Maybelline wants in on the see-it-buy-it-wear-it action taking place this fashion week.
This story first appeared in the September 9, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The beauty giant has decided to pull two products from its upcoming spring collection and push up the release date to coincide with their use on the runway this week. Two complimentary color cosmetic products that are targeted for the eyes — the brand is mum on specifics until the products make their debuts on models at Rebecca Minkoff’s show Sept. 10 — will go on sale immediately after the show at noon via an exclusive partnership with Amazon.com.
It’s Maybelline’s effort to adapt to a consumer with rapidly changing shopping habits.
“She’s really in this mentality of instant gratification. While we know that the fashion industry is making strides to meet those demands by changing the retail schedule, we felt that the beauty industry had to also do the same,” Anne-Marie Nelson-Bogle, senior vice president of marketing at Maybelline, told WWD Wednesday.
She maintained the company has always previewed products prior to launching online and in-store — they just weren’t available for several months. With the rise of social media, customers started to ask for the products they see on social media that the brand used to create looks backstage.
“It’s a huge shift,” she continued, calling social media instrumental in the role it plays in influencing purchases. “It’s our responsibility and our mission to interpret trends and bring it to the consumer as soon as possible.”
Amazon.com has signed up to be the exclusive retail partner for Maybelline’s see-now-buy-now venture. The two products, which will be sold in a bundle, are limited in quantity, and once they sell out, won’t be available until the spring. Maybelline declined to say how many units Amazon will sell.
When asked if there are plans to expand upon this, Nelson-Bogle said it’s too early to tell.
“We’re testing this, it’s a new initiative. It’s the first time we’re doing this. We want to see the reaction and if consumers get excited. We believe it’s the future,” she said. “The goal is that with the excitement we would look to create more initiatives. We would look at how many products to expand to if we were to move in this direction.”
Nelson-Bogle, who said Maybelline plans for fashion week months in advance, looked to partner with a designer “who was at the forefront of the see-now-buy-now movement” to implement this project.
In February, Minkoff showed her spring collection at her runway show, which was immediately available for purchase, and she plans to do the same with her fall collection.
Uri Minkoff, chief executive officer of Rebecca Minkoff, said a conversation with Maybelline began about six months ago.
“We were very up-front that this wasn’t a onetime experience for us,” Minkoff said, coining Maybelline’s foray into the see-now-buy-now club as “see, buy, apply.” For him, it’s just the beginning, and he sees similar opportunities for nail and hair-care companies as well.
“It [fashion week] becomes a moment where things launch that are actually available — it’s not just a preview of product [anymore],” Minkoff said, admitting that the logistically, the strategy has been challenging. “We’re selling spring and shooting spring while putting together a fashion show, which will be fall. As a brand, your first season to experience that, it’s ‘Whoa, this is extraordinarily wild.’”
On Sept. 10, the brand is shutting down a block on Prince Street in SoHo to host its fall runway show — outside of its retail store, naturally.