Elle Macpherson is heading to Barneys New York to launch her Australian-based supplement company, WelleCo, in the U.S.
On March 3, the supermodel will host an event to fete the launch at the Madison Avenue store in New York, which is one of three doors the line is now available at (the store in downtown Manhattan and Beverly Hills are the other two). Already, the beauty brand she cofounded with Andrea Horwood four years ago has a strong online presence as well as distribution with about 130 indie retail partners globally.
“I spent a lot of my life relying on genetics in the beauty and fashion industries. I was pretty blessed,” said Macpherson of the things she “didn’t have to think about” in her 20s and 30s. “I’m 54 years old now and I was just coming up to 50 when I realized synthetic vitamins weren’t working and my diet wasn’t working. My lifestyle needed tweaking. My body needed more help, I realized that I needed to adjust my program because I was taking a lot of synthetic vitamins. I wasn’t getting the nutrients I needed from my food and it was working for me.”
This was the impetus for developing a range of plant-based, vegan, ingestible powders with Horwood, also the chief executive officer of the venture.
Macpherson added that after looking at data from WelleCo’s e-commerce site and discovering that New York and California were “our major areas of sales,” entering bricks-and-mortar in those markets was a no-brainer. Currently, about 80 percent of sales come from the brand’s own site, with half of that coming from the U.S.
“We’re known in Australia and the U.K., and it just shows the appetite from the U.S. customer for our product. It’s substantial, [especially] because we don’t have a retail present there,” Horwood said.