Last week, in what was otherwise just the best Supreme drop in three to four seasons, a quiet coup took place. Amongst the Mortal Kombat collab, the Colgate collab, and the Jacob & Co. collab, a red lipstick design made in collaboration with beauty legend Pat McGrath was quietly the most genre-bending item of the lot. Perhaps just a riff on Supreme’s lipstick red logo, but it was also a sign that the beauty industry is fully crossing the Rubicon into hype culture.
(Interestingly, the drop also arrived during a week filled with racism and transphobia allegations at the unicorn beauty startup Glossier, a brand that we and others have described as the Supreme of beauty products.)
To make matters more interesting, in a sleepy announcement made on WWD today, Byredo has announced that it will now be rolling out its first beauty line. The release of products has been created in collaboration with Isamaya Ffrench, the acclaimed makeup artist responsible for Rihanna’s face tattoo on the cover of UK Vogue this year, as well as the brainchild behind Dazed’s highly Gen-Z beauty vertical.
Although Byredo’s entry into the beauty space does not signal that fashion heads globally are going to be matching their eyeliner to their Chicago 1s, the fact that the most cutting edge and streetwear-philic of all fragrance brands is throwing their hat into the beauty ring is indicative of a sea change.
For the past two decades, the luxury fashion industry has expanded itself by turning the untapped demographic of men under 35 into arguably its most loud and active cohort of consumers. And with the equally behemoth beauty industry standing on the sidelines licking its chops, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before we’ll find ourselves refreshing our browser to cop the new Palace tinted moisturizer.
Because while the beauty industry has its own cadre of legacy brands, our research on cultural credibility shows that the way into the hearts and minds of the new luxury cohort is through the pioneering figures these consumers trust, as well as through the brands they have come to follow. So while the old school menswear-ification of beauty looks more like X-Brand For Men, the new playbook will more likely arrive through more of a Trojan Horse technique, one where beauty products will come to make splash after splash in the product lines of brands that capture the heat of this new frontier of consumers.
So this is all to let you know that the beauty industry is continuing its process of fuccboi-ification, we are watching closely, and we are very much here for it.