Fast fashion brands started to see the potential of branching into beauty about 10 years ago. The reasons? Better profit margins and stronger customer retention.

US and European companies such as Forever 21, H&M, Topshop and Boohoo have tossed their hats into the mass beauty ring – with partial or full cosmetics ranges.

Zara, the giant of the fast fashion space, tentatively dipped its toe in the beauty market with a limited makeup range sold exclusively online as part of its Autumn/Winter 2018 Zara Woman campaign.

The company’s major foray into the diffusion business was fragrance. Zara launched its first fragrance in 1999 in collaboration with Puig. Some of the world’s greatest perfumers have worked on more than 600 Zara-badged fragrances to date, including Alberto Morillas, Carlos Benaim, Nathalie Lorson and Fabrice Pellegrin.

In late 2020, a new global fragrance collection with Jo Malone made its debut. Dubbed the Zara Emotions Collection by Jo Loves, the eight reasonably priced juices compared very favourably with their designer counterparts.

Cosmetics are a natural upsell to fashion purchases and have the added benefit of not taking up a lot of space. So Zara has decided to go all out  with its first comprehensive beauty collection to launch online and in select stores worldwide on May 12.

The first markets slated for the online roll-out this week are Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, South Korea, the US, Canada and various European countries.

In-store availability for the Zara Beauty lineup is even more exclusive with only 22 stores worldwide making the cut, including Melbourne’s Chadstone store, London’s Bond Street, China’s Wangfujing street and Nanjing Road outlets, Tokyo’s Musashino branch and the Kangnam Minseoul shop in Seoul.

The multinational tapped Diane Kendal, the world-renowned makeup artist and Marc Jacobs Beauty consultant, to help create the new range. It’s an expansive array, she says, and leading international creative talents such as Steven Meisel, Fabien Baron, Marilyn Minter and Oliver Hadlee Pearch are behind the exciting imagery of the launch campaign.

Zara Beauty’s tagline is – “There is no beauty; only beauties.” There’s plenty to back up the claim with over 130 colours, adds Kendal. Highlights include six lip products, six-shade eyeshadow palettes, shadow duos, a matte black eyeliner. bronzer, blush palettes, highlighter, 39 nail polishes and six makeup brushes.

Sustainability is high on the agenda and Zara Beauty’s packaging has been designed for re-use and re-fill and incorporates recycled glass.

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