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Hatchbeauty believes in the power of personality and is putting that belief to the test by contracting with three high-profile beauty personalities to partner on products under their names.
The Santa Monica, Calif.-based brand strategy and product development firm has signed license agreements with makeup artist Pati Dubroff, hairstylist Orlando Pita and manicurist Jenna Hipp for beauty products that will be carried at select Costco stores. Revolving around kits and accessible, everyday essentials, the Pati Dubroff, Orlando Pita and Jenna Hipp products are priced from $12 to $42. Industry sources forecast they could generate as much as $60 million in first-year sales at retail.
“One of the things that had been such a big message in the beauty industry was that makeup artist, hairstylist and doctor brands were all dying. I never believed that because I believed that brands that have a human element resonate with people,” said Ben Bennett, creative director and managing partner at Hatchbeauty, which jumped into licensing in 2011 with a fragrance aligned with the TV show “America’s Next Top Model.” “We want to know the story and the person behind a brand. Consumers need someone to relate to.”
Launching at Costco in June, the collection from Dubroff — a former spokeswoman for Clarins and Dior with a red-carpet résumé that includes work on Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Amanda Seyfried, Naomi Watts and Julianne Moore — kicks off with a Perfect Palette of 12 neutral eye shadow shades, Visionary Eyes crayons in five day-to-night shades, and Luster Lips crayons in five silky-sheer hues. The lip and eye crayons can be purchased individually or in kits.
“There is a lot out there in the market that is very mediocre in the lower-price category. What I really wanted to do was to create something that was well above mediocre in that lower-price category,” said Dubroff, mentioning that lip glosses will be introduced for holiday. “These are in my kit already. They are easy to use and are put together in a way that is curated and super wearable. I am a big believer in real and wearable.”
Known as a green celebrity manicurist, Hipp, whose client list reads like a who’s who of young Hollywood with names such as Jessica Alba, Zoe Saldana, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson and Michelle Williams on it, had teamed up with brands before, NCLA and RGB, to be specific, but hasn’t done products entirely under her own name until now. Entering stores in June, her first product is the What’s Hot Now Nail Kit with 12 mini nail lacquers with quick-dry formulas. The lacquers don’t contain dibutyl phthalates, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene or camphor.
“I was able to be included in the entire creative process, including the ingredients and formulation, which is what sold me on the project,” said Hipp. “More than anything, I love providing not just gorgeous products, but chemically-safe products. That’s what the Jenna Hipp collection is all about.”
Orlando Pita — internationally recognized for his editorial, runway and red-carpet coifs — was intrigued by the idea of spearheading products aimed at the masses. “I do a lot of work in a very exclusive area, and I have an expertise that I’d like to share with a bigger audience,” he said. For that audience, he is laying the foundation for a broader line with basic items to start. The initial three are Argan Gloss Shampoo, Argan Gloss Conditioning Treatment and Argan Rejuvenating Hair Oil Treatment. “I know what I want to give them [customers] and that’s to simplify everything that I have learned into a basic way of caring for your that’s very practical, performs well and isn’t very highly priced,” said Pita.
When it comes to performance, Bennett emphasized that the argan oil in Pita’s products, introduced at Costco late last month, is different from much of what is on the market today. He described it as a lightweight alternative to the oils that tend to weigh down hair. Bennett said, “This oil is almost undetectable. The hair shaft sucks it up. It helps the hair shaft plump up, and it gives hair a natural shine.”
Costco might seem to be an unlikely place to find products from Dubroff, Hipp and Pita, but Bennett argued launching at the membership-only warehouse club chain makes perfect sense. “They are year after year identified as the best retailer in the country. Their customers are so loyal to them. They are seen as product editors and, if they bring something into their four walls, their customers trust it,” he said, adding, “It has a much more affluent customer than people think. When you look at some of the brands that Costco has brought in, you will see everything from a national brand to a prestige brand in a non-traditional retail environment.”
Dubroff is an enthusiastic Costco shopper and thrilled that her products will be available at its stores. “I just had a birthday party for my daughter, and I outfitted it through Costco. I was skeptical because I really thought I’m not going to be able to buy food there because I’m a super [healthy] eater, and we are minimalistic, but I was surprised with how much I came home with,” she said. “It is an incredible destination. I am amazed at the quality of goods there, not just the quantity. It’s so affordable, but people who appreciate high quality shop there. It is not only people looking for the 99-cent bargains.”