Marc Rosen, Shiseido’s Heidi Manheimer (CEO, Shiseido Cosmetics America) and Katsuhiko Shibuya (creative director, Shiseido). (Photo: Dan D’Errico)
Pratt-LuxePack Gala Honors Shiseido

Supports the Marc Rosen Scholarship and Education Fund for Packaging by Design at Pratt

When it comes to cosmetics and fragrance packaging, attention to detail at all levels can elevate componentry to great heights, as well as capture consumer loyalty along the way. Such is the case with Shiseido’s thoughtful, respectful, and cleanly designed product portfolio.

The global company, based in Japan, was honored for its outstanding commitment to packaging design at this year’s Pratt Institute-Luxe Pack Art of Packaging Award Gala—a dinner for more than 250 prominent beauty industry guests, held at a private club in Manhattan on April 17. The elegant, black-tie gala, which celebrated its 23rd anniversary, supports the Marc Rosen Scholarship and Education Fund for Packaging by Design and raises scholarship funds for graduating packaging design students at Pratt. This year’s event raised more than ever—$300,000 for the evening—adding up to a total of more than $3.5 million dollars.

(L-R): Marc Rosen with student scholarship recipients Maija Rozenfelde, Aaron Mickelson, Wei-Hsin Lin, and Renato Martins Cerqueira. (Photo: KX Associates)
The fundraiser tribute proved especially timely for Shiseido, which is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year. Heidi Manheimer, CEO, Shiseido Cosmetics America, accepted the award along with her colleague from Japan, creative director Katsuhiko Shibuya, who had traveled more than 7,000 miles to participate in the event. Manheimer said that since 1872, when Shiseido started as Japan’s first Western style pharmacy, “Beauty drives all of its endeavors.” She added that the emphasis has always been on high-quality packaging that enhances the consumer experience.

“The way the packaging looks, sounds, functions, inspires—all relate to the world around us,” said Manheimer. She explained that Shiseido follows the philosophy of omotenashi—which loosely translates from Japanese as “love with an open mind, establishing and nurturing a relationship with its customers.”

Manheimer explained that a large part of the company’s focus is on packaging design—which, she says, “shows welcome and respect for the customer.” Shiseido has married beauty and function since its first product, said Manheimer, with the goal to “entice the eye and trigger an emotional response.”

As examples, Manheimer referenced two of the beauty manufacturer’s products: its Zen fragrance, which is “perfectly square to reflect a teahouse” and a lipstick, which imitates the sound of a shoji screen opening and closing.

“Ultimately,” she commented, “beauty matters because beauty inspires.”

Manheimer praised Marc Rosen’s mentorship at Pratt, where he teaches the world’s only graduate course in cosmetics and fragrance packaging, saying: “Great designers get their start with Marc.”
Rosen took the podium and complimented Shiseido’s “less is more” design ethic, noting its extreme contrast with “tchotchke-like more-is-more packaging.”

Four of Rosen’s students accepted the evening’s scholarship awards, and their winning designs were showcased at the event.

Supermodel Carol Alt lent her own beauty as mistress of ceremonies.

Not surprisingly, at an event that celebrates cosmetic packaging design as an art form, everyone reminisced about his or her personal favorites, particularly in fragrance. Alt shared her memories about Jean Paul Gaultier’s innovative flacon in the shape of a pink bustier. “It was so unique—it was everywhere in those days,” she said. But, so much for originality: Alt told us that Rosen had informed her that, in fact, the design was very similar to a 1930s perfume bottle from Elsa Schiaparelli.

All guests at the dinner received Rosen’s book Glamour Icons, which salutes the art of fragrance packaging design, and also benefits the Pratt scholarship program.

Josh Horowitz and Elisabeth Thieriot (co-founders of Replete Skincare)

Jay Gorga, Beauty Packaging and Lou Della Pesca, 3C Inc.

(L-R): Pratt board chair Mike Pratt, Pratt president Dr. Thomas Schutte, Marc Rosen

Derek Harvey (L) and Jonathan Gross
of Fusion Packaging, with Jamie Matusow

(L-R): Heidi Manheimer, Marc Rosen, Jamie Matusow

(L-R): SGD North America’s Karen Zaccaria, Peter Acerra and Amanda Bishop

(L-R): Hong Mahe (president, Advanti Shanghai, which represents Luxe Pack Shanghai) Annik Klein (president, KX Associates, which represents Luxe Pack New York) and Natalie Grosdidier (executive director Luxe Pack)

Mistress of ceremonies, supermodel Carol Alt