Toni Ko, well known for launching NYX Professional Makeup in 1999 and leading the high-growth brand until 2014 when L’Oréal acquired it for $500m, founded Bespoke Beauty Brands in 2019.
Jason Wu Beauty will be the second brand to come out of BBB. In October of last year, the accelerator launched KimChi_Chic Beauty, in partnership with Kim Chi, the performer and Instagram personality perhaps best known as a finalist on Season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
KimChi_Chic Beauty is also an affordable color cosmetics brand and it’s grown into quite an extensive collection, including complexion and contouring products, rice-based setting powder, liquid and glitter eyeshadows as well as eyeshadow palettes, lip glosses, and more.
The collection is colorful and branded to coordinate with Kim Chi’s persona but also has packaging deco designed by Harry Hambley, creator of the Ketnipz cartoon (Ketnipz has its own impressive follower count on IG: 1.9m).
“Bringing @KimChi_Chic and Ketnipz together was a natural fit,” explained Ko at the time of the brand’s launch. “They both embody creativity, inclusiveness, positivity and self-acceptance. I wanted this collection to represent the same ideals,” she said.
Kim Chi described the sensibility of the brand this way: “There’s no standard when it comes to who, what, when, where or how you apply your makeup. Our only rule is to have fun, and add color to the rainbow of your life. Unleash your inner beauty!”
Jason Wu makeup brand will launch in January 2021
The forthcoming brand from BBB is on track to similarly reflect the persona of Wu.
“I wanted to launch Jason Wu Beauty because I am literally obsessed with beauty! When I launched my first fragrance, I had in my mind this dream to create Jason Wu Beauty as an exclamation point to everything that I love,” says the designer in today’s media release about the brand.
And he goes on, adding that, “It is thrilling to imagine the Jason Wu woman being able to find cosmetics that speak to her desire for products that are considered, of the highest quality, and complement the refined femininity in my clothes. These are hallmarks of my brand and I really wanted to explore what that could mean for her in the beauty space.”
While Ko’s remarks explain the decision to situate Jason Wu Beauty in the mass-market: “Functional makeup,” she says, “doesn’t have to be expensive. I believe every consumer should have access to high-quality cosmetics that will make them look and feel their best, while being good to their skin.”
The brand will launch on January 17 with a collection of makeup and skin care products all priced under $25.