As promised, some pics from our Head Office Christmas ‘do… we headed off to The Albion in Shoreditch, East London for some lovely grub to celebrate a year and two months [nearly!] of Illamasqua’s London counter and to reflect over the past year.
So what were the highlights of 2009?
Our webshop officially opened and we had the photoshoot for the Sirens collection – our first ever collection – to kick start 2009!
Katie, Komal and I attended the Elle Style awards, where Illamasqua had a dressing room to create some looks for the celebrities and fashion pack. London Fashion Week began and we worked with the Broken Hearts DJ duo for the first time, creating stencils for their Beyond The Valley collection.
Our second counter, in Selfridges Trafford centre opens in the second week of March. Selfridges are so excited by our arrival that they offer us the poster space at the front of the store, which looks incredible. Illamasqua has landed in the North!
At the end of March, we also launched in Fenwick Newcastle and the roll out has officially begun…
‘Sirens’ launches! Our cutting-edge Spring/ Summer 2009 collection features some amazing products that immediately begin to sell out across all the stores and online – including Liquid Metals in ‘Solstice’ and ‘Enrapture’; innovative new product textures that instantly gain cult status.
The permanent site at Selfridges Trafford centre launches and Charles Fox, the revered theatre make-up and cosmetics store begins retailing Illamasqua in Covent Garden.
Debenhams Cardiff launches at the beginning of June, heralding our first foray in to Wales. I begin writing the Illamasqua blog [193 posts to date!]
We also expand our online retail arm by partnering up with ASOS.com.
The first Alex Box Masterclass gets underway at Selfridges London. Cue champagne, contouring and unleashed alter egos!
The ‘Sirens’ collection expands with the launch of Powdered Metals that go on to sell out within a matter of days online.
Sephora launches at 5 Times Square on 31st July with Illamasqua one of the top selling brands on launch day… cue beauty fever in NYC!
The Sanderson Predicts… series launches at the fabulous central London Sanderson Hotel with the likes of Little Boots and Marina and the Diamonds all getting made up by one of our national make-up artists, Halimah, using Illamasqua products.
Our first Autumn/ Winter 2009 ‘Dystopia’ collection is shot and Alex Box sparks a flood of Youtube videos with the daring, futuristic make-up looks that spear head the campaign.
Illamasqua unleashes Dystopia on the world!
The Alex Box Masterclass makes its way to Manchester.
Illamasqua commissions the Sophie Lancaster Foundation Youtube video to support the S.O.P.H.I.E charity.
The Bah! Humbug! party with the Broken Hearts DJ duo is one of the highlights of the month as well as our Head Office Christmas bash in Shoreditch!
Illamasqua went from being a little known brand to a revelation in the cosmetics industry -our mission is to show everyone that make-up can be about self-expression, artistic license and creativity. We brought a truly professional range of products, textures and colours to the high street for you to get creative with – to be part of such a revolution is extremely exciting and no two days are ever the same for me. Illamasqua has created a real ripple in the waters of the beauty industry that is almost unprecedented for a company that is barely a year old and privately owned, as well as being British [did you know that we are the only major British beauty brand available in Selfridges, Fenwick and Sephora!?]
I have met some fantastic, passionate people – as well as the head office team, the artists that represent us on our counters are absolutely wonderful people to know. I haven’t personally had a chance to visit all the counters yet and so haven’t met them all but we have some exceptional talent on the counters. I get at least three emails/ letters a day from customers who want to tell us all about their fantastic experiences on counter and that is really wonderful to read.
Many make-up artists and key figures from all walks of life – the beauty editors, the online beauty community, alternative actors and actresses, theatre actors and actresses, burlesque dancers, celebrities, singers, the fashion pack, special effects make-up artists, fashion designers and just about everyone in between – have embraced our values and raved about our products.
We have gone from one counter in Selfridges London to having eight counters in the UK and Ireland and a presence in twenty seven Sephora stores in the US. The 2010 expansion plans are also exciting, more of that in a New Years blog post!
A tough time for me personally was the quick succession of store openings – Glasgow, Dublin and Belfast all opened within a couple of weeks – it was great to help with the set up of Belfast but working through the night wasn’t particularly fun!
The new website launch in November was also intense; swatching every single product in about a week was difficult, however I rediscovered some colours and have also come to the conclusion that I love brown and black lipgloss – ours are called ‘Twist’ Intense Lipgloss and ‘Repulse’ Intense Lipgloss respectively.
Says it all, I think!