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Now it is Kylie’s turn.
The 18-year-old Kylie Jenner is proving she can keep up with her older sisters as an influencer in fashion and beauty. To wit: Her self-created Kylie LipKit, a combination of a lip pencil and matching liquid lipstick, crashed the Internet last November. Proving it wasn’t a fluke, three new shades and a restock of the original hues sold out in 28 minutes. Her Web site name morphed from Kylie LipKit to Kylie Cosmetics, promising she’ll expand beyond her signature lips. She’s the face of Nip + Fab skin care. As part of New York Fashion Week, she and her sister on Monday launched Kendall + Kylie, a department store apparel line at a party attended by brother-in-law Kanye West and mother Kris Jenner.
This story first appeared in the February 12, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Now Kylie is turning her efforts to nails. Jenner is unveiling the first of three limited-edition nail collections as part of a collaboration with SinfulColors. Nails are a natural for Jenner, whose social media posts of her manicures have influenced everything from the shape of nails (she inspired the coffin-nail trend) to the popularity of nail art.
“I love getting my nails done and nails in general,” Jenner told WWD, adding her “go-to style” right now is a natural, short nail. But that doesn’t preclude her from dabbling in colors. “Right now I really like the pinks,” she said, referring to the Miss Majesty and Miss Chief shades in her first SinfulColors collection, called King Kylie SinfulShine.
Jenner, who recently Snapchatted footage as she bottled her lipsticks at the production plant, said she was totally involved with the shade and name selection of the collections. “I wanted to do something innovative and accessible to my young fans,” she said of the mass market distribution. “The colors are great for all skin tones, too.”
The buzz surrounding the youngest Jenner isn’t wasted on SinfulColor’s executives and the nation’s retailers, who hope the momentum generated in lip will translate to nail when the first collection hits shelves in early March. “We are glad the next product with her name on it is SinfulColors,” said Rahul Mehrotra, the brand’s general manager. “We think that this collaboration will energize the nail category by driving Millennial traffic to the store.”
Industry sources estimate Jenner could add at least $15 million at retail to SinfulColor’s coffers.
The first release includes 20 jewel-tone shades of SinfulShines’s gel-like formula under the King Kylie logo — a persona she created and uses as her Instagram name. In-store displays will mirror the royalty theme. The colors retail for $2.99 — a dollar more than traditional SinfulColors. Two more limited-edition collections will roll out in April and then May.
Jenner is the first celebrity to work with SinfulColors. Retailers said other celebrity partnerships are in the pipeline as SinfulColors seeks to differentiate itself from the sea of nail enamels. The Jenner collection, in particular, is expected to move the needle with Millennials. “We didn’t want to just put a face on the product. We desired someone with the insight into the category and someone who is a big influencer with Millennials,” added Blake Decker, head of marketing for SinfulColors. “We decided to dream high; dream big.”
Jenner is a behemoth when it comes to social media. Her combined social following encompasses 74 million users — not including Snapchat, which she uses to share her glamorous life with followers (this week she posted mini stories featuring her family, including Caitlyn Jenner). She also has her Kylie app, where fans can see tours of her $2.7 million Calabasas, Calif., home, learn how to “cop” her style, observe her applying makeup and get insider beauty tips. Jenner often features her favorite nail artists on the app and said she’ll add tutorials to demonstrate her new SinfulColors in action.
Retailers think her well-manicured talons could help put nail color sales back in the black. Data from IRI for the 52-week period in multi-unit chains show the overall nail category up half a percent to $1.6 billion, but nail color is still lagging in dollar sales, down 6.4 percent to $762 million versus the same period last year.
Although the youngest Jenner follows beauty advice passed down from her sisters (always wash all makeup off your face and use always sunscreen) she’s clearly an independent thinker. Jenner previewed her new shades to her friends, but she relies on what has proven to be her own on-the-mark intuition. “I really don’t get my inspiration from any one place or from fashion. I just go with what I like in the moment,” she said.