The You Had Me At Aloha Eyeshadow Palette

Cargo Cosmetics has tapped its first influencer — Hawaiian musical artist Anuhea.

She will be the ambassador for Cargo’s Hawaii-themed collection, which includes the You Had Me at Aloha Eye Shadow Palette, $34, which has 12 matte and shimmer shadows; a line of eight Swimmables Longwear Eye Shadow Sticks, $20; Dare to Flair Mascara, $20, and Swimmables Waterproof Mascara Top Coat, $22, which can be worn over mascara for a waterproof effect. The collection launches in 1,100 doors Feb. 14. Industry sources expect the collection to bring in as much as $5 million at retail in its first year.

Anuhea with Cargo's Swimmables Waterproof Mascara Topcoat.

Anuhea with Cargo’s Swimmables Waterproof Mascara Top Coat. 

Anuhea’s Hawaiian roots are what attracted Cargo to her and her nearly 76,000 Instagram followers, according to Brian Robinson, president of Cargo. “I happened to be vacationing in Hawaii and I put Shazam up to the radio because I heard this great voice,” Robinson said. The voice was Anuhea’s, so when a Hawaii collection came into the works, he wanted to reach out to her, he said. “Anuhea, aside from being beautiful, just has a very natural look and I thought that would really resonate with the Kohl’s customer,” Robinson said.

Cargo is distributed in about 1,100 Kohl’s doors, as well as on HSN and in a smattering of international markets, according to Robinson. The brand will consider using other influencers as it develops its seasonal collections, Robinson said, with a focus on people and their lifestyles, potentially athletes or artists.

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Cargo’s strategy echoes that of many other brands that are tapping influencers in lieu of traditional advertising as a means to reach consumers who are glued to social media. Other recent influencer engagements include BareMinerals’ deal with Ingrid Nilsen, who has about 1.7 million Instagram followers (and almost four million on YouTube), Sinful Colors’ collaboration with celebrity makeup artist and vlogger Kandee Johnson, who has 1.5 million Instagram followers, and Dove’s deal with a handful of influencers for its Dermacare Scalp line.