Niki Taylor Cover Girl

Amid chief executive officer Sue Nabi‘s transformation of Coty Inc., what’s old is new again, starting with Cover Girl.

The makeup brand has announced the rekindling of its partnership with model Niki Taylor, who served as one of the brand’s “Cover Girls” three decades ago. She will serve as the face of Simply Ageless, the brand’s anti-aging makeup and skin care range.

“I’ve been a fan of Cover Girl since I was a teenager and I am so proud and honored to rejoin this iconic American brand, years later, as the face of their good-for-skin makeup line, Simply Ageless,” Taylor said in a statement.

Stefano Curti, chief brand officer of Coty, said keeping formulas “clean” and tapping into brand recognition are imperative to stabilizing the brand. “Transforming Cover Girl means going back to its roots and reinventing ‘clean, healthy, and well-being’ in a modern connotation,” he said. “Cover Girl was the pioneer that invented ‘clean makeup’ several decades ago, and has stood for clean and healthy. I’m looking at the heritage in a modern way,” Curti said.

“Our plan is to strengthen our position of Cover Girl as the healthy, clean, well-being beauty brand in the mass market. There is no other brand with the same opportunity to democratize ‘clean,'” he continued. “Niki [Taylor] brought to fame the old platform of clean foundation, and she was behind the healthy foundation success, still today.”

Last year, WWD reported that Cover Girl’s Clean Fresh makeup line was attracting a new set of Gen Z consumers, and that Cover Girl stopped losing shelf space in major retailers for the first time in five years. Earlier this year, it also launched LashBlast Clean Volume Mascara, a vegan alternative to its mainstay LashBlast Volume Mascara. Cover Girl was certified cruelty-free in 2018.

“The growth of clean beauty now accounts for $36 billion globally, and it’s about 10 percent of the total beauty market — but also the part of the market that’s growing the fastest,” Curti said.

While clean product positioning will court the new generation of makeup buyers, Curti is betting on brand nostalgia for “ageless” ones.

“As a brand, it’s bigger than life. It has nearly 100 percent awareness in the United States. It’s one of the major brands in color cosmetics and one of the fastest-growing ones in skin care,” Curti said. “What we are observing is that consumers are going back to brands they trusted and loved for many years. It’s been a challenging year for the whole industry, but it’s also been a year of opportunities where we’ve seen e-commerce accelerating exponentially, doubling penetration.”

To that end, Curti has also revived Cover Girl’s “easy, breezy, beautiful” tagline. Its communications — namely those with Taylor — have also been adapted to the digital age. “It’s what I call selfie-shot advertising. Niki has shot herself with an iPhone 12, she was part of the creative itself,” he said.

Curti also has the “skinification” of cosmetics in the works for the brand’s future. Its Simply Ageless line already boasts hyaluronic acid and vitamin C in its formulations. “You will see us continuing to strengthen our clean positioning, the blurring of the lines between makeup and skin care, even more healthy and natural formulations over time, and premium-ization,” he said.

For more from WWD.com, see:

Former Coty Exec Joins Beauty Manufacturer Maesa as CEO

Could Coty’s Turnaround Succeed in 2021?

Executive Moves: Coty’s Women-Majority Board, Plus Moves at L’Oréal, Clarins and P&G

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