Sir John Named Makeup Creative Director of Kilian Paris: EXCLUSIVE – WWD

Paris – Sir John has been named the first creative director of composition at Kilian Paris, as the beauty brand moves deeper into the realm of color cosmetics.

Kilian Hennessy, founder of Kilian Paris, and makeup artist for A-list celebrities such as Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige and Serena Williams, met for the first time at Hôtel Costes during Paris Fashion Week.

“I knew so much about the brand,” said Sir John, who was introduced to him by his best friend. “He took me to the store in New York, and I got covered in this world. It was just intoxicating.

“I felt something – like wow,” said Sir John. “It was very touching.”

He recalled that sales associates there knew how to be provocative, making people laugh – or blush.

For Hennessy, the time is ripe to expand the color cosmetics offer of his brand, which launched in February 2019 with a fragrant lipstick Le Rouge Parfum, inspired by the Love of Kilian Paris, don’t be shy, perfume.

Le Rouge Parfum, Kilian’s first perfumed lipstick collection.

Zach Hilty/

“We wanted to see how my customers would respond to the brand giving them another weapon of seduction,” said Hennessy.

“Ultimately, when you think about what are the most powerful weapons of attraction a woman could have in her pocket, perfume and makeup are by far the biggest,” he continued.

Hennessy said that by finding the right scent or color cosmetic product, people can feel better in their own skin and protect them from the outside world. “But at the same time, you feel prettier, you feel sexier,” he explained.

The idea is to offer people today “a whole arsenal of weapons of seduction,” Hennessy said.

He and Sir John knew straight away that they would work well together, and they set out to create a makeup wardrobe.

“We have an opportunity here, which is really cool, to redefine what beauty looks like in luxury,” said Sir John. “That’s what’s exciting — looking at the landscape, and how we create something new, provocative, for people to feel.

“We’re turning, and not just in cosmetics, but in society, to shake things up, move things around, ask why,” he said. “The ‘why’ causes us to be different and also to be rebellious.”

Sir John has recognized approachable luxury in the Kilian Paris brand.

“It’s about wanting to join the people, wanting to own the night, wanting to feel good,” he said. “Scents and beauty, they run parallel. They stimulate the senses and move the needle inside emotionally first. That’s why I always say beauty is an emotion,” continued Sir John. “It’s not something you always see.

“In the laboratory, in product development, in marketing and in the way we go into education, that’s going to start a really great dialogue that people — he and she — will stick to,” he said. .

Hennessy and Sir John are reworking their first Le Rouge Parfum scented lipsticks, with refillable packaging.

“The second aspect is that we felt that in today’s world, women carry a lot of things at night, so we wanted a lipstick that was smaller, slimmer,” said Hennessy.

The first elements of the brand’s new makeup offer will be revealed in autumn 2024. But in the meantime, the pair is reassessing what is on the counter and how to develop Kilian Paris color cosmetics products, as well as the surrounding atmosphere.

“The brand’s motto, ‘Don’t be shy,’ goes hand in hand with ‘owner of the night,'” said Hennessy. “At night, you want to look bolder. You can really play with the different aspects of everyone’s personality.”

“It’s very strong to see a brand that wants to push into the pm,” said Sir John, emphasizing how Kilian Paris goes against the fundamentalism of other brands, which launches into the composition with products during the day.

Kilian Paris’ color cosmetics will match the sultry setting of her fragrances, which have names such as Good Girl Gone Bad, Voulez-vous Coucher Avec Moi, Woman in Gold and Straight to Heaven.

The Fragrance Foundation's 2020 nominations

Rolling in love with Killian

Photo courtesy of The Fragrance Foundation

“Those names are look names,” said Hennessy, who plans to give people a complete makeup look. “You can only do that with lips, you have to give color. We at the brand knew we needed a great makeup artist to take us there.”

That’s where Sir John comes in. To create his wardrobe of colored cosmetics, he and Hennessy are focusing on basics first.

“I love her expressive eyes,” said Sir John. “They communicate so much. So for me, after their lips, what are the other ways we can express feelings, evoke emotion, or make people aware of themselves, sexier, more powerful, sharper where they want with them to go?”

Sir John’s makeup artistry has been featured in Kilian Paris advertising campaigns, starting with the recent launch of Can’t Stop Loving You fragrance in January.

He will star in behind-the-scenes digital sessions, TikTok makeup tutorials and Instagram life. Fans of the brand will be able to participate in polls to have a say in the creation of products, such as shades or textures.

“We’re going to start reaching out to our audience, start creating a culture, so they can feel our speed, feel the beat, [and] a step will not be missing,” said Sir John.

Hennessy sets out to be a storyteller for all aspects of its brand, which is owned by the Estée Lauder Cos.

“What stories evoke emotion,” he said. “They are what connect people around the world.”

Within the Kilian Paris portfolio the same three or four perfumes are the best sellers in every country around the world.

“Like great songs, a great musical, a great movie, they have the ability to touch human souls, no matter what your background is, no matter what your culture,” Hennessy said.

Makeup should do the same.

“We want everyone to feel part of the beauty. Beauty is equal — for all of us,” said Sir John.

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