NEW YORK — Jane Pratt’s new digital platform XoVain covers beauty in a way that’s very, well, Jane Pratt.
Rather than traditional beauty coverage, Pratt wants to take a more realistic approach, taking on real beauty issues and providing readers with an easy way to shop the products featured in posts.
This story first appeared in the March 1, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Today’s launch of the Say Media-owned digital property solely dedicated to beauty comes after the introduction of almost two-year-old XoJane, Pratt’s first online venture. For XoJane, which just surpassed two million uniques a month, beauty was the top performing category on the site (where stories could sometimes receive 1,000 comments).
Maybelline is the official launch sponsor of XoVain, which will see a revenue model that consists of advertising and a percentage of proceeds from embedded shoppable items in stories. Pratt said readers don’t have to leave the site to purchase product. The site will also contain some sponsored content, and Pratt plans to partner with additional brands going forward.
“We’re covering beauty in the context of your entire life, not just how to get a look,” Pratt said in her office here, rattling off the kinds of topics XoVain might tackle. These include: how to look like you haven’t been on a flight for 12 hours when you’ve been on a flight for 12 hours, or what to do when you’ve been out partying until 4 a.m. and have a meeting at 7 a.m.
“Everything isn’t epic. [Sometimes it will be something like] ‘It looks like I shoot up but it’s eczema,’” Pratt added.
The images are personal but a little more polished and produced than those on XoJane, but for Pratt, it’s about getting to know “this cast of characters” who are writing and “going through someone’s life with them.”
The site has a beauty director and senior beauty editor, as well as crossover with staff from XoJane, including managing editor Corynne Cirilli and executive editor Emily McComb. There are also about seven regular contributors who will help produce about seven posts daily.
Pratt will speak about the new venture at SXSW in Austin, Tex., on March 12 and wants to bring a touch of reality to beauty coverage. “Beauty doesn’t have to be that serious,” she said, noting that the site will not use “experts” or quote “people with Ph.D.’s” to comment on issues. “Someone who has had skin problems their whole life is an expert on the issue.”