The clean prestige color brand, founded by celebrity makeup artist Gucci Westman and David Neville in 2018, is expanding into the beauty giant on Feb 2. Westman Atelier’s full assortment — 17 stockkeeping units for face, lips, eyes and accompanying brushes — will launch on sephora.com as part of the retailer’s Clean at Sephora program. Prices range from $38 to $88.
The retail expansion proves that the only way is up for the brand, despite challenges to the color category. Industry sources said the brand reached $20 million in retail sales in 2020, a 100 percent growth from the year prior. Following the Sephora expansion, sources estimate retail sales to follow the same trajectory and hit $40 million in 2021.
Westman thinks the partnership will attract a new customer who maybe isn’t aware of her brand, but attracted to a clean alternative to traditional makeup. “Sephora will bring somebody in that isn’t necessarily a clean beauty shopper. If you don’t have to sacrifice the performance, and you get the bonus of having these beautiful ingredients in these products, why would you not do that?” Westman said.
“I just think it’s a question of awareness,” she continued. “It’s such a great opportunity for us to grow, and just to have visibility on a brand like us, we wouldn’t necessarily have that opportunity if it wasn’t for a giant like Sephora.”
Although Westman Atelier’s customer is niche, Neville sees the brand’s appeal as universal. “What’s so fascinating about Westman Atelier is that we can be on Violet Grey with brands that we admire, like Chanel and Tom Ford, and we can also perform at Credo and Goop. Sephora casts a wider net, and what’s compelling is their commitment to clean and that stamp of approval,” Neville said. “But, you know, the clean skin care and clean color categories are some of the fastest growing. Clearly, the customer is there.”
Although d-to-c sales make up half of Westman Atelier’s revenue, business through its retail partners have also been strong. “We’ve been in the market for two and a half years, and we have a lot of momentum on our own platform, but we’ve been ranking so well with our retail partners,” he said. “We are really differentiated through the clean luxury positioning, the packaging, the product, performance, and most importantly through Gucci’s credibility.”
Westman found her niche in clean luxury products. Beyond what’s left out of the formulas, Westman said the skin-care benefits of her ingredient choices are also attractive to her customer. “Just because you’re making clean products that focus on the health of the ingredients and the safety, you don’t have to sacrifice performance,” she said.
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