Hermès, perhaps best known for its Birkin bags as well as its silk scarves and ties, will launch a luxury beauty line next year, which will focus on skincare and makeup. The brand had a great year in 2018, as sales grew 10.4 percent to reach nearly $6.8 billion.
According to Business of Fashion, the line will be manufactured in France and Italy and will use plastic-free packaging. Although Hermès is no stranger to the beauty world, having released a number of fragrances, including Twilly d'Hermès, Terre d'Hermès, and Un Jardin Sur La Lagune, which sold $355 million last year, it has only created one skincare product — a body balm — since it was founded in 1837.
“It’s quite exciting: It’s a new activity, with all the risks that involves, so we will deploy it progressively, initially in our own stores mainly, in a limited distribution so that we can learn,” Hermès chief executive Axel Dumas told Business of Fashion. “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.”
Though Hermès has released no further details on the new beauty line, it will likely follow in the footsteps of other luxury brands like Chanel and Dior, which sell a full range of cleansers, moisturizers and creams. In terms of makeup, the brand’s fall 2019 runway show featured models wearing smokey eyes, so it is possible Hermès will also release an eyeshadow palette.
It is unclear how the brand will package the products without plastic. Options include glass or biodegradable/recyclable cardboard., though regardless of the material the brand will surely strive to preserve its luxury image. If successful, it will certainly push other brands to follow suit and begin using sustainable packaging.
One thing that is certain is that the price point for its beauty line won’t be low. The brand’s perfumes range from $102 to $139, and its body products range from $50 to $70. Of course, this is small change when compared to a Birkin bag, which can range from $11,900 to $300,000.
Aside from Hermès, Kering SA, an international luxury group based in Paris, France, which owns luxury brands such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta, Boucheron, Brioni and Pomellato, has announced that Gucci will soon launch a beauty line as well. In addition, Yves Saint Laurent, which licenses its beauty business to L’Oréal, already generates sales of over $1 billion annually.