Byredo talks strategy for debut makeup line

Alissa Demorest
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Byredo talks strategy for debut makeup line

One of the first indie niche brands launched in the early 2000s, Byredo has since become a reference in the premium fragrance segment. The Swedish brand has similar ambitions for its very first color cosmetics collection, launched this fall. Annabelle Payne-Reydellet, Byredo’s Beauty Development Director, talks to Luxe Packaging Insight about how she aims to grow this new beauty pillar and the part that packaging will play in the strategy.

What are your ambitions for Byredo’s new makeup segment?

Our portfolio is already quite diverse; while fragrance is at the heart of the brand, we also offer premium leather goods, accessories and a number of collaborations. To put it simply, we aim for makeup to become Byredo’s second beauty pillar.

How will you go about this?

This year, we will have launched 37 skus with a "full face" approach: a range of color products with the exception of foundation. The line includes lipstick, multi-purpose Color Sticks for eyes, cheeks and lips, two eye products (mascara and eyeliner), and three five-color eye-shadow compacts launched mid-November. The idea is to offer our customers a complete experience.

How did the brand approach packaging design?

Ben Gorham, Founder and Creative Director of the brand, is the brainchild behind the design. For this color collection he wanted to create not products, but ‘design objects’ by bringing an aesthetic quality into the world of makeup, hence each item that features a different design identity. Unlike other premium beauty brands, Byredo isn’t out to replicate the same codes across the product range. Our objects have very strong, but individual identities.

Is there a risk of hindering the brand’s visual unity by having different designs?

On the contrary, it's what we call the power of the silhouette. Our makeup objects tend to have a strong color statement, but limited branding, so it’s the products’ sensorial silhouettes, their curved shapes, especially the lipstick and mascara, that will be key to brand recognition.

The Colors Sticks, on the other hand, don’t have this curved design; they are straight, streamlined and sober, but are made of the same cold, metallic material.

What were your priorities in terms of packaging development?

First off, to honor our aesthetic by developing extremely qualitative products, which meant using premium materials: zamak, steel and aluminum as well as magnetic closures. Beyond aesthetics, it was key for us to offer the consumer a sensorial experience and ease of use. Our zamak lipsticks and lip balm, for example, feature angles that are rather prominent, but are rounded enough to be comfortable in hand and pleasant to use.

So metal is your star material?

Our lip balm and lipsticks are in zamak, the Color Stick is made of aluminum and the eye shadow is a plastic compact featuring a gold galvanized steel plate cover whose design evokes ripples on the water’s surface, a seashell... The mascara and eyeliner are made of plastic.

Your packaging is not refillable?

Not for the moment, but that’s something that could evolve. We’re taking a step-by-step approach to eco-design, which corresponds to the reality of the industry today. There is a revolution happening, but the possibilities remain limited when it comes to sustainable design and clean materials. So along with our partners, our strategy is to have a reasoned and progressive improvement approach, especially in the area of circular materials. Our mascara, for example, is partially made of RPET, but we couldn't reach 100% because the material doesn't allow for much subtlety of form.

Who are your partners?

Our partners were a great support in this adventure because the collection was developed in record time — it took less than two years from brief to launch. For the lipstick and lip balm, Gotha Cosmetics was our full-service partner; for the mascara we worked with Ancorotti and for the compact packaging, HCT.

What about your secondary packaging?

Our cases are essentially folded paper "matchbox" formats adjusted to each product. These cases, like the majority of Byredo’s secondary packs across our portfolio, use Arctic Papers' Munken uncoated paper, which is FSC, PEFC and Cradle-to-Cradle certified.

On some products, such as the compact, lipstick and lip balm, the product is first slipped into a cotton pouch that is the same as the dust bags we use for our leather goods.

What is in the pipeline for 2021?

In the coming years we’ll grow our offer with range extensions and new product segments. Byredo makeup is poised to become one of our main pillars in its own right, so we intend to nourish it with the same intensity and interest as we do with our fragrances.

See the upcoming Winter issue of our sister publication Formes de Luxe for the full interview.

*UK-based Manzanita Capital also owns Diptyque, SpaceNK and Eve Lom among others.

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