Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Coup for the Plaza

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Coup for the Plaza

Article excerpt

Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus has a reason to blush. On Friday, the shopping center will unveil a major leasing coup -- the first mall-based store by the upscale and ultra au courant makeup brand Nars Cosmetics.

Nars, which has three boutiques in Manhattan and stores in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas, picked the Plaza for its first foray into a traditional mall because of its size and location.

"For an aspirational brand like Nars, its upscale environment and reach felt right," said Barbara Calcagni, president of Nars Cosmetics, in an email.

The 700-square-foot store is in the new fashion district at the mall, which opened last year, in a wing bordered by designer and luxury brands such as Versace, Tory Burch, Vince Camuto, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany.

Nars, which prefers to use all capital letters in spelling its name, was launched in 1994 when its founder, makeup artist and photographer Francois Nars, began selling a collection of 12 lipsticks at Barneys in New York. It has since won a following for a wide array of products, including foundations, bronzers and its best- selling Orgasm blush.

The company was bought by Japanese cosmetics conglomerate Shiseido in 2000. Shiseido, which had sales of more than $6 billion in its most recent fiscal year, doesn't break out Nars sales, but it said in its latest annual report that Nars is one of its fastest- growing U.S. divisions, and that Shiseido expects Nars sales to increase by 50 percent by 2017.

Nars opened its first company store in 2011, on Bleecker Street in the West Village. It plans to begin opening three to six stores per year in the United States, and more internationally, Calcagni said.

Nars is sold in department stores and at Sephora and other cosmetics stores, but the company is opening its own locations as a way to promote the brand and offer a complete range of products.

"Our boutique locations allow us a unique opportunity with our consumers," Calcagni said. Through the stores, "we are able to express the identity of Nars in a much more comprehensive way and provide clients access to wider product assortment," she said. The stores will carry the 413 BLKR collection, which is sold only in Nars boutiques, and will be staffed by makeup artists trained by Francois Nars. …

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