Lilah B. is taking careful steps toward expanding its retail distribution.
The color cosmetics brand steeped in a less-is-more concept is entering Neiman Marcus online for the holidays and HSN next month before landing at five Neiman Marcus stores in February with additional locations expected in the fall. The retail push comes after Lilah B., which launched in April of last year, rolled out to six Barneys New York units, four Space NK stores, Net-a-porter and four digital platforms of The Hut Group: Lookfantastic, Beauty Expert, HQHair and SkinStore.
“From Day One, this brand was positioned as a luxury prestige color line. I’ve been extremely thoughtful about the partners we have chosen to work with,” said Lilah B. founder Cheryl Yannotti Foland. “It’s not just the partner that gives you the most volume and brand awareness. It’s the partner that respects who you are, what has gone into our products and the philosophy of them, and that has an amazing sense of curating the most interesting new brands in the industry.”
To kick off its relationship with Neiman Marcus, Lilah B. fashioned a $132 holiday set priced featuring a white vegan leather makeup bag resembling a clutch, and the brand’s Palette Perfection eye quad, Divine Duo lip and cheek combo in the shade B. Fearless, a red ideal for Christmas parties, and a liner brush for eyes and lips. In total, Lilah B.’s assortment encompasses 29 stockkeeping units, including three shades exclusive to Barneys New York, priced from $28 to $58. Among the brand’s bestsellers are Divine Duo and Virtuous Veil, a concealer and eye primer.
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When developing the holiday set, Foland focused on perfecting a multiuse bag that wasn’t a standard cosmetic sack. “I am traveling a lot, and I run around with a tote bag that I throw everything I possibly can in. Pulling out an ugly makeup bag from my tote is always disappointing to me. When I thought about creating a complimentary bag to go with a holiday set, I thought about making the bag look fabulously chic and environmentally friendly,” she said. “I wanted it to look like a chic evening clutch, and it can certainly double as a clutch. You have your Lilah B. products in there, and you can throw in your keys and iPhone, and you are out the door.”
Kelly St. John, divisional merchandise manager for beauty at Neiman Marcus, suggested beauty shoppers at the department will be drawn to Lilah B.’s simplicity. “The brand’s modern packaging and dual-use products speak volumes to the effortlessness it will bring to our customer’s beauty routines,” she said.
Although Neiman Marcus is new retail territory for Lilah B., it’s been in the department store segment before. Selling on television at HSN is a different ball game for the brand. Lilah B. will showcase its Divine Duo lip and cheek products in four shades to start on the network, and Foland noted those products that have several applications are effective introductions to the brand and its goal of decluttering women’s makeup wardrobe with versatile merchandise.
“Early on, when I laid out my business plan, it was very important to me to understand various distribution channels, and really look at diverse customer base that would embrace the Lilah B. philosophy. That customer isn’t always going to be found in a Neiman Marcus or a Barneys,” Foland said. “I believe that Lilah B. will offer a prestige luxury color line on HSN that’s different from what HSN normally offers. I think the customer will be intrigued by the value proposition of a multipurpose product.”
For its initial year on the market, industry sources estimated Lilah B. would generate $3 million in retail sales. Foland declined to comment on that figure, but did offer, “We have met and seriously exceeded any revenue goal we have set. In our first year and now half way through our second year, we are way beyond on track at this point.”
Going forward, Foland emphasized Lilah B.’s objectives are to perform well within its retail doors and move the merchandise needle with impactful items. Tinted lip balms are on the product docket for spring. “We really have to be thoughtful in our next moves. We have to stay true to who we are,” said Foland, speaking both of Lilah B.’s retail distribution and its product development. Elaborating about the latter, she said, “The biggest challenge for me is continuing to offer new products, but making sure they are multifunctional. Our multipurpose line is working because women believe in it, and continuing to maintain a lean line will be a huge focus of mine for 2017 and 2018.”