Ariana Grande launched her first fragrance – Ari by Ariana Grande – in 2015, closely followed by Sweet Like Candy 12 months later. The two juices reached number one and number two rankings in Priceline in less than two years and sold 220,000 units. By 2020, Grande’s global fragrance sales had reached US$500 million.

The platinum award-winning singer debuted her R.E.M. fragrance three years ago, named after her favourite song. She also entered into a licensing agreement with Forma Brands, the parent company of Morphe and Lipstick Queen, to develop and market her celebrity r.e.m. Beauty makeup line.

Available through its own DTC website, Ulta Beauty in the US, Selfridges in the UK and Sephora in Europe, r.e.m. Beauty has become a major hit. But Forma Brands filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US in January and the superstar entered into an agreement to buy back the brand for US$15 million

Following the success of Grande’s fragrances in Australia, many fans are asking when r.e.m. Beauty will launch here. An answer could be on its way.

Last week, r.e.m. beauty announced it has received undisclosed funding from a group of investors led by Sandbridge Capital. A partnership that will fast-track its global potential through product innovation, talent acquisition, and geographic expansion to support the brand’s surging global demand according to both parties.

The involvement of Sandbridge Capital is significant. The investor specialises in high growth, medium-sized companies and has a major interest in beauty. Previous and current investments in the sector include Ilia, the clean beauty brand available at Mecca, U Beauty, the British skincare brand stocked by David Jones, and actress Michelle Pfeiffer’s Henry Rose fragrance line. The investment in Henry Rose was announced in early May and Sandbridge has quickly followed up with the r.e.m. Beauty deal.

Sandbridge also invested in Youth to the People, the vegan US skincare brand acquired by L’Oréal in 2021.

In another forward-looking move, Michelle Shigemasa was recently appointed CEO of r.e.m. Beauty. The beauty industry veteran’s resume includes 13 years at Estée Lauder’s Smashbox and four years as the CEO of Murad.

The Sandbridge investment will support global expansion into meaningful geographies – key markets wherever there’s strong demand for the product, said Shigemasa. “Ariana herself resonates in Asia, as an example. We’re going to look at this in a very bespoke way – where there’s a huge following of Ariana generally.

“R.e.m. Beauty has earned the trust of the beauty community and consumers alike by creating an impressive best-in-class line of products inspired by Ariana’s compelling mission-driven brand vision,” noted Ken Suslow, Sandbridge Capital founder and managing partner. “We are thrilled to come together with Ariana and her stellar r.e.m. team in support of the brand’s strong growth trajectory through our global industry network and brand building expertise.” 

Grande herself has told fans that the investment marks a new era for the r.e.m Beauty brand. “The next chapter could not be more exciting, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what is yet to come,” she adds.

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