Luxury Brand Partners continues to grow its category of influencer-led brands.
Earlier this month, the incubator launched a cosmetics company, One/Size, with Filipino beauty influencer Patrick Starrr. LBP unveils today Elaluz, a beauty and lifestyle company created in partnership with Brazilian influencer-entrepreneur Camila Coelho.
Coelho, a former makeup artist who now counts nearly 9 million Instagram followers and more than 4 million subscribers across her two YouTube channels, previously co-created a line of lipsticks with Lancôme — the company’s first influencer product line. Last year, just one month after making her Met Gala debut wearing jewelry from Diane von Furstenberg’s personal collection, Coelho launched an eponymous clothing line with e-tailer Revolve. The line expanded into swimwear in April and is one of Revolve’s top launches, according to Raissa Gerona, chief brand officer.
Elaluz translates to “she is light” in Coelho’s native Portuguese language. The superinfluencer’s first beauty company will launch on Aug. 3 with two products: a lip and cheek stain, $34, and a hydrating lip treatment, $28. Both products will be sold direct-to-consumer on Elaluz.com and online at Net-a-porter and Saks Fifth Avenue.
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“I’ve been a makeup lover, a beauty lover since I was a little kid,” Coelho told Beauty Inc via phone. “I got that from my grandmother, who was always done up — even when she was in the kitchen cooking for us. She was the first person who gave me a red lipstick when I was only six years old.”
LBP’s chief executive officer Tevya Finger said he met Coelho about two years ago through an introduction by Raina Penchansky, cofounder of influencer agency Digital Brand Architects, which works with Coelho. Finger told Beauty Inc that Coelho “fits the dream team of influencers” that LBP is building.
“When you’re doing brands today, if you don’t have at least a face or voice that’s digitally connected, I think you’re going to have a very rough time,” Finger said. “I can’t imagine launching a brand today not having that.”
In assembling Elaluz’s five-person team, Finger appointed Elizabeth Maul as president. Maul first joined LBP as executive vice president of brand development. She also held a role at Becca Cosmetics, which LBP sold to the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. for upward of $230 million.
“[Elaluz] is one of the smallest teams we have within the LBP world, but it’s OK because I’m versatile. I like to hire versatile people,” Maul said. “For me, it was who can understand luxury, who can understand product, the mindful luxury value — clean formulas, sustainable packaging, but still luxury — and digital because it was such a strong aspect of what we’re doing.”
Elaluz is estimated to be a $6 million to $7 million investment for LBP over the next three years, according to industry sources.
Considering LBP’s full brand portfolio, Elaluz’s digitally focused launch and eventual expansion beyond the beauty category is a point of differentiation.
“[Elaluz] has a lot of legs to be a really big brand because it’s not necessarily pigeon-holed in just one area,” Finger said. “It has a lot of capability.”
The company is launching with a tight edit of two products — a decision that reflects Coelho’s desire to create a curated line of her “favorite, must-have” items,” she said.
“When you think of fashion, we say every girl should have an oversize blazer, perfect denim or a good, white button-down shirt,” Coelho said. “The products I’m creating in the beginning are products that throughout the years, I’ve worn over and over again. A lot of them men can wear, too. My husband is addicted to one of our products right now.”
Elaluz will release new products on the first Monday of every month. Forthcoming drops until the end of the year fall within the makeup, skin-care, hair-care and accessory categories.
The initial two products are formulated with ingredients, such as guarana extract and cupuacu seed butter, that pay tribute to Coelho’s Brazilian heritage. The formulations omit parabens, sulfates, phthalates, PEGs, TEA, DEA, GMOs and artificial fragrances. They are cruelty-free, gluten-free, vegan and Leaping Bunny-certified.
“I wanted to prove to my own self that I could create a brand that was luxurious, had effective formulas, effective quality, but that was clean and mindful,” Coelho said. “It was very important to me to be mindful to clean when it comes to our formulas, ingredients, our packaging. It’s what I wanted.”
The packaging is expected to use materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
“All of our packaging is as sustainable as we can be,” Maul said.
Coelho said she was conscious of hiring women of color for her brand and campaigns. The design team is led by women, most of whom are women of color, she said, adding, “It’s part of our DNA — inclusivity, sustainability, transparency.”
Similar to Patrick Starrr and One/Size, Coelho was highly involved in all aspects of Elaluz, according to Maul and Finger. Founder involvement, said Finger, is key to the way LBP structures its deals.
“It’s common in the industry where influencers do deals where they get a royalty on the products. I think when you get a royalty on a product, it’s different than being an equity holder or an owner,” Finger said.
“Influencers are incentivized to sell products, [but] Camila owns a huge chunk of this brand with us,” he continued. “She looks at this like it’s her baby start-up and her company. She’s on the board, she’s part of every discussion. In the end, [she is] that much more tied and connected.”
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