Rouje ups commitment to beauty with the launch of Les Filles en Rouje
Jeanne Damas prefers to speak of charm rather than beauty. Expressing emotions and asserting an attitude have not only defined her signature style, which has made her an international Parisian chic icon, but have also shaped the identity of Rouje, the fashion brand she founded in 2016 together with entrepreneur and CEO Jérôme Basselier, who is also the driving force behind the Swildens brand. The 30-year-old entrepreneur with an established business under her belt wants to extend her success in ready-to-wear to her makeup products. The makeup line renamed ‘Les Filles en Rouje’ aims to become a brand with its own name and identity. Its official launch will be on hold until May 8.
"Red (rouge in French) is my signature color, a color full of character. I first wanted to convey this idea of femininity in a ready-to-wear brand, Rouje. It was time for me to devote more time into beauty in my universe and to share what it represents for me," explained the entrepreneur, who as a child dreamed of becoming a makeup artist, about the launch of Les Filles en Rouje. "For me, makeup is meant to enhance natural beauty and what we often call our 'little flaws', which are actually filled with charm," said the founder of the brand about this project with which she intends to target "everybody."
This is not, however, the entrepreneur’s first foray into beauty. Damas, known for her signature red lips, made the leap into makeup at the end of 2018 with the launch of her first lipsticks and palette featuring red shades. Four years later, the line has only gotten bigger. It is now banking on a more professional identity that includes a new name, a revamped logo and its own dedicated Instagram account as an inspiration board featuring exotic flowers, butterflies, cherries and bright red or fuchsia makeup looks. This strategic move will keep the renewed beauty line under the Rouje brand umbrella while giving it the independence to tap its full potential.
"We wanted to offer two different yet complementary brand identities. Our goal is to grow and become a true beauty industry player that can compete with the leading brands in the market," explained Diane Mansour, head of the company’s beauty division, which already has a team of five people. After developing Gucci’s makeup at Coty and working at L'Oréal, the beauty expert arrived at Rouje two years ago to take the project to the next level, working closely with Damas.
Les Filles en Rouje’s first product will see the light of day this May. A face palette, priced at €55 consisting of three highlighters in champagne, gold and bronze as well as three creamy blushes with a powdered finish, suited for different types of skin tones. Light in texture and suitable for all skin types, the palette is made from 99% natural ingredients including coconut oil, jojoba oil and cocoa butter.
"The goal is to simplify beauty routines and bring light to the face. Jeanne is an active woman, mother and entrepreneur. We created a makeup product in her image, that can be applied quickly and easily with the fingers," explained Mansour.
No attention to detail was spared in its production: the retro aesthetic packaging is a carefully designed tortoiseshell case with an elongated mirror that reflects the entire face.
The beauty line available on the brand’s website in a designated section, will also be sold in the brand's Parisian points-of-sale at Le Bon Marché and La Samaritaine, a corner where Les Filles en Rouje plans to unveil its new scarlet identity in the near future. In the short term, the cosmetic line does not plan on extending its retail footprint with large-scale distributors as it prefers to grow "organically".
Rouje, which produces 90% of its goods in Europe, operates through its own store located at 11 Rue Bachaumont. The location that just recently expanded to three floors also houses a restaurant and the company's headquarters. The boutique, inaugurated in 2019, will soon be renovated in order to offer a corner dedicated to beauty.
Although the company does not disclose its financial performance figures, its managers are pleased with its "good results", especially in its main markets France, the United States and the United Kingdom. Having tested the pop-up store concept, Rouje is still looking to set up physical stores in major cities such as London and New York. The French brand is planning on dipping its toes into the Chinese and South Korean markets with ephemeral spaces before installing a permanent store.
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