After a long wave of fragrances by designer names, could designer skincare be in the making? L’Oréal’s Giorgio Armani brand is realizing its intention to become a global beauty brand with the launch of women’s and men’s facial care lines and the organic skincare line Care by Stella McCartney was marketed as an extension of the designer’s lifestyle.
As another example, Issey Miyake and Narcisso Rodriguez (Shiseido) ancillary lines have been touching on treatment skincare. A US research company senior analyst Maria Badescu told me than they are seeing the designer element across all three categories and we have seen the increases in designer fragrances, so they are watching this in skincare.
Maria describes the trend for designer’s skincare as still in its infancy. However, whether the designer name will have credibility to deliver on its promises like a doctor brand is not expected to hinder the brand. The is a question of credibility. With the likes of Chanel, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent well established across the beauty categories, Maria points out, having a designer footing does not disclaim such a brand. The challenge, however, will be selling skincare based on the mystic of the brand.
The mass market is making a lot of effectiveness claims so you really have to distinguish yourself from everyone else with a point of difference and something special to buy into and we do think that designers have that footing that they can build on.
Despite the abundance of activity in fragrance, the designer brand can capitalize on its name for new growth—albeit smaller growth—in the skincare area. We see that the longevity of having a good makeup and skincare brand can really shore up a brand and give it a full-pronged approach. With consumers looking for differentiation, the designer brand brings an element of exclusivity and its cachet of quality to the segment.
Furthermore, younger consumers are using more makeup and skincare products than in the past, with 80% claiming to use skincare before the age of 18 years. In the US, selective skincare represented $2.2bn in sales in 2006 compared to the $1.9bn for fragrances. Skincare is actually the category that is used more by women than any other beauty category. The global appeal of skincare cannot be ignored. The bottom line is that innovation is going to drive any category. And the arrival of designer names in the arena might at least broaden the scope of skincare.