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Oak + Fort Hopes New Beauty Line Will ‘Eclipse’ Fashion Business

The Canada-based retailer, known for its minimalist aesthetic, has introduced a tightly curated line of color cosmetics.

Oak + Fort is turning to beauty to grow — and eventually outdo — its fashion business.

The Canada-based retailer is applying its minimalist chic designs to makeup with the launch of Oak + Fort Beauty. The color cosmetics line, available on Oak + Fort’s web site, consists of three cushion compacts, two lip tints, two lipsticks and six nail polishes, with prices ranging from $9 to $28. The line was manufactured in Korea, where Oak + Fort founder and chief executive officer Min Kang is from.

Oak + Fort Hopes New Beauty
Oak + Fort Beauty’s CC Cushion, $28. Courtesy Image

Beauty is a growing area of focus for Oak + Fort, which started as a digital-first brand and has more than 20 brick-and-mortar locations in the U.S. and Canada. The retailer believes its beauty line has “the potential to eclipse our fashion business,” according to Shelly Wilson, formerly Oak + Fort’s chief of staff and head of e-commerce for cosmetics and home, who now consults for the brand.

“You look at businesses like Glossier, for example, that have physical locations, and they’re a multimillion-dollar business,” said Wilson. “Our expectation is that [Oak + Fort Beauty] has the potential to eclipse our fashion business and that at some point, it becomes its own stand-alone company because we really believe in it. We believe in the quality of the product [and] we want to educate our customers on the quality of the product and how important skin care is. It’s not just, ‘Here’s a nice accessory to go with the fashion.’ That’s not what we’re thinking. We’re looking at this as a separate organization and a separate business that complements, but has the ability to stand completely on its own.”

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Oak + Fort Beauty will drop new products on a monthly basis. A skin-care line spanning creams, lotions, serums and face masks is expected in the spring.

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