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The 2022 Beauty Inc Awards: Launch of the Year

Two of beauty's most storied brands upped the ante on modernity in 2022.

The 2022 Launch of the Year honorees brought a spark of modernity to two of beauty’s most storied brands. Here, the Beauty Inc Award winners for the mass and prestige categories.

Launch of the Year 

Prestige: Chanel No.1 

The Chanel No. 1 range reimaged the house’s classic codes in a more environmentally friendly way.

Gabrielle Chanel was a resolute modernist who knew better than anyone that no matter how revered one’s brand, you can’t rest on gilded laurels. This year, Chanel upped its relevance considerably, becoming the first heritage luxury player to venture into the clean, sustainable beauty space, with the launch of Chanel No.1. In development for the last decade, the line of makeup, skin care and fragrance is formulated with up to 97 percent of ingredients stemming from natural origins. The star ingredient is the camellia flower, sourced from the house’s very own fields in southwest France, where no chemicals are used in the cultivation of the blooms. Packaging is reminiscent of Chanel’s classic shapes, but has been streamlined and is composed primarily of recycled glass and bio-sourced materials. In the U.S., the line launched exclusively at Ulta Beauty, with prices topping out at a (relatively) accessible $120, the better to appeal to younger shoppers. What could be more modern that that? 

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Mass: Madam by Madam C.J. Walker 

A woman ahead of her time, Madam C.J. Walker was the first female self-made millionaire in America, who made her fortune in the early 1900s by creating a line of hair care products for Black women that emphasized scalp health. Fast-forward more than 100 years, and Unilever, which acquired the brand as part of its acquisition of Shea Moisture in 2017, relaunched the brand, inspired by the entrepreneur and updated for Gen Z consumers. Renamed Madam by Madam C.J. Walker, the 11 stock keeping unit collection leveraged the brand’s original positioning with products designed to create a healthy scalp and strong hair. The line launched exclusively in more than 3,000 Walmart stores, and was spearheaded by A’Lelia Bundles, Walker’s great-great-granddaughter and also her biographer. “We worked together to merge 100 years of research, development, science and technology to ensure that the products are as innovative and effective as the original Walker line,” she said, of the joint effort between Sundial Brands and Walmart. “This collection embodies Madam Walker’s spirit of empowerment and pays homage to modern women of color.” Mission accomplished.