Beauty brand Elf has teamed up with teen retailer American Eagle to create a line of clothing-inspired cosmetics, marking the brand’s second collaboration with a fashion brand after partnering with designer Christian Siriano in 2018. According to Kory Marchisotto, Elf’s chief marketing officer and president, the success of previous collaborations with Gen-Z, the brand’s target audience, led them to American Eagle as their next partner. “Our audiences want to see more of our unique ability to translate other adjacent categories into the beauty space,” she said. “We’re number one with Gen-Z in beauty. They’re number one with Gen-Z in jeans.”
The Elf X American Eagle makeup collection consists of an eyeshadow palette, a lip balm, a clay mask, and a makeup bag, filled with nods to American Eagle’s apparel offerings. The palette includes 12 blue shades that are named for different jean styles, such as “Mom Jeans” and “Bell Bottoms.” The pH lip balm, meant to change colour as it activates with the consumer’s own personal pH, is a dark denim-blue. The clay mask is designed to be used on the face and butt while the makeup bag is made to look like a pair of the brand’s jeans. “It’s a curated wardrobe, a beautiful blend of all colours and unique shadow for everyday looks,” said Marchisotto. “Gen-Z likes to have a good time, and they like to experiment. So we wanted to bring forward both innovation and dynamism into both of our worlds.”
Marketing and Promotion
As is standard for the brand, Elf created a cheeky, social media-friendly campaign for the collaboration, centred around the slogan “Take a BE.l.f.ie,” — a butt selfie. Advertising assets will ask users to post a picture of their Elf X American Eagle makeup look alongside a ‘bE.l.f.ie’ in AE jeans. The brand is also rolling out a “Take a BE.l.f.ie” song and filter on TikTok and Instagram. The two brands are working with Carlacia Grant, an actress known for her role in the Netflix show, “Outer Banks,” and content creators like Jazmyn Smith, Alyssa Salazar and Denise Mercedes, to promote the collaboration on social media across platforms.
Cross-industry collaborations can be daunting, yet successful partnerships often open up new avenues for your brand. These alliances bring in more buzz and allow you to acquire a broader customer base while benefiting from the partner’s experience and reputation to tap into fresh markets. Despite an uncertain economic outlook, the beauty market remains a strong sector in the consumer market. Even when faced with increasing inflation in 2022, 70% of consumers maintained their usual beauty spending habits. This is testament to the sector’s resilience and ability to weather difficult economic times. Data from NPD and IRI via Circana’s consumer insights platform suggests this.
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Beyond the fashion industry, collaborations between different sectors are on the rise. Examples include Dr Barbara Sturm’s pairing with Aquazzura; Boy Smells and Ganni teaming up to deliver gender-neutral scents; and 111Skin venturing into the eyewear sector with its partnership with Linda Farrow. Last year in October, Saie, a clean beauty brand teamed up with Reformation to offer something unique and exciting. To top it off, in December they released their own red wine called Saie When made with the help of Jumbo Time Wines from Los Angeles.
Elf has a long history of launching creative collaborations; from Chipotle in 2021 to Dunkin’ Donuts in 2022. This time, the beauty brand is entering the fashion world and making its debut with an exciting collection. Kory Marchisotto, CMO of Elf Beauty, mentions that American Eagle and Elf are two well-liked brands amongst Gen Zers, though they operate in different areas.