Fifteen years after the makeup artist created his namesake brand, Kevyn Aucoin Beauty is going under a re-brand to highlight Aucoin’s legacy with a more modern, digitally savvy approach.
“We looked at this opportunity to understand who was following the brand and we discovered this world of consumers, influencers and [makeup] artists that were passionate about Kevyn Aucoin,” said Hillary Solomon, chief executive officer of Kevyn Aucoin Beauty, which was acquired by Manzanita Capital in 2015. “With that we took a look at the brand, the inspiration and Kevyn’s legacy and discovered it was time to take the brand and make it relevant for today.”
The brand will be going full force on its various social media platforms and its relaunched e-commerce site, specifically with educational materials consisting of illustrated and video tutorials and digitized pages from Aucoin’s “Making Faces” book, which is also celebrating its 20th anniversary. According to the brand, Kevyn Aucoin Beauty has performed well among influencers and makeup artists, however it is embarking on this digital focus to attract a younger consumer who may not be familiar with the brand or makeup artist.
“[Kevyn] was really known for creating transformations,” Solomon continued on why the educational materials are important for the brand. “We’re sitting on archives and libraries of educational content, so this gives us the opportunity to bring everything to life.”
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As part of the brand’s new digital focus, Kevyn Aucoin is launching “Team Kevyn,” an online community that brings together beauty enthusiasts and makeup artists to share their inspiration, advice and passion for beauty. This will also further the rebrand’s focus on attracting younger consumers, especially ones that use social media to discover new brands and products. The initiative will live on the brand’s e-commerce site and across social media platforms as #TeamKevyn with content created by the brand and by consumers.
“The long-term vision for the brand is empowering women to create their own vision of beauty,” she said, noting that consumers will be encouraged to generate their own content. For the book’s anniversary, the brand is launching a limited-edition product called The Making Faces Beauty book, which consists of three chapters: Contour & Sculpt, Blush & Define and Emphaseyes. The new book echoes the original book by offering illustrated instructions and three makeup palettes to create the look. The Making Faces Beauty Book is available now and retails for $75.
Separately from the brand, director Tiffany Bartok has created a documentary that honors Kevyn Aucoin. The film, which is called “Larger Than Life,” contains archival interviews with the makeup artist and interviews with celebrities that worked closely with him. The filmmaker and the brand are teaming up to call attention to the release of the documentary, which is slated to come out this fall.
“Kevyn Aucoin’s other-worldly talent was always why I was inspired to become a makeup artist,” Bartok said on why she created the film. “His ability to take regular people, who could not otherwise find their beauty, and create a new way for them to see themselves made me feel that makeup was for absolutely everyone and not for an elite group of people.”
The brand will continue expanding its distribution for the rebrand primarily through Sephora. Kevyn Aucoin Beauty launched on the retailer’s e-commerce site last year and will enter into more bricks-and-mortar locations in key markets around the country, like Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, through the end of the year. The brand can also be found at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Space NK, Joyce Beauty in Hong Kong and Mecca in Australia.
A new logo will also roll out in early 2018. The brand will expand its best-selling franchises, like its Neo-Limelight palettes and Etherealist makeup line, which will launch this fall.
Executives declined to provide sales forecasts, but industry sources estimate the brand could surpass $50 million in retail sales after the re-brand is established.