Hermès is branching out. The French house has already moved from an equestrian outfitter and saddle maker to fashion designer (read: Hermès 101: Origins, Equestrians, and Aristocrats), and it’s now taking up a new trade. Enter Hermès’ foray into the beauty world.
If you’re anything like us, this is probably something you’ve been hoping for and anticipating as other brands, like Gucci, have announced their own forthcoming lines. As excited Hermès devotees, we’re here to give you everything we currently know about the launch. Read through and then let us know what you think of H’s newest venture!
Ok, we’ll get the logistics out of the way first. We’ll have to wait until 2020 for skincare and makeup from Hermès, so unfortunately you won’t be able to walk into your local boutique right now and ask for some moisturizer. First, the products will only be available in H boutiques, before potentially moving to more general cosmetic stores.
As for the science and manufacturing, Hermès is developing all products, but they’ll be manufactured by suppliers in France and Italy. And good news for the eco-conscious: the whole line will have plastic-free packaging!
Now, onto the bigger picture…
A Great Global Beauty Brand
As Hermès Chief Executive Axel Dumas has said, Hermès needs three categories to become a great global beauty brand: fragrance, skincare and makeup. As you probably know, Hermès has the first category covered. Fragrance grew this past year especially, with the rise of Un Jardin Sur La Lagune, Terre d’Hermès and Twilly d’Hermès (the last being particularly popular in the BopTalk community!). Fragrance profits in 2018 totaled $355 million. Now, it’s looking to complete the trio.
But this won’t be easy, as Hermès knows well. The beauty industry is, well, saturated, from classic beauty-only brands like Bobbi Brown to well-established luxury brands like Chanel.
“Obviously, we hope to have the biggest scope possible. We are trying to do it humbly and cautiously, because it’s a big market that’s already full of strong players, and therefore we have to find our place in it,” Hermès chief executive Axel Dumas said on Wednesday, according to BoF.
If all goes according to plan, this will be a savvy business move for Hermès. (And Hermès has been doing exceptionally well lately. Read: Hermès Profits Up 15% in 2018.) Historically, small luxuries are profitable. It’s no secret that most people can’t afford Birkins or Kellys, but many people can splurge on some lipstick, or nice face cream. It’s a way of attaining luxury without breaking the bank.
This is a phenomenon that Racked explored beautifully in 2015 in an article on the popularity of luxury candles. Name-brand bags and clothes aren’t always accessible, but name-brand small luxuries? They fly off shelves, across different classes and social strata. Moreover, there’s only so much beauty products can and should cost. Houses like Hermès won’t dilute their brand by offering, say, $40 highlighters. Essentially, it’s a smart move all around.
So, are you as excited as we are? Will you be trying out Hermès’ makeup and skincare products when they reach boutique shelves next year? Which go-to luxury brands are your cosmetic staples right now? Tell us all your beauty secrets below!
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