Markwins Beauty Brands acquired LORAC in 2018. In fact, “much of Markwin’s growth over the years has come by acquisition,” as Cosmetics Design reported at the time of the LORAC deal. “In 2003 the company picked up AM Cosmetics, in 2012 Physicians Formula, and in 2015 the Bonne Bell and Lip Smacker brands.”
The color cosmetics brand LORAC was founded in 1995 by Carol Shaw to be a brand for professional makeup artists (MUAs) but has shifted over the years away from being a pro brand. Part of Markwins strategy for LORAC is to reinvigorate the brand for the MUA community.
LORAC pivots to be an MUA brand again
“When we acquired LORAC last year, it wasn't to be a niche player, but to make a global impact on the business,” explains Stefano Curti, global president of Markwins Beauty Brands, in the company’s recent media release.
“We have seen a return to craftsmanship in food, fragrance and skincare – similarly, the working artist community are the artisans of makeup and they helped to build this brand at its inception. We are beyond excited to re-engage this community in LORAC's next chapter,” he tells the press.
As part of this strategy, LORAC has hired MUA Kelsey Deenihan as its first artistry advisor. “LORAC is one of those brands that you reference all the time and wonder whatever happened,” says Deenihan referencing conversation in the MUA community, where innovative brands often come and go.
“To be in the position to help bring it back to life in a way that brings light to the working artist community while paying homage to the OG Artist brand is basically the dream job,” she says. “I could not be more grateful for the chance to make a major impact on this industry and for the people who love it as much as I do.”
Growing the LORAC brand beyond the US
This year Markwins is taking the LORAC brand into Canada with a fall launch in retail pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart. (Shoppers Drug Mart does business throughout Canada, in 9 provinces and 2 territories; and has over 1,300 doors.) This will be the first time LORAC is sold beyond the US.
The company will also begin selling to consumers in China this year. That initiative will be ecommerce only, according to the Markwins’ media release.
And there are plans to expand the brand in the domestic market as well: “Continuing through 2020, global expansion will evolve with strategic e-commerce and retail partnerships in targeted markets,” states the release. “On the local front, prestige partners such as Macy's and Nordstrom have taken note of the new direction and will begin carrying the brand as well.”
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.