This week, I take a look at Kayali and Huda Beauty’s first-ever collaboration, and Herbivore’s latest product launch via the Sephora app.
Huda Beauty’s fragrance-focused sister-brand Kayali wants the world to engage in a lovefest.
On Tuesday, Kayali launched its tenth fragrance, Lovefest, designed to provide its wearers with a warm and loving aroma, according to Mona Kattan, founder of Kayali. The most notable aspect of the launch is that Lovefest is the brand’s first collaboration with Huda Beauty. Huda Beauty has done small collaborations with influencers, like Lotti Tomlinson on a set of false eyelashes, as well as subscription box Ipsy, but this is the first time it has done a full-fledged product assortment and marketing campaign with another brand. The fragrance features notes of burnt cherry, palo santo and raspberry. The rest of the assortment includes an eyeshadow palette, a blush, a mascara, an eyeliner and a lip gloss. Kayali, established in Nov. 2018, is under the Huda Beauty Group, which also operates makeup brand Huda Beauty and skin-care brand Wishful. All three brands are available for sale at HudaBeauty.com, and Lovefest is also available via Sephora, Harrods and other international retailers. In 2017, Huda Kattan, founder of Huda Beauty Group, sold an undisclosed minority stake in the company to private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners, which valued the company at $1.25 billion, according to PitchBook.
“Fragrance was the forgotten category before Covid-19. When it came to fragrances — brands, retailers, everybody was asleep,” said Mona Kattan. “Now, they’re finally waking up, and people are being pushed out of their comfort zone to do something more interesting. We’re a part of that movement, which I’m excited about.”
Since stores began to reopen in summer 2020 and in-person events and outings resumed shortly after, fragrance has rebounded. According to second quarter 2022 sales data from NPD Group, fragrance sales increased 13% year-over-year, to $1.5 billion. Part of the sales growth is due to general price increases, with the average price for fragrances increasing 6% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2022.
As the 4-year-old younger sister brand to Huda Beauty, Kayali is still in the nascent stages of creating a name for itself. When Kayali launched, its concept of fragrance layering was central to establishing a point of view and voice within the perfume category. So far, Kayali has expanded to hair mists, hand cream and dry body oil to further allow for fragrance layering. Mona Kattan said Kayali plans to add more body products and home fragrances to its assortment over the next two years. According to her, the collaboration with Huda Beauty came into play after the initial fragrance development, when she shared the finished version with Huda Kattan, her sister. At the time, the Dubai-based brands were still experiencing Covid-19 lockdowns, and Mona Kattan was inspired by the need for happiness, festivity and group events. From there, the brand collaboration began to unfold after Huda Kattan expressed enthusiasm for “bringing Lovefest to life,” she said. Kayali and Huda Beauty foresee collaborations as being core to their product development plans in the coming years. Kayali’s core customers are 18- to 44-years-old. Huda Beauty declined to share core customer demographics.
“Part of [the reason for small collabs] was a bandwidth issue because the team was so small, and we are very small. I don’t know yet if we can do [full-scale] collaborations, but it’s something we’re looking into exploring for 2023 and 2024,” said Huda Kattan. “Collaborations are complicated. With the Kayali [collaboration], Mona went and did whatever she wanted [with the fragrance] and it was a lot easier [than other collabs]. She did some of it, and then I finished it [with makeup products].”
Referring to Lovefest as a “bougie hippie,” Kattan said a Coachella-meets-Burning Man-style festival inspired the campaign. Elements of bling, mauve and burgundy colors are heavily featured in the campaign imagery. The campaign is predominantly being distributed across Instagram, including the Kayali and Huda Beauty brand accounts, where the brands have a collective 51.2 million followers.
“Kayali is much more than just another fragrance brand; I consider us a disruptor in the industry,” said Mona Kattan. “[Fragrance] is about ritual, not simply adding a perfume before you leave the house. It’s really for yourself.”
The benefits of launching first on the Sephora app
In late July, Herbivore strategically debuted its first-ever eye treatment, called Moon Dew, on Sephora’s app, ahead of launching it in Sephora stores. On July 21, mobile users who opened their Sephora app saw Moon Dew placed front and center on the homepage. Herbivore sold out of 1,000 units within three days, according to Betsy Han, head of brand marketing at Herbivore. The Sephora-exclusive brand paired the app launch with photos on its social channels of people before using the eye cream and 10 minutes after using the cream. Herbivore also has an influencer campaign where content creators are asked to show the effect of using the product both after 10 minutes and after four weeks, to show its longer-term results.
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