Pure Beauty

Is Estée Lauder looking to repeat Tom Ford success with Balmain beauty licence?

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 1-Sep-2022

Balmain was founded by Pierre Balmain in 1945 and operates 16 stores in the US and Italy

Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) is reportedly set to finalise the creation of a beauty range for French luxury fashion house Balmain.

The beauty licence would be similar to ELC's previous work with US luxury fashion brand Tom Ford’s and its cosmetics and fragrance ranges, Business of Fashion reported.

ELC originally collaborated with Tom Ford to create its first signature scent in 2006 with Black Orchid.

A skin care and make-up line was then released in 2011 into Harrods and Selridges, featuring glosses, mascara and a ten-shade blush kit.

The brand then expanded further into the premium skin care category with the launch of the Tom Ford Research in 2019.

In August rumours emerged that ELC was allegedly in talks to acquire Tom Ford, in a potential US$3bn deal.

The acquisition would mark ELC’s first foray into the world of fashion, after primarily focusing on pure beauty throughout its existence.

An unnamed source informed The Wall Street Journal about discussions for the sale, which come after the fashion brand was placed on the market earlier this year.

Pierre Balmain founded his eponymous brand in 1945, with stores across the US in New York City, London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami and Milan, Italy.

Mayhoola Investments, an investment company in Qatar, acquired Balmain for around US$548m in 2016.

The owner of MAC and Clinique also reported sales of $4.25bn for its third quarter 2022 results in May, putting it in a strong position to acquire the business.

This was an increase of 10% from the $3.86bn it reported a year earlier, driven by double-digit growth in the US and Europe and strong e-commerce sales.

Cosmetics Business has contacted Balmain and ELC for comment.

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