store?
Catherine Gore: Harrods is promoting our launch in a truly exciting – and historical way. Marc Jacobs Beauty is honoured to be the first colour cosmetics brand to be featured in the Harrods Brompton Street windows, so this will be our main point of exposure, which will be further supported by our location in The White Hall, and a dedicated space to pulse the brand in the Colour Hall. Additionally, we are inviting all clients to join us for several events, and explore the make-up stations within the windows. It is our hope that all Harrods beauty clients will have an opportunity to experience the world of Marc Jacobs Beauty, including the new Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara and the two exclusive products to Harrods: the Style Eye-Con No. 7 Eyeshadow Palette in Parisienne, the now-infamous Le Marc Lip Crème in Charlotte.
WGSN: What’s the plan for the future of Marc Jacobs beauty in the UK?
Catherine Gore: We’re planning to stay focused on our UK business at Harrods while continuing to nurture our brand in Europe, which is offered exclusively through Sephora. We are fully committed to investing in the UK market and are looking forward to introduce new products and collections each season!
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