Shaving company Harry’s Inc. is bringing on model Ashley Graham to create and sell a line of body hair removal kits, and the partnership shows how beauty companies are gravitating toward new business models for celebrity deals.
Under the agreement, Harry’s will share profit from the business with Graham, which will be sold under the company’s Flamingo label for women. She’s also involved in the creative and design process. Graham, who has been featured on the covers of Vogue and Elle, will appear in commercials for the brand as well.
The moves illustrate how companies are increasingly giving celebrities close financial and creative partnerships instead of merely signing them as endorsers or brand ambassadors who appear in ads.
“What we weren’t interested in doing is those standard celebrity endorsement deals,” said Allie Melnick, the general manager of Flamingo. “Ashley’s had a hand in every part.”
Deals between celebrities and beauty brands are proliferating as brands look to attract shoppers through established audiences. Elf Cosmetics, for instance, brought on Alicia Keys to start beauty brand Keys Soulcare last year.
The highest-profile partnerships have been between Coty Inc. and the Kardashian family, with the cosmetics company investing at least $800 million in Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian’s beauty operations. Jessica Alba’s Honest Company went a different route, raising more than $400 million in its recent IPO.
Harry’s has been looking to make its own deals after the Federal Trade Commission blocked a proposed sale to Schick owner Edgewell Personal Care, citing antitrust concerns. The company raised another $155 million recently.
Graham’s kits with Flamingo include body wax and shave sets and will be sold at Target Corp. stores and Flamingo’s website. Graham, who has worked to get the fashion and beauty industries to represent a broader range of female body types, hopes to de-stigmatize discussions about haircare for women’s bodies.
“We look at this from an angle of no shame,” Graham said in an interview. “It’s just something that people do.”
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