Morphe is gearing up for growth.
The makeup and brush brand has fresh capital on its hands because of a new partnership with Elevate Brandpartners, which is backed by private equity firm Summit Partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Myles McCormick, chief executive officer of Elevate, is partnering with Morphe to ramp up global distribution and build out retail operations.
The growth plan includes new hires for things like sourcing, the supply chain, e-commerce and technology. Those hires will work hand-in-hand with brand founders Chris and Linda Tawil.
“We can’t wait to get the ball rolling,” Chris Tawil said. “We’re bringing in a team of people that are going to push us forward.”
The Tawils are a brother-sister duo that took the brand from being distributed primarily at makeup trade shows, built out the product line to include more palettes and lip products, and placed it in the hands of mainstream consumers (and big-name beauty vloggers like Jaclyn Hill and Manny Gutierrez, who serve as brand affiliates and bestow Morphe discount codes to their viewers).
“It’s a full partnership, so we are managing the business together and bringing complementary skills, and hopefully, creating some real operating synergies out of the partnership,” McCormick said, of the Elevate-Morphe deal.
Morphe will work to establish a global e-commerce program complete with customer service, as well as gradually open more stores in order to give customers a more immersive brand experience, McCormick said. As it stands, Morphe has one flagship location in Burbank, Calif. Morphe’s retail rollout will focus on areas where the brand has a dedicated following, which include Texas, Florida and New York.
“That is one of the really fantastic things about Morphe, is the environment they’ve created for the consumers of Burbank,” McCormick said. “A big part of our aspiration is to continue to develop that out in certain markets.”
Category expansion is also in the works. Morphe is known for its makeup brushes — there are more than 400 brushes for sale on its web site — but also sells eyeshadow, liquid lipstick, concealer, eyeliner, false lashes and a variety of makeup palettes. Prices for individual eye shadows range from $2.29 to $5.99. Palettes range $6.99 to $43.99 (for 70 shades of eye shadow) and brushes are under $23.
Product-wise, Morphe’s expansion is likely to include foundation, Linda Tawil previously told WWD. She said she will keep her hands in product development.
Morphe also plans to keep its direct connection to consumers very much alive. The brand has a history of making announcements via its Instagram account (which has 4.3 million followers) — in January, it announced it would collaborate with Hill for a new palette, which will be released later this year. The brand also plans to directly unveil store locations to its customers.
“That’s the biggest thing for us, we want to make sure we maintain that connection with our customers, consumers and just people,” Linda Tawil said. “We are 100 percent with Morphe and will be and continue to be and we don’t want to change any of that.”
“Our focus today is helping Linda and Chris build Morphe into an incredible brand and continuing to deliver on the customer promise,” McCormick said. “When you do that kind of stuff you create a lot of value, and there’d be a lot of opportunities from a brand like Morphe down the road.”