There is a new factor in nail polish: Demi Lovato.
This story first appeared in the October 4, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The judge on Fox’s “The X Factor” and “Heart Attack” singer is doing a duet with The New Black by launching three $14 three-piece kits and two $22 five-piece kits with the nail lacquer brand, first at Ulta officially in November. Industry sources estimated the collaboration would result in sales of $1 million.
The New Black has been handling Lovato’s nails for public appearances for about a year, and several of the nail designs she’s worn garnered considerable attention on Twitter. It was a logical next step for the brand to work with Lovato on products, according to Robin Coe-Hutshing, chairman, cofounder and creative director of Gold Grenade, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based product development, marketing and branding firm behind The New Black.
“We weren’t particularly looking for a celebrity, and I don’t really view this in celebrity terms per se,” she said. “If she wasn’t known for her great nails and her forward style, this wouldn’t be happening.”
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When it comes to her nails, Lovato isn’t afraid to take risks. She will try out vivid hues, sparkles and studs, all of which are elements of the kits that Ulta shoppers can use to replicate Lovato’s nail choices at home. “They are unusual color palettes. The colors are very intense. She’s into bold colors and textures,” said Coe-Hutshing.
“I love all the products that I have created because I think they embody all the qualities of a strong woman,” said Lovato. “It is fun to be able to create your own look down to your nails. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my nails, although you can’t always tell. I want to put something cool on my nails that expresses who I am and what I’m feeling.” Of her fondness for posting nail pictures on Twitter, Lovato added, “If you have badass nails, you are going to show them on Twitter. When I have cool, awesome nails, I want everyone to see.”
Although their official retail introduction isn’t until November, Lovato’s kits with The New Black are starting to hit Ulta doors, and Janet Taake, the retailer’s senior vice president of merchandising, called herself “very pleased” with their early performance. She thinks the collaboration responds to beauty customers’ desire to customize their nails. “There is a lot more personalization to nails than there ever has been before, so it is actually very trend-right,” said Taake.
Lovato has enjoyed her sojourn in the beauty industry so far and wouldn’t rule out more brand partnerships down the road. “I’m always looking for things to keep me excited,” she said.
However, it’s not as if Lovato is lacking for activities to fill up her schedule. In addition to being part of the panel of judges on “The X Factor” and preparing for a 2014 tour to support her album “Demi,” Lovato is guest-starring on “Glee,” playing Dani, a friend of Lea Michele’s character Rachel, and releasing a book titled “Staying Strong” on Nov. 19.
Lovato is enthusiastic for her fans to get their hands on her book. “It’s an inspirational book,” said Lovato, who explained the book contains meditations, quotes and goals for every day of the year. “It helps start my day off right.”