WWD: American Eagle and E.l.f. Cosmetics Collaborate on Denim-Inspired Beauty Collection

By: Kristopher Fraser | Link to article

Two of Gen Z‘s favorite brands have teamed on a collection for denim and beauty lovers. American Eagle Outfitters and E.l.f. Cosmetics are launching unique makeup products with denim-inspired packaging.

When E.l.f. chief marketing officer Kory Marchisotto and American Eagle chief marketing officer Craig Brommers met more than two years ago, they instantly clicked.

“We quickly recognized the kindred spirits our brands shared and we shared as marketing officers,” Marchisotto said. “If you look at what both E.l.f. and American Eagle are capable of, we both shape youth culture and create endless opportunities for self-expression through personal style and color, whether it’s makeup at E.l.f. or clothes at American Eagle. Bringing our brands together was not only magic for our respective communities, but also a reflection of our combined vision or the best in denim, the bets in beauty and the best in culture.”

Brommers was excited at the prospect of collaborating with E.l.f. because he felt no other brand has done collaborations quite like they have in the past few years, especially in the cosmetics industry — this is American Eagle’s very first beauty collaboration.

Still Life Group Shot of Denim Daze Eyeshadow Palette (81693), Perfect Phit Lip Balm (81695), & Get Cheeky Clay Mask (81694)
Still Life Group Shot of Denim Daze eye shadow palette, Perfect pHIT lip balm and Get Cheeky clay mask. ALEX BOHN

Items offered in the collection include the Denim Daze eye shadow palette, the Perfect pHIT Lip Balm, the Get Cheeky clay mask and the Eyes Lips Jeans makeup bag. Marchisotto and Brommers are particularly proud of the makeup bag as it is a cosmetics pouch made from actual American Eagle jeans. Details of the makeup bag include pockets, jean flies and button closures, giving the true impression of being a pair of reworked jeans. Price points for the collection range from $8 to $24.

While the denim for the bag itself isn’t repurposed, Brommers said the denim used is still in line with American Eagle’s commitment to sustainability. In 2019, American Eagle laid out sustainability goals for 2023, including committing to recycling half of the water in its laundries, reducing water usage by 30 percent in its jeans, removing hazardous chemicals from wastewater, ensuring all cotton is sustainably sourced and recycling bras and jeans in stores.

“This was a perfect marriage of our two teams coming together,” Brommers said. “We brought our two superhero product development teams together, and they had an incredible brainstorming session to try and understand each other’s brands. Both teams stopped to think about what our customers want to see from us and what we are known for. Both American Eagle and E.l.f. used their innovative capabilities to custom this collaboration and bring together the beauty audience and iconic parts of the American Eagle brand.”

The launch of the products is supported by a “selfie to belfie” campaign in honor of the Get Cheeky clay mask, which is ideal for the face and butt. The campaign will include a specially penned song, a belfie kit and an invitation to post selfies and belfies on social media.

Both companies’ business strategies are proving to be successful among Gen Z. Earlier this month, American Eagle topped profit growth estimates. According to investment banking company Piper Sandler’s annual Gen Z survey of 14,500 U.S. teens, E.l.f. was the number-one makeup brand among the demographic.

“I think the reason E.l.f. has been able to propel itself among Gen Z is because we’re unafraid to take strong positions that Gen Z really cares about,” Marchisotto said. “One of the things we found is this generation wants to know who our CEO is. They want to know who our executive staff is. They really want to know what this company is they are buying from because they see shopping as a mirror image of their values. This generation wants to change the future every purchase they make.”

“Gen Z really wants that engage with brands that start with the mindset that they are a blank canvas,” Brommers said. “Gen Z wants to build themselves through individual expression at a moment in time. Both E.l.f. and American Eagle represent inclusivity, they represent individuality and they let customers engage with whoever they want to be. That’s why Gen Z loves us.”

The E.l.f. Cosmetics and American Eagle collection officially launches Thursday at 9 a.m. EST on elfcosmetics.com, ae.com and at American Eagle flagships.