Nicky Kinnaird spotted Sonia Kashuk and saw a bull’s-eye.
This story first appeared in the October 31, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Kinnaird, founder of the high-end apothecary Space NK, has plucked Kashuk’s namesake cosmetics line from Target, which has incubated the brand for the last decade.
Kinnaird plans to add the Sonia Kashuk brand to her U.K. shops and U.S. doors, including Space NK’s in-store boutique concept with Bloomingdale’s, which is slated for nine units. Space NK will trumpet is partnership with Sonia Kashuk by including the mass-market born products in its shop at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship in Manhattan, which will be unveiled on Thursday. Target will continue to carry the line, and has given the unorthodox union its blessing, according to Kashuk.
“I’m dealing with two very strategic retailers. Target is such a great marketer that I knew it would get it,” said Kashuk.
Sonia Kashuk’s trajectory from a big-box store, albeit a hip one, to the ultraedited assortment of Space NK paints another, bold stroke of gray across once distinct classes of trade, namely prestige and mass.
“This is product that needed to hit a broader audience than Target,” said Kinnaird, sitting with Kashuk at the makeup artist’s pristine white offices in Manhattan’s financial district. “The quality was fabulous, so why should others lose out?”
The white-and-silver clad line brings Space NK’s number of cosmetics brands to 10 and adds a lower price tier to its mix. Prices at Space NK range from the $15 Laura Mercier nail lacquer to $1,500 for RéVive Peau Magnifique, an antiaging serum. Kashuk’s prices hover around $10, with cosmetics bags and makeup brushes hitting the $20 mark. “We’re affordable luxury at Target, and we’re affordable luxury at Space NK,” said Kashuk.
In addition to its own brand, Space NK’s assortment includes Eve Lom, Nars Cosmetics, Dr. Brandt, Natura Bissé, Zelens, ar457, Christophe Robin; Chantecaille, By Terry and Acqua di Parma.
The pair said their partnership, which germinated from conversations at the WWD Beauty CEO Summit in May, was not a reaction to a souring economy, but to consumers’ disinterest in assigning class lines to shopping channels.
Kashuk said Kinnaird’s fondness for her brand validated the work she’s done over the last 10 years to build a beauty line that lived in the mass market but touted quality. Kashuk said, “It’s exciting to be able to show the brand the way I envisioned it.”