Patrick Starrr wants to bring “all-encompassing diversity” to the beauty industry.
Since Jan. 1, the Filipino beauty influencer has been asking his 4.6 million Instagram followers and 4.4 million YouTube subscribers to film themselves saying the following phrase: “Makeup is a one size fits all.”
The “ultimate gag,” Starrr said, is that phrase is the messaging for One/Size, his first cosmetics company and joint venture with Luxury Brand Partners. One/Size will debut at Sephora online on July 17 and in stores on July 30. Starrr will reveal the initial product offering and pricing via social media.
In the seven years since he uploaded his first YouTube video, Starrr has become one of the leading voices in the beauty influencer industry. He paired with MAC Cosmetics in 2017 for a product collaboration that industry sources estimated would surpass $25 million in sales. The one-off collaboration led to more, and Starrr eventually turned one of the subsequent collections into a music video, “Got the Glam.”
One/Size incorporates Starrr’s signature “kitsch and class” style, and is a celebration of “the drag queens, the LGBTQ+, my trans brothers and sisters,” he said.
The branding is bold and dramatic: “I’m a drama queen — in the right way.”
“My identity as Patrick Starrr is extraordinary performance,” said Starrr, whose real name is Patrick Simondac. “It’s a performance art — that’s what I do as a YouTuber. My products [are] fashion meeting function. I dress like this to get noticed, I wear so much makeup to get noticed. What can I do that’s gonna get noticed but perform to the highest level when it comes to consumers and my audience investing their money in me and the brand.”
Starrr built One/Size in partnership with Luxury Brand Partners, the incubator behind established beauty brands such as Oribe, which sold to Kao in 2017 for about $400 million. LBP is said to have invested $10 million in One/Size — an amount that is believed to be at least three times what LBP usually invests.
In an interview with WWD, LBP chief executive officer Tevya Finger said he was moved by Starrr’s “highly inclusive nature” and his videos, which Finger described as “full-blown productions.”
“When he says being the voice for the people who have no voice, it’s really true,” Finger said of Starrr.
Bob DeBaker, group president, said Starrr is “a business guy” who has emphasized social media savvy while hiring for the One/Size team.
One/Size has been in the works for a couple of years, but as its launch date approached, the unforeseen coronavirus pandemic demanded a remote way of working that LBP had not previously experienced. LBP and One/Size’s teams have not been in the same room together since the end of February.
“Every brand we’ve ever launched at LBP, you’re physically sitting with the artist and they’re coming to your office and touching stuff and there’s a lot of people around,” Finger said. “Imagine launching a brand over this computer. It’s fascinating that can even happen.”
With One/Size, LBP grows its makeup portfolio, which includes Smith & Cult.
“Makeup is quite a cluttered field,” Finger said. “To me, [Starrr] really is different and unique and special. Normally I’d shy away because there’s too many fish in the pond.”
One/Size will be exclusively sold at Sephora and be available in all of the retailer’s North American doors — 445 in the U.S. and 78 in Canada — and will be in Sephora’s newly launched Instagram storefront.
Sephora’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer Artemis Patrick said the retailer was keen on launching Starrr’s brand because its customers favor brands with a “strong sense of purpose.”
“We don’t just take a brand on for the sake of it, we are truly invested in brands’ and founders’ success,” Patrick said.
Sephora has reopened about 90 percent of its doors after closing them due to COVID-19 mandates.
“Our number-one priority has been safety,” Patrick said. “While the experience in-store may feel different, with testers for display only in most stores or even removed to comply with local ordinance and our in-store services suspended for now, our beauty advisors are there to assist and our clients can still leverage a suite of digital tools that we have.”
Starrr, who built his brand through content creation and managing emerging influencers through his agency The Beauty Coop, said he built One/Size to be a “social-first” beauty brand.
“I wanted to create a visual, sensorial experience when it came to creating the product,” he said. “Patrick Starrr is digitally native. It was already second nature to amplify social-first experiences.”
He hopes through One/Size to “make a shift in beauty,” naming diversity as one of the brand’s core tenets.
“One/Size is diversity, variety, for everyone,” Starrr said. “This is an overweight, bald, Asian American man. But I’ve somehow been able to break through the glass ceiling to be celebrated. It is all-encompassing diversity and I think that is gonna be something special to LBP and Sephora.
“Our brand is hot, it’s love, this brand is a love letter to my community,” he continued. “They’re gonna see that sign, sealed and delivered from product to personification to performance. Even behind the scenes, who we are. It already was second nature.”
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