Besides, this moment was the occasion of a beautiful family photo since...

Besides, this moment was the occasion of a beautiful family photo since four of the participants were former students of Dany Sanz - Photo: Cédric Mion

The success of this conference reflects the industry’s renewed interest for art direction as a vehicle for innovation. "Brands that go it without an art director are lacking of the essential: this touch of pure creation that makes the market go forward," Fred Farrugia told us a few days before the event.

From her part, Dany Sanz launched the debate by saying: "Art Direction is a word that means nothing! All those around us professionally contribute to the success of the product: the creation is not sufficient." The founder of Make Up For Ever reminds that the success of a brand is above all a matter of cohesion of the whole team and multi-competency of the artistic director.

Through the exchanges, it appeared that one could question the credibility of a make-up lines designed without the contribution of a make-up artist and where choices in terms of textures and colours would only be the result mere marketing options. As Damien Dufresne emphasized: "One does not open a restaurant without a chef, one does not design clothes without a stylist, one does not compound fragrances without a perfumer but a lot of make-up is made without a make-up artist." Nicolas Degennes made the same observation: "When there is no creativity in a brand, then one takes the textures from the one, the colour from another, then ask the laboratory to duplicate them. This is called benchmarking."

According to Isabelle Pain, the artistic director has two main tasks: "First of all, it must create the textures, the colours and monitor the development of products. Then, it must ensure the promotion by creating the visual identity of the brand, through the models for instance, and the collections of the brand."

Each of these interventions contributed to picture this very specific job: the role of an art director is to infuse its identity to a brand, while anticipating customer needs.

That’s the synergy between artistic directors, and marketing and product development teams and suppliers, in order to optimize the final product, that interested DuPont, the producer of the Natrafil filaments, and sponsor of this panel discussion. “Given their extended knowledge of make up and its industry, artistic directors are essential to the developments of the cosmetic brushes of tomorrow," comments Sarah Perreard, DuPont Natrafil product manager.

DuPont invented the Natrafil filaments as an alternative to natural hair in cosmetic brushes. They are based on a patented technology that allows them picking up the most volatile formulas on the surface of the filament, resulting in optimum precision and uniform distribution.

Lucky art directors

The six art directors and their brushes made of DuPont Natrafil fibers -...

The six art directors and their brushes made of DuPont Natrafil fibers - Photo: Cédric Mion

At the end of the conference, the artistic directors were presented with a kit of 6 brushes made with DuPont Natrafil filaments and with their name printed on the kit, developed in collaboration with HCT especially for the event.

The set of 6 brushes featured:

- A foundation brush made with 100% Natrafil, with a medium rigidity allowing an easy adaptation to the all face shapes.

- A big powder brush made with 50% Natrafil and 50% polyester; open, dense, soft and firm, this brush contains only 50% Natrafil for a natural and soft coverage. Tests in laboratory have shown that 50% Natrafil in a blend replicates the coverage of a goat or pony brush.

- A large eye shadow brush, made with 100% Natrafil, firm and large.

- A small eye shadow brush, made with 100% Natrafil, soft and thin for shading off.

- A pencil brush, made with 100% Natrafil, straight and long with low stiffness, developed for precision.

- An eyeliner brush, made with 100% Natrafil, very stiff and precise. As Natrafil does not absorb liquids, it allows more precision as it keeps its original shape - especially important for eyeliners.