Uglydoll is getting into the beauty business.
This story first appeared in the May 3, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Pretty Ugly LLC, creator of the Uglydoll characters and plush toys, has entered into a licensing agreement with Boldface Group Inc. for beauty and personal care products. The Uglydoll license is Boldface’s third overall and first outside of the celebrity category. Boldface developed Khroma Beauty by Kourtney, Kim and Khloé Kardashian and is introducing fragrance, shave and body products under license with Mario Lopez later this year.
“We are committed to the positive message that ‘ugly’ is the new beautiful. The brand’s specific, unisex attitude and whimsical edge will be conveyed through design, packaging, unique scents and the use of quality ingredients with result-driven formulas,” said Boldface chief executive officer Nicole Ostoya, who elaborated that Boldface was intrigued by Uglydoll because it saw the potential for the brand’s humor and eccentricity to resonate with customers across a variety of age groups.
Alita Friedman, Pretty Ugly’s chief brand officer, realized that Uglydoll could translate into beauty when she saw the Harajuku Lovers perfumes on shelves. Although Uglydoll’s beauty merchandise won’t be similar to those perfumes, they demonstrated to her that characters could be turned into fanciful beauty products. “Playing on the word ‘ugly’ is so much fun to think of in the beauty realm,” said Friedman.
Ostoya emphasized that Boldface would bring Uglydoll beauty products “to life the way the artist wants to see it done.”
To that point, Robin Coe-Hutshing, creative director of Boldface, added, “It truly is a design brand. Its points of distribution are [primarily] not in the toy market, but in the specialty store market. We approach it as a design brand and not a toy brand.”
Boldface is planning two separate beauty concepts under the Uglydoll umbrella. There will be a capsule collection containing lip glosses and nail items aimed at high-end department stores and priced roughly from $20 to $50. There will also be a bath and body care line for more general distribution priced mostly from $6 to $25. A small number of Uglydoll beauty products will launch in time for the holiday shopping season followed by a full rollout next year.