Designing for the luxury events market
After completing her double Master’s degree in design and Business Administration and Management IEMN-IAE in 2012, Clémence Mahé-Clémot joined L’Oréal Produits Professionnel as a designer. In June 2013, she moved to the group Estée Lauder Companies in Paris where she is now using her talents as Event Merchandising project manager. We take a closer look at the promising career of a young designer at the crossroads of luxury, events and cosmetics.
“Champion of brand image”
From a young age, the world of cosmetics had always appealed to Clémence Mahé-Clémot who is now one of a team responsible for upholding the brand image of the Estée Lauder group, one of the worldwide leaders in sales and production of beauty products, as part of the French division’s event design team. Window dressing, trade marketing campaigns, scenography for press events, creating various POS displays - this event merchandising project manager can handle up to 5 or 6 different projects a day.
“Users should be able to recognize the brand at a glance"
One of these projects saw her designing a podium in Sephora des Champs Élysées to showcase one of brands of the Estée Lauder group.
By carefully choosing an illuminated and high-impact display, and combining materials, colors and an inspiring design for her creation, Clémence took care of every last detail, while complying with the recommendations of head office in New York. “Users should be able to recognize the brand at a glance and working in the luxury market means that the execution has to be perfect,” insists Clémence. “The major challenge consists of combining our creativity and coming up with creative solutions, with the very strict application of the “Visual Merchandising Guidelines” graphic charters driven by the Design office of the EMEA zone, which depends on the main head office in NY. In addition, a complex validation process means that decision-making can be slowed down. You also have to be prepared to question yourself and your methods and adapt to this rigorous framework,” she adds.
“We are always in a mad rush”
“What with managing budgets and timings, setting up the project, doing the preparatory drawings, dealing with suppliers, analyzing the feasibility of the project and installing it with fitters, this profession requires strategy and great versatility,” remarks Clémence. She adds that “you mustn’t be afraid of working under pressure, as the production deadlines in the events business are not easily negotiable.Consequently, we are always in a mad rush”.
The diversity of projects and universes specific to each brand is also very stimulating, although Clémence would sometimes be glad to be rid of the constraints of the charters, by choosing for example to join the New York team responsible for creating all the concepts.