The Beauty Industry Parties On in Paris

PARTY CENTRAL: The beauty industry had its party shoes on with a flourish this Paris Fashion Week, when the number of celebrations were close to the intensity of pre-coronavirus levels.

On Friday night, the Carita Maison de Beauté held a fete at its just renovated Rue Saint-Honoré flagship, where Crazy Horse dancers performed on the arcing stairwell. Among the cocktail’s attendees were actress Monica Bellucci and Jean-Paul Agon, chairman of L’Oréal, which owns Carita.

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Coco Rocha, a model and dancer herself, was among the guests at the five-story beauty mecca. She’d just finished the 101st Model Camp, a masterclass Rocha teaches for models from around the world. Already about 3,500 men and women have taken part in the program.

“It is for every model that I think needs to be represented,” she said. “I’ve had the youngest maybe 14 and the oldest 75, women and men in chairs.”

Rocha helps guide models in the right direction, to know, for instance, what contracts should be signed.

“It’s also pose, runways and all the fun stuff,” she said. “But the business side is the thing we are really, really focused on.”

Rocha teaches models to know their rights and to boost competence.

“I think we need more women helping women, but also just models helping models,” she said.

L’Oréal executive Elisabeth Sandager, who has been charged with turning around the Carita brand, was there, too.

“We keep the Maison de Beauté,” she underlined. “This is how I reconstruct the brand. I need a temple of beauty, where the whole thing started. I wanted to make it a luxury house, also with a restaurant and an apartment. I’ve been inspired by the heritage. It’s our first real step into luxury.”

John Nollet is the Maison de Beauté’s artistic director. The celebrity hairstylist said he had dreamed of the brand since the age of eight.

“This brand is just fantastic and unique,” he said.

The evening prior, on Sept. 29, at least four beauty parties took place simultaneously.

Frédéric Malle held an intimate sit-down dinner at Le Voltaire to celebrate his collaboration with designer Pierre Hardy. The two had teamed on purse sprays years ago and kept in touch ever since.

“There’s always the dreaded moment of doing things for Christmas, which I find ever so commercial and not so close to my brand. I thought that I could ask Pierre to be Santa Claus this time and invite him like as a special guest,” Malle said. “It’s a way to sort of celebrate our friendship, but it’s also a way to celebrate the fact that for many years we have had a very similar approach to things. We’re both complete modernists, yet we are rooted in the past through culture and love of design.”

Malle described Hardy’s signature cube motif as “modern.” “It could have been a Sol LeWitt, but yet it’s a very classical Roman design somehow,” Malle said. “So it’s really the epitome of what I like.”

For the holiday period, starting in early November, each of his brand’s red perfume sleeves will be replaced with a red, black and gray sleeve featuring Hardy’s pattern. The home fragrances’ sleeves will be switched up, as well, and the designer created some necessaires with his oil cloth fabric.

“He made some special designs for us, which I love,” Malle continued. “I want one. I haven’t had one yet — yeah, the secret intention behind this is that I want one of these for myself, and I hate begging.”

Just a few blocks away, Interparfums SA was having a cocktail party to officially inaugurate its new headquarters, located at 10 Rue de Solferino, the site of the former seat of the French Socialist Party. Hundreds of beauty executives poured into the buildings and courtyards.

Philippe Benacin, chairman and chief executive officer of Interparfums SA, said he loves the view from the terrace overlooking the three different buildings comprising the new headquarters.

Across the Seine, Byredo’s Rue Saint Honoré store was thrumming with music and people gathered to celebrate with Ben Gorham, the brand’s founder, and his newly minted image and makeup partner Lucia Pica.

Lucia Pica and Ben Gorham
Lucia Pica and Ben Gorham

Northward, Jean Paul Gaultier had a raucous party for Scandal, its fragrance masterbrand, in a mansion on the tony Place Saint Georges. Riffing on the boxing theme, scantily clad men wandered the rooms, and there were locker installations.

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