The London Look
Rimmel’s extensive range is kept bang up-to-the-minute as it translates the look of London into new shades, products, packaging and advertising. But however creative and fashion-forward, Rimmel products are always easy to use, versatile and accessible, designed to encourage experimentation and self-expression. For great new ways to get the London look, just watch this space!
Rimmel and Kate Moss
When it came to finding a face to project the image of Rimmel London, there was really only one possible choice. So, in September 2001, for the first time in its history, Rimmel signed an exclusive, global contract with Britain’s own homegrown supermodel, Kate Moss.
Born and bred in London, Kate is, despite her international lifestyle, in many ways the quintessential London girl. Inspirational yet accessible, her highly individual style and quirky glamour are rooted in the London street scene, and epitomise Rimmel’s experimental, no-set-rules beauty philosophy.
Kate, who has been using Rimmel since she was a teenager – “Heather Shimmer lipstick was my favourite!” she remembers – closely identifies with the brand’s London connections. “There’s so much going on in London, with all the clubs, galleries and our amazing designers,” she comments. “We’ve got freedom of choice, and people can create their own style.”
The instinctive understanding between Kate Moss and Rimmel has evolved into one of beauty’s most potent partnerships, with the supermodel’s own hip, fashion-forward image complementing Rimmel’s cutting-edge cosmetics vision to create the definitive cool, streetwise London look.
Beauty loves a legend, and legends don’t come much more compelling than the story behind Rimmel, one of the world’s oldest cosmetics brands.
In 1820, a respected French perfumer who had been trained by the famous Lubin, perfumer to Empress Josephine, the wife of Napoleon I, accepted an invitation to manage a perfumery in London’s prestigious Bond Street. By 1834, the move to London had proved so successful that, together with his son and apprentice Eugene Rimmel, then aged just 14, he opened a perfumery of his own. The House of Rimmel was established.
As the business flourished, so too did the talents of Eugene Rimmel. By the age of 24, he had become, not only an expert perfumer, but also a cosmetics visionary, experimenting with fragrance and colour, and travelling the world in search of exotic ingredients and new ideas. A pioneer of personal hygiene, he developed some truly innovative products, including mouth rinses, fragranced pomades and an ingenious scented steam vaporiser, while high society flocked to his flagship perfumery in Regent Street to purchase an extensive range of exquisitely packaged perfumes, soaps and bath essences, many of them bearing royal warrants.
Even at this very early stage, Eugene Rimmel sensed the potential of advertising to bring his products to a wider public, and began to publish lavishly illustrated mail order catalogues and to place advertisements in theatre programmes. When he died in 1887, his twosons inherited his beauty empire, building on their father’s success internationally by developing an extensive colour line with a special focus on eye-enhancing products, in particular Rimmel’srevolutionary mascaras. So popular did they become that “Rimmel” is to this day the word for mascara in several languages!
After the Second World War, Rimmel was acquired by Robert and Rose Caplin, the owners of a London advertising agency. As a new mood of optimism swept through Britain, and Hollywood heroines became beauty icons for millions of women, the Caplins – with intuition worthy of Eugene Rimmel himself – anticipated the resulting cosmetics boom by expanding Rimmel’s colour range, modernising its packaging and launching the first ever self-selection dispenser.
Coty & Rimmel
During the 1970s and 1980s the company changed hands several times before it was finally acquired by Coty Inc. in 1996. Rimmel has since gone from strength to strength, bringing its unique London look to more than 40 countries worldwide and establishing itself as Britain’s best-selling cosmetics brand.
… And still at the cutting edge!
What is truly astonishing is that a brand with so much past can still be very much of the present – but Rimmel, of course, has a tradition of breaking all the rules. Founded in London, Rimmel has kept its finger on the pulse of this most eclectic of capitals, and taken inspiration from the city’s unique street style to create a brand of beauty that’s quite different from anything to emerge from Milan, Paris or New York.
Beauty made in London is witty, edgy and streetwise. It’s about setting trends, not following them. It’s about experimentation and self-expression. In a word, it’s about having fun. And Rimmel’s affordable range of colourful, contemporary, high-quality products is designed to enable real women to do just that. Why have one identity when you can have as many as you like? With Rimmel, changing your look is as easy as hopping on the London Tube and switching from Soho to Camden, from Portobello to Notting Hill.