In conversation with: Givenchy's Creative Director of Makeup, Nicolas Degennes
A Buro 24/7 Middle East exclusive
Nicolas Degennes is an integral part of Givenchy Beauty. Having been with the company for more than 10 years, the Creative Director is well attuned to what the Givenchy woman wants in her makeup bag well before she even knows it. At the forefront of technical innovation and design, Nicolas is the man responsible for some of the maison's most iconic products. Here, he chats with Buro 24/7 Middle East contributor Farouk Chekoufi about his inspirations and ideas...
How did your love for makeup and beauty begin?
As a child, I loved colour and women. I always thought that one and the other were incredibly alive. This universe has always brought me to the makeup so I chose to turn it into my job.
What's the best thing about your job?
The research. I love to put my nose where products don't exist and to try to understand why and how to create them. To know what will happen tomorrow is the better light of my work.
To what do you attribute your success?
It is not mine, it is Givenchy's. Givenchy's story is magnificent in the way it looks at women, how it views human life, and in the very elegant side of its draw.
Wha's in your makeup bag?
Only foundation products. I can have fun with them.
What products could you not live without?
Foundation, because there is nothing better than beautiful skin.
Who or what inspires you?
Everyone, every time, it never stops. Images, icons, there's so much. They all are a part of my story and yours.
You have been in the beauty business for many decades. What has most changed over that time?
The profusion. When I started this job we went to USA and to England to look for products because in France we had limited choice in makeup products from just a few brands.
Today the offer has changed, this is the profusion. We need to concentrate our brand values in a way that targets women and what we can offer them.
Where do you get your inspiration for colours?
Everywhere from winter to summer, spring and during my travels as well as the flash side of stories and also from music. The search never ends.
How many lipstick shades does a woman need?
As many as possible, to have fun. One is not enough. You need to change lipstick, to change yourself.
Does beauty follow fashion or fashion follow beauty?
We don't have the same deadline of creation. I work two to three years upstream although couture is one of my inspirations in terms of image and packaging.
How would you describe your experience at Givenchy for the last decade?
A great experience. It is wonderful to have brought the brand where it is today.
Today Givenchy by Clare Waight Keller has become one of the most wanted fashion brands around the world. How do you collaborate with Givenchy fashion?
A new chapter begins.
Your new muse is Blanca Padilla. Tell us a little more about what makes her the perfect Givenchy muse...
Blanca is incredibly strong, you can feel the power of her work, the knowledge of herself. She will be an amazing top model for a long time because she has this very special thing: she works hard but in a free way. She is a person who gives a lot.
What is your best product that you created for Givenchy Beauty's Spring 2018 collection?
The Couture Atelier Palette, it is wonderful.
What are the master trends for this latest collection?
Light, both in the choice of absorption and its circulation.
How would you describe your vision for Givenchy makeup in three words?
Research, innovation and audacity.
Now, read Farouk's earlier interview with Guerlain's Creative Director, Olivier Échaudemaison.