What is happening to Glossier, or the rise and fall of a beauty myth

What is happening to Glossier, or the rise and fall of a beauty myth

If independent beauty brands proliferate today and if their aesthetic is minimalist but cool, with just enough warm lights, pink packaging, femininism and essential fonts, much, indeed everything is due to Glossier. Brand founded in 2014, has its roots in social culture and is the result of the evolution of the relationship between the public and its founder Emily Weiss. Born in 1985, perfectly millennial, very young she has the intuition to break down the barriers between the consumer and the world of beauty: thanks to the various experiences in Condé Nast, she opens blog in 2010 Into The Gloss. Here you can exchange considerations and opinions on beauty products, without the prejudices that those interested in beauty want frivolous. The site is growing in popularity and Weiss is able to attract various celebrities to it, who share their beauty routine. The blog becomes a real phenomenon of custom, which reaches 10 million views per month and which sells the illusion that we are all the same, shortening the distance between us and the stars. Hence the decision to open Glossierthe skincare, make-up, body care and fragrance brand that perfectly sums up this philosophy and set the rules among the trends, becoming the model to aspire to for all those who come after.

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The extreme naturalness of both the packaging and the formulations, the light colors, the photography, the inspirational images, the aesthetics of the 10’s create the myth of beauty effortress which even today affects the beauty industry. Skin first, makeup second is her motto: no exaggerated makeup or visible aesthetic touch-ups, but perfect skin treated with a few products, a lot of brightness and just as much coolness combined with awareness: the cornerstones that we find in 2022 especially in new brands were invented eight years ago by Glossier. The prices are then designed to be democratic, ranging between 10 and 40 dollars: the freshness and the young and totally relaxed glamor are within everyone’s reach. Obviously, the direct line created with the blog, with consumers, first millennials and then Gen Z, does not stop and the brand becomes a legend. Outside the large-scale retail sector, in Italy it has never been available directly, helping to become a real object of desire by trend setters, influencers and beauty lovers.

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Where are we at 8 years after its foundation? Among all these new proposals, which are more or less freely inspired by Glossier, has the brand managed not to succumb and reinvent itself? Not exactly. The last two years have been difficult for all industries and for all realities, both small and large, the pandemic has hit hard and the brand has not been outdone, so much so that it may not even be able to withstand the blow. As reported by the platform Modern RetailOn January 26, the company sent 80 dismissal emails, or about a third of total employees. The letter read the words of the CEO and founder Weiss, who explained that they have been forced to separate from 80 members of their team due to some mistakes made in the last two years, noting how some parallel strategic projects have taken the focus off the main focus as well as having hired excess staff. This is the second round of layoffs after the one two years ago.

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The thing did not go unnoticed on Reddit, where several users have discussed what happened, talking about how this is the signal of the imminent fall of the beauty deity par excellence in the social era. The reason is that Glossier was unable to outdo himself, proposing new releases not up to par and also starting to sell bags, sweatshirts and caps, in fact leaving consumers very perplexed. To all this are added the serious accusations of discrimination against the company in 2020, a fact that caused very serious damage to the image for a brand that professes to be inclusive. A collective founded by former employees, who through social media has made public the racism constantly implemented in addition to inhumane working conditions. In such a delicate year where the pandemic has brought the decision to its knees close all physical stores it was inevitable: currently only Seattle, LA and London are operational.

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Despite the founder’s official apology, the brand never recovered. The generalized crisis, the lack of distribution all over the world by staying out of international retailers such as Sephora, the new fresher and more captivating proposals, an ever faster world of beauty have meant that today Glossier is no longer the absolute power it was a few years ago. One wonders if to save himself he will choose to become more and more exclusive or will open up to the global market, even if according to the people of Reddit, the avenue of the sunset is now on.

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