Luxury face oil company Rodin Olio Lusso is implementing a new collaboration model. The beauty brand, which was acquired by Estée Lauder Companies in 2014, has released a collection of limited-edition lipsticks and lip and cheek oils designed and curated by Vanessa Traina, executive creative director of Assembled Brands and its lifestyle store, The Line.
The collaboration marks a new test bed for Rodin Olio Lusso, which had its founder Linda Rodin, a stylist who started the brand in 2007, leave as creative director in October last year. “The brand is still tiny, but has so much opportunity,” said John Demsey, executive group president of the Estée Lauder Companies, who declined to disclose revenue figures. “Working with Vanessa, someone who is highly influential, is a way to tap into something new and slightly different through her audience and reach, but remain true to what Linda created.” The capsule line will sell at speciality retail stores and on RodinOlioLusso.com for six months.
This marks the first beauty collaboration for Traina, who has carried Rodin Olio Lusso in her store, The Line, since its launch in 2013. All of the lipsticks and lip and cheek oil products are infused with Rodin’s signature Jasmine & Neroli Oil and are meant to be used on the go, said Traina.
Though this project was one outside of her The Line or Assembled Brands responsibilities, the collaboration will be sold at The Line stores and The Line.com.
Currently, lip color products for Rodin Olio Lusso account for 20 percent of total business, while its hero product oils account for 50 percent, so the new color products have significant growth potential for the brand.
Demsey likened Rodin Olio Lusso, which is currently only sold in the U.S. and the U.K. on its own site and through retailers like Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus, to fellow Estée Lauder brand La Mer. “Rodin has a strong skin-care story with a very affluent, in-the-know customer very much like La Mer,” he said. La Mer, which debuted in 1965 with its hero product Crème de La Mer was acquired by its parent company in 1995. In August — 23 years since its acquisition — Estée Lauder reported in its fourth quarter results that La Mer became the fourth brand in its portfolio to hit the $1 billion in net sales mark.
Not only is Rodin Olio Lusso like La Mer in that it is a skin care company first and launched with a hero product assortment (in this case, it was face and body oils), it primarily serves an affluent client, ages 25 to 34, and from cities like New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and London. Traina’s lipsticks and lip and cheek oils are $38, and the signature face oils range from $89 to $170.
Still, the new lineup is meant to attract new customers and potentially test Rodin Olio Lusso’s reach outside the U.S. and the U.K., said Demsey. He added that the beauty brand is using Traina’s Instagram platform as its primary activation tool — Traina has a following of over 51,000 followers on the platform, whereas Rodin has about 19,000 followers. In a way, Traina’s collection follows what the beauty brand did with artist and Instagram influencer Donald Robertson — though the former is also an Estée Lauder creative director — with its Mermaid collection of skin illuminators that launched in May 2018. Robertson has 206,000 followers on Instagram were it was primarily promoted, and 90 percent of the customers purchasing his curated products on RodinOlioLusso.com were new, according to the brand.
“It’s very much about using these people’s audiences as a way for Rodin to grow,” said Demsey. “Vanessa isn’t a YouTube star, but what her followers love about her is that she doesn’t have to be.”