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While celebrity apparel and fragrance lines tend to be hit-or-miss (remember Amanda Bynes’ clothing collection, Dear? Don’t worry, neither does anyone else), the personality-driven beauty market is flourishing.
On Friday, WWD reported that Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty brand was on track to outsell Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics business, which, as reported last year, is expected to be a billion-dollar enterprise by 2022. According to a report from Slice Intelligence, RiRi’s 4-month-old LVMH-owned beauty brand — which already has a cult following, thanks to its inclusive range of foundations and, you know, Rihanna — will also beat revenues from Kim Kardashian’s KKW Beauty line.
In its first month of operation, Fenty Beauty’s sales were five times the amount of Kylie Cosmetics’. It’s unclear if Fenty’s more traditional distribution model (Fenty Beauty is only sold at Sephora, both online and in stores, whereas Kylie Cosmetics is direct-to-consumer, save for brief pop-ins at select Topshop locations) plays a role, but the numbers are impressive nonetheless.
Speaking of Jenner, over the past few weeks, the youngest member of the famous fam has all but disappeared from social media — which, ironically, was her primary business-building tool. Thanks to a following of 100 million (compared to Rihanna’s 60 million), Jenner was never beholden to traditional marketing strategies, enabling her to have complete control over the image and the messaging of her brand — essentially for free.
However, Jenner has not posted on her personal Instagram account since Christmas Day, when she posted her cover of Love magazine, probably due to contractual obligation. Rumors of pregnancy and her subsequent reclusion cast her in a cloud of mystery that is out of character for the 20-year-old, though some argue that her social media absence has only strengthened the loyalty of her following.
Who’s to say if the hiatus will have an impact on her brand, which operates its own social media accounts.
The true takeaway from the report, however, is that there’s never been a better time to be a celeb in the beauty biz.
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