The first question in the minds of many when news broke that Kylie Jenner sold a majority stake in her eponymous beauty empire for USD 600 million dollars ahead of her holiday launch collection today November 19: What is Kylie Cosmetics without the celebrity entrepreneur herself? The second—is this the end for the infamous lip kits?
Even though the holidays have come early for the 22-year-old beauty mogul, Jenner assured fans that the decision to sell controlling portions of her two brands—Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin—is a partnership with global cosmetic group Coty Inc. and she will continue to lead the creative side of the company, including marketing and the actual product development of cult favorites such as the fast-selling Kylie Lip Kits that first launched her in the beauty industry’s spotlight. Meanwhile, Coty, home to established makeup and fragrance brands from Covergirl and Rimmel to Gucci and Burberry, will use their 51% ownership of the USD 1.2 billion-valued business to expand both brick-and-mortar and international distribution in addition to new product ranges in skincare, fragrance, and nails.
— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) November 18, 2019
“I’m excited to partner with Coty to continue to reach even more fans of Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin around the world,” Jenner said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing the creativity and ingenuity for each collection that consumers have come to expect and engaging with my fans across social media. This partnership will allow me and my team to stay focused on the creation and development of each product while building the brand into an international beauty powerhouse.”
“We are each bringing complementary assets and capabilities which will allow the business to grow and strengthen in the coming years,” said Pierre Andre Terrise, Coty’s chief financial officer in a conference call. “Kylie brings her incredibly strong brand equity as both a person and as a brand, with unparalleled social media reach among Generation Z consumers. This exposure to much younger consumers is something currently lacking in Coty’s portfolio and leading beauty brands. On the other side, we at Coty, bring very extensive R&D, manufacturing and distribution capabilities as well as our expertise in core beauty categories across cosmetic, skincare and fragrances.”
The reality TV personality’s foray into the cosmetic industry started in 2015 with her successful debut of liquid lipsticks before broadening into other makeup lines and, as of May this year, skincare. Although the startup began digitally with Jenner pushing her products to her 270 million social media followers via her online store and limited American pop-up boutiques, last year, the world’s youngest self-made billionaire signed an exclusive deal with beauty retailer Ulta to release her products in their 1,100 stores nationwide.
Kylie Cosmetics also has the highest engagement across all beauty brands on Instagram, with its followers increasing by about 7,000 each day. “With a single post, she’s able to reach more than double the number of people who watch the SuperBowl every year,” said Coty’s Chief Executive Officer Pierre Laubiues. However, more than half of her followers are outside the US, creating an almost untapped market ripe for the picking. Recognizing this potential, Coty hopes to develop their engagement not only with millennial makeup enthusiasts but also those based outside of her home base.
“Kylie is a modern-day icon, with an incredible sense of the beauty consumer, and we believe in the high potential of building a global beauty brand together,” said Coty’s Chairman of the Board Peter Harf.
Although the deal is not expected to be completed until late 2020 and no specific international market releases have been announced yet, the Middle East’s recognized position as a growing glam hub will hopefully push the region to the top of the list.