Everything destined Olivier Échaudemaison to join the House of Guerlain: a visceral need to create, an artistic instinct, an immense talent and sense of imagination, an intuitive understanding of women... and an innate sense of simplicity - despite his rich and complex personality.
"When I was 20, I wore Vetiver. For me, Guerlain was a world overflowing with beauty. I’ve had a long love story with this House."
He began with Alexandre de Paris, the "hairstylist to the stars". "I used to watch Twiggy and the other cover girls of the 70s do their own make-up.
I found it really fun!"
He would soon become their favourite make-up artist, approached by the most prestigious magazines and top photographers, such as Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Parkinson, David Bailey, etc.
"I’ve done the make-up of the most beautiful women in the world. Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Ava Gardner, Jackie Kennedy, Romy Schneider... The most beautiful face I’ve ever seen? Liz Taylor."
His imagination has been shaking up the house since 2000, where he is free to express the full scope of his talent in a wide variety of artistic disciplines.
He supervises the make-up line. He is behind each new product. Knowing women's desires from their lips to their lashes, he translates these into texture and colour. Everything takes shape in his incredibly creative mind!
At the same time, he regularly draws from Guerlain's heritage to revisit its cult products. Terracotta is one such product that he renews from season to season.
Olivier Échaudemaison is also responsible for the creation of objects, the design of a new product or the creation of an exceptional piece. He has a unique gift of forward-thinking and can call on the services of an architect to create a lipstick case!
Last but not least, Olivier Échaudemaison supervises Guerlain's visual dimension and trains his sharp eye on the photos, the style of a new director, etc.
Capturing every woman's unique beauty and revealing its radiance is a philosophy dear to Olivier Échaudemaison: "I don't like transforming women, that weakens them. It is much more interesting to reveal who they are."
His golden rule: simplicity and purity, an unobtrusive make-up result. Each person's skin, each face interprets the colours, textures and fragrances created by Guerlain in its own way. Their natural beauty is imperceptibly enhanced without being altered.
THE CULTURE OF THE OBJECT
Guerlain creates truly luxurious objects that are intuitive to use with a practical and elegant design. "A single objective: to make women more beautiful. To do so, we have to give them textures and tools that fulfil a very precise mission. Even the most sophisticated products are incredibly simple to handle."
THE CULT OF FEMININITY
Colour! Textures! Imagination! For Olivier Échaudemaison, make-up is a game. A game of seduction and femininity through which every woman can reinvent herself each day to match her mood. And reveal a new facet of her sensuality.
"I love the game of make-up, the flirty and seductive feel when a woman applies lipstick in public. It's so French!"
Sensual, incredibly beautiful, all-woman. For Olivier Échaudemaison, the Guerlain Ambassadresses wonderfully embody the brand's values: "I can always sense the possible harmony between the personality of a woman and that of Guerlain immediately."
"I felt this as soon as I laid eyes on Natalia. There’s this absolute chic, grace and youthfulness. She loves to play. She’s elegant and a rocker at the same time… Her still childlike face, transforming into a seductress, reminds me terribly of Romy Schneider."
Season after season, Olivier Échaudemaison has fun telling the story of a mermaid, a goddess or a Parisian, in which Natalia plays the heroine. She is one of Guerlain's most iconic muses and its most beautiful ambassadress.
"A ravishing and talented, really lovely woman."
Of course, Michelle is incredibly beautiful. But her beauty is transcended by her personality, commitment and daring. In her films, she is constantly pushing back the limits of the traditional depiction of Asian women. In real life, she is involved in a number of campaigns (in particular the fight against AIDS alongside amfAR). A beautiful person and a beautiful woman. Michelle was an obvious choice to represent Guerlain.
Make-up, colours, textures, designing objects, styling, photo, video, etc. Guerlain's artists draw on a wide range of disciplines, which Olivier Échaudemaison supervises with talent and passion.
He has always been inspired by art. His mentors? René Gruau, for his very glamorous vision of women. And Francis Bacon: "It's powerful, very dramatic, very colourful, I love the movement!".
Always on the lookout for designers, Olivier Échaudemaison boldly initiates artistic partnerships: "I want to work with young talents who are still unknown in our field but highly respected and admired in their own sphere."
For "KissKiss", Olivier turned to Hervé Van der Straeten, who had never designed a lipstick. He was thrilled by the challenge, which resulted in an exquisite object.
Lorenz Bäumer, Place Vendôme's star jeweller, would design "Rouge G" and "Noir G", giving birth to the little mirror hidden in a jewel case that has already become a cult object.
Olivier looked to India Mahdavi for "Ecrin 6 Couleurs". The architect-designer engraved a grey steel metal case in moucharaby style. Once opened, the case stands like an easel. A wonderfully refined object.
Olivier was also behind "Guerlain by Emilio Pucci". A collaboration with Laudomia Pucci that gave birth to a collector's line with accents of the Italian Riviera.
The young design prodigy, Ora-ïto, was chosen to bring the Terracotta compact up to date. He has given it a new lease of life, while retaining the famous brown tortoiseshell tones.
Multidisciplinary with a vast knowledge of the arts, Olivier Échaudemaison counts on the greatest contemporary talents. But he alone is able to create the conditions for partnerships that are both bold and offbeat.
"It would be unthinkable for Guerlain and I to offer exceptional products without a team of professionals to support its boldness and creativity."
Headed by Olivier Échaudemaison, the Art Team brings together international Make-up Artists selected for their exceptional make-up expertise. Their team spirit is sealed by the Guerlain philosophy, which each one takes to the four corners of the globe.
Initially a freelance make-up artist, Raynald perfected his technique at the famous Atelier International de Maquillage. He then worked for Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy where he was spotted by Olivier Échaudemaison. Sharing his vision of make-up, he didn't hesitate a second when Olivier asked him to join the Guerlain Art Team.
Initially a model in New York, Maxime admired the talent of make-up artists. So much so that he became one. He discovered Guerlain by making up famous actresses who were fans of the French House. Olivier became his source of inspiration. Their meeting years later would seal their collaboration within the Art Team. The ultimate recognition, he became Make-up Artist of the year in 2010 in Canada.
Working at Harrods in London, Gary had the chance to make up a famous British actress and author. Impressed, she encouraged him to become a Make-up Artist.
He was soon spotted and trained by Olivier Échaudemaison. "Olivier is a legendary make-up artist and a visionary," states Gary.
He discovered art, sculpture and design as a child. He later became passionate about fashion, colour and make-up. Fascinated by Olivier Échaudemaison's talent, Jose-Luis joined Guerlain in 2003, where Olivier passed on to him all his expertise and know-how. He is very familiar with Latin America, where he gives VIP consultations. He also works at the top fashion shows all around the world.