What’s Next: Niche multicultural brands make inroads

In the race to win the business of millennial consumers, the personalized shopping experience is the name of the game. People of color continue to grow as a consumer group, and Cosmoprof has been an industry leader in recognizing and expanding the beauty services and offerings available to this demographic. 
 
Daniela Ciocan, marketing director for Cosmoprof North America, introduced a special segment to the 2015 show called Tones of Beauty specifically to showcase up-and-coming niche multicultural brands. According to Ciocan, "there is a population shift whereby there is an increase in consumer demand seeking innovative, problem-solving solutions for their polyethnic needs. We recognized that no one was cohesively speaking to this segment within a trade show environment and felt it necessary to introduce Tones of Beauty.”
 
Ciocan needed someone with their finger on the pulse of the business of ethnic beauty to bring her vision for Tones of Beauty to the show floor, and she called on longtime colleague Corey Huggins whom she met during his time at Glossy Box. Huggins is the founder of love, Aunt Bonnie – a business dedicated to building a “beauty bridge” for brands seeking a connection to the black and brown market. It features a curated subscription box designed to bring unique, luxury ethnic beauty to the marketplace. Huggins had the savvy and foresight to build a comprehensive brand that didn’t stop at black hair care, but would span a range that included fragrance, skin care and color cosmetics.
 
Huggins filed through his lengthy contact list of ethnic beauty brands and cherry picked eleven to participate in the show. He looked for brands that had a story to tell as well as a great aesthetic and that came from a unique angle. For example, Lamik – Love and Makeup in Kindness – is an eco-chic line designed to simplify beauty for the average woman, while revealing her personal beauty. He also chose Design Essentials, a brand that has evolved over 25 years from hair relaxers to catering to the natural hair community. 
 
The endeavor was a huge success and resulted in explosive growth for each of the participating brands. Tones of Beauty is even returning for the 2016 show. Huggins is excited about what has unfolded. “All of my brands, every single one got distribution. They all picked up additional press, partnerships, even investor money.”
 
A few of the success stories were:
  • Earth’s Nectar – This skin and hair care line has partnered with Nordstrom and HauteLook.com, as well as expanded their presence at Sephora.
  • CLIQUE by Roble – The showcase allowed them to cross over and speak to a wider audience. They have expanded to an international audience by partnering with the Luxess Group of Germany.
  • My Skin – This brand has found new inroads to the industry, accessing key players from both blogging and retail stores.
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