The just launched Estée Lauder X Sabyasachi collaboration features 10 matte lipsticks in gilded cases

Feb29,2024


For the Estée Lauder X Sabyasachi collaboration, the couturier curated the shades by drawing on individual threads from his aesthetic

For the Estée Lauder X Sabyasachi collaboration, the couturier curated the shades by drawing on individual threads from his aesthetic

At first, it looks like a piece of jewellery. A gilded case with 24K gold-plated accents and the Bengal tiger embossed on top. Is it a pendant, a charm perhaps? Neither; what it is, is actually a lipstick from the Estée Lauder X Sabyasachi collaboration. The just launched limited edition collection features 10 matte lipsticks with colours spread across a warm palette, ranging from red and berry to tangerine and brown.

The lipsticks come in gilded cases with 24K gold-plated accents and the Bengal tiger embossed on top

The lipsticks come in gilded cases with 24K gold-plated accents and the Bengal tiger embossed on top

From tea-dyeing processes and the deep hues of gemstones to his personal beauty icons, Sabyasachi Mukherjee says he curated the shades by drawing on individual threads from his aesthetic. “You will glimpse Rekha’s berry pout in Bombay Berry, Frida Kahlo in Pomelo Rose and the spirit of Calcutta in Calcutta Red. I see these 10 shades as completely diverse personalities, through 10 definitive colours,” adds Sabyasachi.

The Indian designer met the Estée Lauder team — headquartered in New York — five years ago and started working on the collaboration immediately. “For Estée Lauder, it was about tapping into the power of India, for me it was about representing India the right way, both at home and away. The idea was to create something in beauty that would give our customers a sense of pride and to remind them that beautiful things don’t have to be transient,” he says.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Sabyasachi Mukherjee
| Photo Credit:
Sonia Moskowitz

A range of classics, that are clearly anti-trend and seasonless, is what the couturier and jewellery maker had in mind. “My brief remains unchanged across all the verticals I work with. To cut through trend and seasonality and create something truly iconic. My brand is steeped in culture, heritage and in creating heirloom quality products that stand the test of time. Be it a necklace, sari, handbag or lipstick— the ethos is the same.”

With names like Rouge Bengal and Calcutta Red to the Bengal tiger emblazoned on the lipstick and the cover, one cannot help but wonder if there is a hint of partiality to Bengal. “Bengal and Calcutta are integral to who I am and who my brand is today. It’s where I’m from and a big part of who I am and how I interpret the world. This is after all the culture, architecture, history, craft and heritage I grew up with and around,” says the Kolkata-based designer with a global presence.

Sabyasachi

Sabyasachi

Red has always been an integral colour for his brand. Decades have gone into trying to perfect various shades of red with his team of master hand dyers. “Ever since I started making jewellery, I spend as much time scouring rubies and rubellites for the perfect shade. Rouge Bengal and Calcutta Red, were definitely the colours we spent the most amount of our time working on,” he adds.

Unlike garments, where you have a lot to play with, did working on something as specific as lipstick seem limiting? “When you create something with thought, passion and exuberance it’s never limiting. There is such an art and science to lip colours and lip sticks — it has been such an exciting and even challenging process,” he replies, adding that he is vehemently anti-experimenting for experiments’ sake. “I believe that classics are classics for a reason,” he says and in addition to that he believes these lipsticks are also iconic, glamourous, wearable and exuberant. With the colour palette he wanted to make sure there is something for everyone. He says, “In an era of self-expression, reinvention and influence — beauty is complex. For me, beauty is really about identity. About knowing who you are and celebrating that.”

Sabyasachi

Sabyasachi

Describing this range as a true collaboration between New York and Calcutta, Sabyasachi feels that this collection celebrates not just the colours but also the sensorial exuberance of India. Experimenting with formulations and fragrance with the Estée team and conceptualising and creating the packaging has been a dynamic process, he states. The packaging pays homage to the archives but with a certain modernity. “When I visited the Estée Lauder archives, I saw such beautiful products — almost like objects of art. I related to that as a jeweller and designer. I also felt a strange kinship with Mrs. Lauder, her vision was spectacular but essential. The beauty business back then was based on idealism, now it’s based on balance sheets. I wanted to bring that exuberance back and distil it into this collection,” he says.

Each lipstick is priced at ₹5,400. Pre-orders begin today. Available March 4 onwards on esteelauder.in. and the brand’s counters.

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