PARIS — Jean Paul Gaultier is parlaying his colorful personality into cosmetics — for men — starting this fall.
The designer took the occasion of his men’s spring-summer 2004 fashion show here Friday to raise the curtain on additions to his best-selling Le Male fragrance line.
Called “Le Male” Tout Beau Tout Propre, it includes eight color cosmetics items in subdued tones and four toiletries products fragranced with Le Male notes. Each was concocted specifically with men in mind.
So why did Gaultier and his beauty license-holder Beaute Prestige International go against the traditional marketing grain and launch makeup for men before color cosmetics for women?
“Because they’re worth it,” laughed Gaultier, responding with a twist on L’Oréal’s institutional advertising tag line.
“I think men today are ready to indulge themselves — to give themselves the right to be beautiful,” said Remy Gomez, president of BPI.
Gaultier said he’d been thinking about color cosmetics for men since 1984, when he created his gender-bender men’s fashion collection, called L’Homme Objet, that included skirts.
“For my clothes, I’ve always thought about different tones of skin,” he added.
Gaultier explained he wanted his first men’s color cosmetics collection to comprise basic products with dual purposes. “The nail [highlighter] is also a curative,” he said, referring to its formula’s nourishing and protective claims. The stick containing the kohl eye pencil includes a concealer, as well.
“Le Male” Tout Beau Tout Propre products’ packaging is quirky — in line with Le Male fragrance, whose bottle is shaped like a man’s torso and comes in a tin canister. The complexion illuminator cream’s bottle is in the form of a zippo lighter, replete with a flip-top cap, for instance, while the mattifying bronzing powder comes with an old-time shaving brush. Even the eye pencil-concealer has a trompe l’oeil effect, since it’s encased in what looks like a writing pen.
Playful product names also hark back to Gaultier’s fascination with la vieille France. What’s called Sharp Eyes: The Bewitching Eye Pencil in English is tagged in French “Les Beaux Yeux: Le Stylo Troublant,” with “les beaux yeux” echoing a famous line from the 1938 movie “Le Quai des Brumes.”
The “Le Male” Tout Beau color cosmetics lineup includes, among other items, the .35-oz. Better Than Tan: A Sun Block bronzing powder for $44.50; Sneaky Kiss: Mouth-Watering Sticks, with three .12-oz. protective sticks for lips in muted skin tones for $18.80 each and a 7-ml. roll-on gloss for $18.80, plus .04-oz. Sharp Eyes: The Bewitching Eye Pencil for $22.80.
The “Le Male” Tout Propre toiletries line includes the 100-ml. After-Shave Fluid: Velvet-Soft Fire Extinguisher for $33; the 2.6-oz. Deodorant Stick: An Effective Bodyguard for $21.70; the 200-ml. The Shower Gel: Morning Freshness for $37.60, and The Soap: Bubbles in a Block, whose two 5.3-oz. soaps go for $37.60 together. All dollar prices are converted from the euro at current exchange rates and are for France.
The toiletries products will hit counters between Sept. 15 and yearend in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, with the U.S. slated to begin selling them at the end of January.
At launch, the Tout Beau color cosmetics component will be introduced in some 20 percent of Parfum Jean Paul Gaultier’s distribution, said Gomez.
He maintains the color cosmetics is “aimed at all men.
“I think anyone who feels free to make themselves beautiful is going to use it. Our objective is to enhance further the image of Le Male.” said Gomez.