When François Nars launched his eponymous makeup line with a collection of 12 lipsticks, he wanted women to look and feel beautiful and sexy…and he wanted to give his newly launched brand a strong identity.
Fast forward twenty years and NARS product names like Orgasm, Fire Down Below and Dragon Girl, are practically part of the general lexicon.
This month, Nars, who now serves as creative director of the brand, brings his brand of sexy to Atlanta. The Fabien Baron designed NARS boutique at the Shops Buckhead Atlanta is 1,400 square feet of black and white minimalist joy, accented with NARS’ signature Jungle Red — one of the original lipstick colors that launched the brand.
“When François Nars launched his initial collection of 12 lipsticks in 1994, he had visions of opening a namesake boutique,” said Barbara Calcagni, President of NARS Cosmetics. “We know our products resonate strongly with the community in Atlanta, so it felt right to open a boutique where we can deliver the ultimate NARS experience,” she said.
The brand has experienced 36 percent growth in the Atlanta market and opening a local boutique is part of the strategy to continue that momentum.
In 2011, Nars found the perfect location for his first boutique in New York’s West Village at 413 Bleecker. “NARS has grown tremendously as a brand since we opened the first boutique on Bleecker Street. Today, each boutique still has that personal touch and we modify the design of each boutique to fit into the city and environment,” said Calcagni.
For Atlanta consumers, the boutique offers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of NARS.
All boutique makeup artists are personally trained by Nars and are experienced with the range of NARS products. A special 150 square foot private VIP room toward the rear of the spaces can be booked by individuals who want to have a private session or can accommodate up to four people for simultaneous makeup applications.
Lighting at the makeup stations was specially designed in conjunction with engineers who studied the amount of natural light and the size of the space to create the proper lighting for makeup application regardless of the time of day.
“The lighting helps you to see your face evenly for complexion and color matching,” says James Boehmer, NARS Global Director of Artistry. “It is one of the biggest differences between NARS boutiques and other retail venues.”
NARS enthusiasts will enjoy screens showing short films created by Nars while a bookcase is stocked with Nars’ favorite things from books to candles and other accessories.
NARS boutiques offer shoppers access to a number of exclusive products such as the 413 BLKR collection, named for the first boutique location, which features blush, lip colors, eyeshadows and more in bold colors inspired by the neighborhood. These items can only be purchased online at Narscosmetics.com and in NARS boutiques.
Other boutique exclusives include 10 shades of NARS Audacious Lipstick and all of the NARS eyelash products. New launches, such as the current Cote d’Azur inspired Summer 2016 collection, are displayed on mirrored podiums and are exclusive to NARS boutiques for two weeks before they are sold by other retailers.
Local makeup artists can join the Pro Artists program which offers special discounts to those ranging from students to seasoned professionals. Products like the NARS Pro Palette were designed especially for the professional makeup artist community and for consumers who want to explore their inner artist. The palettes allow users to mix and match shades of eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers and pressed powders in one customized palette.
“François Nars always says , “don’t be so serious; it’s only makeup,” said Calcagni. “The space was designed to offer the consumer the opportunity to experiment with makeup, express themselves, and become inspired.”
The boutique opens Friday, April 8 at 10 a.m following a ribbon cutting with Mayor Kasim Reed. The first 50 clients on April 8 will receive a complimentary 413 BLKR Velvet Matte Lip Pencil.
Nars Boutique, The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, 3035 Peachtree Road NE.