THIS STORY IS EMBARGOED UNTIL 10:00 AM NY TIME.
LONDON – Victoria Beckham Beauty is headed to China, with plans to launch a flagship store on Alibaba’s Tmall Global and to telegraph its “clean beauty” message to a fast-growing market for skincare and color cosmetics.
“You can’t be a successful global brand without a solid China business — it’s just not possible these days,” said Sarah Creal, co-founder and chief executive officer of Victoria Beckham Beauty. “When we began to think about expanding to China, we knew that we wanted to partner with Tmall Global because it represents the best. It’s the top in luxury beauty in China. This is the next key step to our growth strategy.”
Beckham herself will be leading the marketing efforts via a livestream Q&A session today with Viya, one of China’s biggest influencers.
Beckham, the brand’s co-founder and creative director, said she wanted to share her “clean beauty vision with millions of new customers,” and added that Chinese women are among “the most well-informed beauty shoppers in the world.”
The livestream will feature an exclusive offer on the new Power Glow Set, one of the exclusives created for the launch. It includes the brand’s Cell Rejuvenating Power Serum and the Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer. It also plans to introduce its Lid Lustre powder eyeshadow pigment in Blonde and Mink shades to Chinese consumers.
The brand said the eyeshadows “wear well in even the most humid environments.”
Creal said the livestream element was essential to the launch.
“It’s an amazing, blow-your-mind trend. The livestreaming phenomenon is indicative of the pace of development and innovation coming out of China. On the practical side, it promotes education and gives brands a way to inform consumers about products. It’s also riveting entertainment that creates a great deal of engagement and excitement about products.”
She added that livestreaming had been a key part of Alibaba’s 6.18 post-pandemic shopping event earlier this year, because “consumers need to see people interacting with products in 3-D, and to experience them through demonstrations. Brands are learning that interactions with customers need to be done through as many means as possible digitally, including livestreaming, online chat and online advisory.”
Beckham and Creal launched Victoria Beckham Beauty last September, and made “clean,” high-performance products a priority. They began by working with Professor Augustinus Bader, one of the world’s leading stem-cell scientists, who has spent 30 years researching the body’s regenerative processes.
The brand said its product formulas incorporate technology developed by Bader as well as potent, active ingredients.
Creal said she believes that in China there is an “increasing awareness of clean beauty products and why they are different. We know that environmental concerns and ethical sourcing of raw materials and ingredients will also become more important to Chinese consumers over time as brands continue to share information about their products.”
The brand, she added, is working on specific plans with Beckham related to Singles’ Day in November, and other projects for Queens’ Day, a shopping event around female empowerment and pampering in March 2021.
“No market moves faster than China – things that worked for brands even six months ago will not work today. We know we must stay nimble and constantly learn, then formulate our plans accordingly,” Creal added. “We’re hoping that Victoria will be able to be on the ground in China at some point in the future, and we’re both absolutely committed to developing our business in China, and to understanding the Chinese consumer better. Our partnership with Tmall Global will be key to both.”
Tmall Global, which launched in 2014, is Alibaba’s dedicated channel for cross-border e-commerce, and looks to allow brands and retailers without operations in China to build virtual storefronts and ship products into China. Tmall Global said it helps to connect more than 25,000 brands from 92 countries and regions with consumers across Alibaba’s platforms.
The platform will undoubtedly get a boost in the coming months, given the Chinese government’s efforts to relax demands for animal testing of imported beauty and skincare products. Last week, Unilever’s ceo Alan Jope said he was eager to take the consumer giant’s premium portfolio of beauty brands into China.
Last September, as the first beauty products were launching, Beckham said developing the line was like “giving birth to my fifth child. This really is a dream come true for me.” She said she developed products “that I want in my makeup bag, and I think the packaging is beautiful.”
Victoria Beckham Beauty endeavors to use the smallest amount of plastic possible in a bid to be environmentally-friendly. It also bills itself as cruelty-free, offering a range of “high-performing formulas and beauty essentials” with “clean” ingredients.
The brand said it provides full transparency on each ingredient used, and what role it plays for each product. The brand also clarifies which products are vegan-friendly and shares its product development philosophy and approach to ingredient selection.
The secondary packaging comes from 100 percent post-consumer waste, while the shipping materials are recyclable or biodegradable. Beckham said products are wrapped in a protective packaging that can then be dissolved under the bathroom tap, while each order is delivered in a reusable canvas pouch.