Here, Beauty Packaging’s editor, Jamie Matusow, touches base with Jon (also a member of Beauty Packaging’s Board of Advisors) about his extensive new role, creating award-winning packages and the next big launch at Coty.
JM: Please describe your current role at Coty?
JD: My role at Coty has significantly changed over the past few months. There has been a restructuring within the company, which has merged the two divisions (previously divided by distribution) and created three divisions split by category. The new structure consists of fragrance, color cosmetics and skin-care. Each one of these divisions has a vice president of creative. My role is VP of fragrance and encompasses close to 20 brands. I oversee all aspects of the creative development of these brands. Everything from package design to sampling goes through my department. This new structure also allows me to collaborate with many outside designers and agencies to ensure we are working with the best talent and retaining the best innovation and ideas. The portfolio of brands I work on is vast and quite diverse. It ranges from ultra high-end brands like Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs and Vera Wang, to the designer mega brand of Calvin Klein, to celebrity brands of Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry and Beyoncé.
JM: How many new projects are you currently handling? Can you name them/elaborate?
JD: I would say I am currently working on about 15 new launches that will come out in 2015 and 2016. As they are all new developments I can’t say much, but you can expect at least one from each of the brands previously mentioned. On top of the new brands launching, I am also working on seasonal promotions and animations, advertising, product photography, and day-to-day maintenance of the brands, which is ongoing.
JM: With two Fragrance Foundation Awards for Best Packaging—Congratulations!—Packaging of the Year-Men’s-Bottega Veneta Pour Homme and Packaging of the Year-Women’s-Honey by Marc Jacobs for Women—it seems like Coty is right on target with knowing what packaging will appeal to consumers. Can you comment on these two packages and why they were so successful? What challenges were faced with bringing them to market?
JD: A big part of our success from a design standpoint at Coty is really understanding the individual brands and designing packages that embody the DNA of them and feel 100% integrated whether it be a fashion house or a celebrity. While I did not work on Bottega Veneta (this was done by our Paris team), I can say that the package is ultra high end, very qualitative heavy glass with the signature intrecciato in the heel. It feels true to the fashion house and is extremely qualitative. Marc Jacobs Honey I did work on. A similar approach was taken on this design. We spoke to Marc to get inspiration and at the time he was still very much into dots. Following on the success of our brand, Dot, Marc wanted to reinterpret the ladybug as something new. So we came up with the honeybee. This was fitting as stripes and dots were both used in his collections. When producing Honey, we faced two major challenges. One was achieving the yellow color in the molded cap; and the second, getting the white to be as opaque and bright as we wanted it to be. In the end we achieved it and I suppose it’s safe to say the design has been well received.
JM: Several new fragrance launches are lined up for this fall, including one for Calvin Klein and one for Enrique Iglesias. Any others? What makes the packaging for these launches special?
JD: The Calvin Klein Reveal launch is the next big thing we have coming. We have gone back to the roots of sensuality and sexuality and pushed the boundaries here, as Calvin used to do. For the packaging we worked with the agency Established and created a soft pillowing shape, which is contradicted by the square shape and sharp diagonal.
This bottle is particularly unique due to the diagonal angle of the glass—when the cap is on, it forms a complete square, and when removed, it ‘reveals’ the triangular shape of the glass with the actuator on the slant.
JM: It certainly doesn’t seem like Coty is slowing up on fragrance as it pursues growth in other categories such as skincare and color cosmetics. Which areas has Coty outlined for growth in fragrance—men’s, designer, celebrity?
JD: There is a strong focus on us to build and expand our men’s brands as well as continue to build on designer and lifestyle brands.
JM: What is the current/future thinking at Coty regarding Celebrity Fragrance?
JD: The celebrity category is still a very large business for us and continues to be successful. It’s no secret that this market is oversaturated, but we feel we have relevant long-lasting brands in our portfolio and will continue to innovate around them. Jennifer Lopez is a perfect example; we have worked with Jennifer for over 10 years and have launched more than 20 fragrances. Right now, I am about to go see her to present concepts for our next launch.
JM: At a time when launches are quicker and seemingly abundant, where do you continually get your inspiration for creative packaging ideas?
JD: Inspiration for me can come from anywhere—a walk around the city, magazines, a movie, architecture, etc. However, as mentioned earlier, since I only work on licensed brands my inspiration always starts with the fashion designer or brand DNA. For instance, with Marc Jacobs, before even thinking about a package design, a great amount of research goes into what he is doing at the moment, his last few collections, what’s happening in his stores—and ultimately it is ideal if we get inside his head. Once we have a starting point, then we add and expand from there. Working on as many brands as I do also allows me to have continual inspiration from many different mediums. More times than not I can find ideas for one brand by researching another—good design is good design and pieces can always be tailored to different brands or packages.
Jon Dinapoli is Vice President Creative, Fragrances, Coty, Inc. Jon has been in the beauty industry for more than 15 years, and has been with Coty for 11 of those years working on all of the prestige celebrity, designer and lifestyle brands out of the New York headquarters. Recently his role has expanded to vice president of creative for all New York-based Coty fragrances, both Prestige and Beauty. Some of the larger brands he currently oversees are Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Vera Wang and Jennifer Lopez. This role covers the creative development for all new brands, package design, in-store looks, photography, promotions, etc. Prior to joining Coty, Jon held design positions at MAC Cosmetics and Donna Karan Cosmetics. For more from Jon Dinapoli, please see www.beautypackaging.com