Beauty & Balance

EXCLUSIVE: Karl Lagerfeld, ModelCo Team Up on Makeup Line

PARIS — Karl Lagerfeld is no stranger to color cosmetics — he’s long used them to shade his dreamy illustrations. Now the designer has teamed with Australian beauty company ModelCo for his latest collaboration.
The Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo limited-edition makeup line, with more than 50 units, is set to launch globally on May 14.
Lagerfeld allowed that putting makeup on sketches is “very different than working on a makeup collection as a product. The technical part I don’t know about; I only know the aesthetic part.”
Asked about the target customer, he said, “This collection is done for people of any age who may like it — also young people who know more about makeup than all of us.”
Pier Paolo Righi, chief executive officer of Karl Lagerfeld, lauded ModelCo as a "creative and innovative company, with a team that thinks out of the box. They are very connected with a Millennial audience and deeply grounded in fashion. At the same time, ModelCo resonated with the iconic, playful DNA at the heart of Karl Lagerfeld. This helped to bring this project to life, creatively, in the product palette we developed together. We felt that these attributes made them a perfect match with what we stand for and who we want to connect with.”
He added: “This collaboration presents a new, very relevant way to connect with our audience, for whom we are much more than a fashion brand — we are a fashionable companion in their daily lives. Looking beautiful when going out is, of course, important to our consumers, and we are very happy that we can help them so and can do it with a smile.”
ModelCo ceo Shelley Sullivan said she was honored to fuse her beauty company’s know-how with “one of the world’s most renowned and iconic names in fashion.”
“We felt that creating the Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo beauty collection would fit nicely in our existing marketing plan and set the scene for our brand globally,” the executive said.
The 16-year-old Australian firm is expanding its reach in the U.K. as well as elsewhere in Europe and in the U.S. “This provides an insight into the ModelCo range that is coming to these markets,” said Sullivan.
Lagerfeld oversaw the design of the collection that counts multiple products topped with a stylized bust of himself, easily identifiable with his signature sunglasses, ponytail, high shirt collar and necktie. Some of the packaging also pays homage to the designer's famous cat Choupette.
Lagerfeld said the “whole story” started with his first drawings.
“I had never done such a complete (makeup) collection before,” he said.
The theme of the makeup line — suitable for all skin types — is “illuminated beauty.” “Every product is illuminated through packaging or an innovative formula. The Lip Lights range literally lights up with inbuilt LED light and mirror,” said Sullivan, referring to the eight shades of matte lipstick, eight shades of lip gloss and four shades of special-effect topcoat. Lip Lights, she noted, “was an original ModelCo first-to-market creation.”
The collection with Lagerfeld includes long-lasting liquid liner, intense black volumizing mascara, a fiber brow gel and crayon duo, powder highlighter and makeup brushes.
The designer asserted that the line is “very complete and speaks for itself. But for example, I like very much the lip light that is innovative and fun.”
Prices range from $15 for the lip balm to $28 for the lipstick and lip gloss, and $65 for the Choupette Collectible Eyeshadow Palette Day to Night. There’s a minaudière with mini lip kit, too, that is splashed with Lagerfeld's signature in pink and retails for $195. Sullivan called it “a real ‘fashion meets beauty’ product, as the Karl Lagerfeld clutch is a key item of his fashion collection.”
With a limited number of products in the ephemeral color cosmetics line, which will have just one drop of stock, it’s meant to be collectible, said Sullivan, who remained mum on the specific number of units being produced.
The range is to be sold in Karl Lagerfeld stores and via, as well as ModelCo’s distribution network and In the U.S., it will be carried exclusively at Nordstrom; in Europe at Douglas, Nocibé, Cult Beauty and Galeries Lafayette, and at Paris Gallery, Dubai Mall and other select retailers in the Middle East.
The collection’s advertising campaign, titled “Kiss Me Karl,” features model Stella Maxwell and an animated 3-D character of Lagerfeld.
Karl Lagerfeld and ModelCo are set to host a “guerrilla-style” event in Paris on May 15 to mark the launch of the makeup line.
ModelCo, which sells its products around the world, has had numerous celebrity tie-ins in the past, including with Elle Macpherson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Hailey Baldwin. “These collaborations greatly elevated ModelCo from an Australian beauty brand, and set it on the global stage,” said Sullivan.
ModelCo, which is headquartered in Sydney, is among Australia’s fastest-growing beauty brands, with a portfolio that includes self-tanners and natural skin care.
The Karl Lagerfeld brand counts 95 single-brand stores worldwide plus wholesale distribution in Europe, the Middle East and Asia., considered its global flagship, sells to 96 countries. The brand’s portfolio boasts men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, children’s wear and leather goods, among other products.
Might color cosmetics become a staple?
“Making women feel beautiful, confident and happy is part of what we do every day,” said Righi. “Therefore, a beauty line is something we definitely can see becoming part of our permanent offer.”
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