Feature for TUSH ONLINE
Ohii, the newest beauty brand on the market, has a sleek packaging that almost needs to be ‘grammed and features cool eyeshadow- and lip-colors in spot-on trend-shades – as if they were taken right from the runway. The textures are exciting; applying Lip Jelly makes you feel being one step ahead of all mass-market consumers. But, we’re sorry to say: this brand, as cool as it seems, is just as mainstream as a drugstore label. Ohii is crafted and sold by Urban Outfitters, a global fashion chain. You don’t have to rub off that jelly though,
Looking at this release, it’s clear that the masses are ready for “hip” aesthetics and special products. Maybe mainstream doesn’t mean boring anymore –
and the borders between mass and niche dissolve anyway.
One part is a modern packaging, another is the actual content. While there is no name (yet) to drop at Ohii, many big chains turn to beauty subculture’s darlings to seek creative input.
Isamaya Ffrench, one of the most progressive make-up-artists, was named global ambassador for H&M cosmetics just a few months ago. & Other Stories is working with Niche’s perfume hero Ben Gorham (creator of Byredo) on their scents from the brands beginning about four years ago. Coming back to the obvious: both beauty lines feature a Copenhagen-cool look throughout their whole range.
Thanks to these fashion big-players, modern make-up is now accessible to almost everyone. Prices range between 5 to 30 Euro, so they are affordable as well. But also easy to buy in stores and online, while smaller niche brands‘ distribution feels and is more limited. So not only an elite can curate a pretty and progressive beauty collection now – Cool has become democratic, so the good news.
On the other hand, style and product types often are very inspired by what smaller brands have created in the past. The credit for innovation can’t be given to the big players here. Apparently, this is how trends work many times – especially in fashion.
No wonder it’s mostly clothing companies seeing the potential in experimental products and edgy packaging, there is a history, in, let’s say, “inspiration”.
It seems logical to big companies to take note of smaller brands.
But it also takes courage to produce these often special products in high quantities and let creative minds, instead of long time collected consumer data, take over. The big beauty business can be conservative – breaking old rules is essential to form a modern brand. An openess is essential.
And as much as we love beauty that’s not sold by big chains (there are many reasons for supporting small labels) – we’ve to break a rule soemtimes to stay modern too. And enjoy a bit of mainstream. The Lip Jelly by Ohii just looks too appealing – in real life and on Instagram.