In pursuit of a more significant presence in artistic cosmetics, makeup brand Laura Mercier made its first-ever behind-the-scenes appearance at New York Fashion Week on Monday, September 11, 2023.
At the Altuzarra show, the heritage beauty brand went backstage to display its “Flawless Face” makeup look, known for its popularity in the 1990s.
The brands came together based on their founders’ shared background in the arts. Altuzarra studied art and art history in college, while Mercier studied painting and drawing in Paris.
“Our overall intention at New York Fashion Week ties into our plans to build on our strong product foundation to elevate, modernize and sharpen the overall brand positioning,” said Diane Kim, global president of Laura Mercier. “We’re evolving from a product-focused proposition to a more holistic, brand-based proposition that has a clear point of view anchored in a heritage of artistry.”
Altuzarra’s spring 2024 collection is inspired by French New Wave cinema and its rhetorical duality of bourgeois life and its underbelly. Duality is a frequent motif in Altuzarra’s work due to his French and Chinese-American heritage, not fitting into either culture entirely. The show’s mood focused on sensuality and strength, with an element of suspense and dread.
Laura Mercier’s focus on artistry is central to its positioning in the global cosmetics market. Kim stated that the brand isn’t undergoing a revamp or relaunch, as its heritage and point of view remain unchanged.
Instead, efforts are being made to connect the brand more clearly with its core values and update its legacy for newer consumers. Since the Advent acquisition, Laura Mercier has ventured into the metaverse in December 2022 and introduced new complexion products in February 2023.
Laura Mercier plans to collaborate again with Altuzarra for the brand’s upcoming show in February 2024 for the Fall 2024 season, creating and applying makeup looks for the models on the runway.
Besides the Altuzarra collaboration, Laura Mercier has created a three-part makeup tutorial series in collaboration with Vogue.com, designed explicitly for NYFW. Mercier herself, in partnership with the brand’s global makeup artist, Tayaba Jaffri, crafted the makeup looks featured in the series. The tutorial series showcases the brand’s variety of color cosmetics, along with its flagship products, such as the Translucent Loose Setting Powder and Tinted Moisturizer.
In December 2021, private equity firm Advent International acquired the Laura Mercier brand and Buxom and BareMinerals from their parent company, Shiseido, for $700 million. These three brands are now collectively managed within the independent entity known as Orveon. According to industry sources cited by WWD, the combined annual sales of these three brands were estimated to be approximately $650 million at the time of the acquisition.
Photo credit: Laura Mercier