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Hermès bets on expanding its beauty range

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Image: Hermès nail enamel via Hermès.com

After sales of its beauty and perfume soared 15 percent last year, Hermès is expanding the category with new products.

Hermès debuted its first fragrance in the 1950s, but perfume only accounts for 4 percent of total revenue, while leather goods accounts for nearly half. With a new focus on beauty, Hermès is tapping into a lucrative category, even if arrives late to the luxury beauty party.

In the spring of 2020 Hermès launched makeup, starting with Rouge, a selection of lipsticks, and later rolling out blush and nail enamel. Last year it introduced a complexion balm called Plein Air. At the time Hermès creative director of Beauty Gregoris Pyrpylis told the Financial Times: “We have a simple approach to beauty, and I don’t see Hermès as a house that would have a huge range. That’s not the goal. We want to offer only the essential parts.”

With soaring sales in China, where beauty and personal care is set to grow 5 percent to 98 billion dollars in 2023 according to data from Euromonitor, foreign luxury houses may have an advantage over local brands.

Chanel, a storied luxury house with one of the most successful beauty businesses, is consistently in the top five of China’s bestselling beauty brands.

New products launching later in 2023

Eye makeup including mascara, eye shadow and liner are expected to be launched later in 2023, with tightly controlled distribution limited to its own omni-channel and select retailers like Harrods and Selfridges, in sync with its sales strategy for its Birkins and high-end accessories.

Hermès CEO Axel Dumas has been strategic to roll products out slowly, while at the same time removing plastic from its packaging and working with mostly French and Italian manufacturers.

Axel Dumas