Rhode by Hailey Bieber – Exclusive Interview, What to Know – WWD

Rhode by Hailey Bieber – Exclusive Interview, What to Know – WWD

It’s Rhode’s world, and we’re all living in it.

Hailey Bieber launched her beauty brand, Rhode, directly on her website on June 15th with a reduced assortment of five units in stock. Already, however, she is thinking big picture.

“The vision for me from the beginning was Rhode’s world,” Bieber told WWD. “I see Rhode as more than a beauty brand, I see it more as a platform.”

Bieber is starting small with the launch of the brand, including a serum, a moisturizer and three lip balms, with future product launches planned to expand the lineup.

All starter products are vegan, cruelty-free and gluten-free, and cost less than $30. Bieber designed the line to be focused on the essentials. “My philosophy for the brand, and the ethos for me, is to make everything really good – it’s those staple products that you keep coming back to. It’s also my philosophy when it comes to organizing my wardrobe: the perfect jeans, that really good tee,” she said.

While her vision for Rhode was clear, she also knew her own limitations. “I have vision, I have ideas and I’m creative, but I’m not a chemist or a dermatologist,” she said. “The team did a good job of handling my crazy midnight messages.”

To that end, Rhode hired cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson, founder and CEO of BeautyStat, as his resident chemist, and Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali serves as the brand’s resident dermatologist.

Both had a heavy hand in the formulation of the product. “When we were developing the formulas, the labs were saying they were $100 formulas, but that’s exactly what we’re trying not to do,” Bieber said. “Expensive skin care formulas must be affordable.”

She might not know how to handle herself in a lab, but Bieber was still very much engaged in the process. “During the pandemic, I really dove into the products and ingredients that I know and really love, and learned why they work so well,” she said. “It wouldn’t make sense to me if I said I was launching with 14 eyeliners. It’s not my thing, it’s products I use daily.”

With that in mind, though, the brand doesn’t limit itself to specific categories for expansion. “If I went the any color route, it would be very stripped down, like a colored lip balm,” she said, adding that hair care can also make sense eventually. “I just wanted a brand that could take my aesthetic, my knowledge of the ingredients I love, and do that for everyone.”

This aesthetic defined every step of brand building, from matte gray packaging to marketing. “The effectiveness of the formula is the number one thing, and then it’s about the vibe, the aesthetics, the packaging, the bottles. It’s very curated, very edited, minimal, stripped down,” she said.

The brand is not following the traditionally aggressive go-to-market strategies that other celebrity brands have. On June 1, Kim Kardashian announced that her new brand, Skkn by Kim, would hit the market with nine units of stock; earlier, Lady Gaga’s Haus Labs was relaunched with plans to release over 100 skus in 2022. The latter has also partnered with Sephora, but Bieber wants to own his vision – and his client – before exploring retail partnerships.

“I spoke to a retailer early on and I don’t want to be in a position where someone tells me what to do with my vision. I have lent my name and face to many brands, spent my time doing it and will continue to do so. But this being my baby, I don’t want people to come and tell me I have to do something. I want to be able to maintain as much creative control as possible,” she said.

Although Bieber said the route presented challenges, she wanted to be in the brand’s driver’s seat and start from scratch. “I chose the path from scratch,” she said. “I am the majority owner of this brand, I put more [of the] money for this brand myself. There’s no reason for me to cut corners. I won’t, and I didn’t with these products.”

Part of the brand’s communication strategy will include content geared towards YouTube with content on Bieber’s channel, launched in 2020.

“We took a quality TV approach to YouTube to make it a place where she could showcase her personality,” said Michael D. Ratner, founding partner and board member at Rhode, who also oversees content production as founder. , president and chief executive of OBB Media. “But the beauty of how we are approaching this is that there is no over-planning. The YouTube channel will not magically become Rhode’s YouTube channel.”

For more information from WWD.com, see:

Kim Kardashian launches SKKN by Kim Skin Care Line

Can celebrity skin care go far?

Hailey Bieber shows off new designs from Tiffany & Co. in the first advertising campaign for the jewelry store

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