Beauty Store Business

AUG 2017

Beauty Store Business provides solutions for better retailing! New products, industry news, savvy business moves and important trends affecting both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are included in each issue.

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78 August 2017 | Courtesy of Urban Decay A brand that's as outspoken and bold as its colors, Urban Decay has been shaking up the industry for two decades. By Karen Wilhelmsen C onsumers in today's color cosmetic-obsessed market have access to an endless array of lipsticks and eyeshadows that come in every color known to man. But such was not the case for beauty junkies of the 1990s, a time when store shelves were primarily stocked with a sea of pink, red and beige hues—that is, until the brand Urban Decay came along. Founded in 1996, Urban Decay debuted with 22 SKUs, 10 lipsticks and 12 nail enamels. Featuring unique colors with edgy names like Roach, Oil Slick, Smog and Acid Rain, the brand touted itself, and still does, for catering to the consumer who is not afraid to stand out in a crowd. Though this is nothing new in today's vast and varied world, the industry had a radically different landscape two decades ago, and Urban Decay's empowering message of daring self-expression resonated with makeup lovers everywhere. "Urban Decay came about during the grunge era of the mid '90s," founding partner and chief creative officer Wende Zomnir says of the once-indie brand acquired by L'Oréal for an estimated $350 million in 2012. "We were inspired by the urban landscape that surrounded us; it was all about finding beauty in things that were unconventionally beautiful, like the iridescent rainbow found in an oil slick. We were of the idea that there are a lot of other ways to be beautiful instead of subjecting yourself to stereotypes. Life is too short, wear blue lipstick! You don't have to be afraid of anything you can wash off." Here we take a look at how a brand with humble beginnings morphed into the cult-favorite industry behemoth fans know and love today. Wende Zomnir

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