Welcome to the next instalment of the #beautyinsider Q&As, where you can find out who is behind some of your favourite beauty brands, what they are working on and how they got there. This month’s guest is Katheline Vandal, Global In-Store Design Director at Coty. You’ll know many of the corporation’s big beauty brands such as Max Factor, OPI, ghd and Marc Jacobs fragrances to name but a few. Katheline and I met at Bourjois when we were both working in marketing, bonding over our love of innovative beauty products and cheap happy hour wine on Friday nights. The cheap wine is thankfully long gone but our beauty chats are present as ever. Here Katheline shares her career transition from marketing to visual merchandising as well as her favourite Max Factor and Rimmel products.
1. Hi Katheline, thank you for being my Insider Q&A guest this month. Let’s get started with your role at Coty – what are you responsible for?
I’m the Global In-Store Design Director for two of the biggest makeup brands at Coty: Max Factor and Rimmel. I translate the brand identities and campaigns into disruptive in-store designs that are distinctive, engaging and ultimately convert into sales. This covers both temporary and permanent in-store material, 2D and 3D assets. I create guidelines for markets all over the world to implement locally the global vision, although it’s important to work together with the local teams to ensure the material is adapted to the needs of the market. My role is a hybrid of marketing and merchandising, it’s the perfect mix for me between strategy and execution excellence. I work with a team of project managers and designers as well as agencies.
2. You started your beauty career in marketing and now your expertise is in merchandising. How did you make the transition?
Indeed most of my career was in marketing, but mainly with a retail focus and I was always very involved with how the product was displayed in store. I love interior design and all things creative as well as shopper behaviour so few years ago I decided to focus on visual merchandising. I took a Visual Merchandising course at Central Saint Martin’s and I volunteered at my local Oxfam creating eye catching windows and reorganising the store. I contacted a lot of people in the field and I landed my first Visual Merchandising role at Illamasqua where I could not only use my beauty retail expertise in the stores but also learn more about window dressing in our own flagship stores which I ended up conceptualising and installing from start to finish. It was a little girl dream come true, being obsessed with shop windows as a child.
3. What do you love most about Max Factor?
Firstly the quality of the products are great for the price point but also I love how Max Factor have reinvented themselves throughout the years. I love its heritage, its elegance and how the brand doesn’t dictate its view of beauty on women but gives the tools for women to enhance their unique features. Max Factor believes that simplicity is beautiful and that beauty is an act of self-creation. I like the sound of that.
4. What does a typical day look like for you?
I always start looking at my inbox. I like to stay on top of my emails even if I don’t reply to all straight away. I usually update my to do list every evening so in the morning I check it and go point by point. I am quite often in meetings so I need to be super clear on what I or my team needs to do and when. It can get overwhelming and confusing working on several brands, all with a lot of projects going on at the same time and for so many different markets, so organisation is key. In all honesty there is no real typical day. I could be spending several days in a row on a shoot to create beauty visuals for in-store, or in meetings with markets to discuss local initiatives or working on the next generation of in-store layouts. I spend a lot of time reviewing and approving designs from my team and always improving ways of working between the brands to simplify processes.
5. What exciting projects are you working on or do you have coming up in the next few months?
It’s hard to mention any projects I’m working on right now as we work so long in advance it is usually confidential. Something I have been working on for the last 6 months will not launch in store until July 2020. But I can say that there are a lot of exciting things coming for Rimmel.
6. Insider tips! Which Max Factor and Rimmel makeup products would you highly recommend?
My favourite Rimmel products are Wonder’Luxe Volume Mascara which gives great volume while being gentle for your lashes with caring oils. I also love their Match Perfection foundation and Wonder’Swipe liner to shadow.
7. And finally… what do you get up to when you’re not surrounded by beauty products?
When I’m not working I do a lot of craft with my son or DIY for the house. I upcycle a lot of everyday things such as toilet rolls, cardboard boxes, yogurt pots and build toys or pieces of art. I like to make new with old. I’m also a bit of a fashion addict and am actually taking a class at Central Saint Martins about sustainable fashion, a topic I’m really interested in.
If you have any burning questions you’d like to ask Katheline why not leave a comment below? Or you can get in touch with her directly on LinkedIn.