The Glossy 50 celebrates individual changemakers. They include executives who took their companies into new, competitive categories, industry newcomers who disrupted age-old processes, dealmakers who led groundbreaking partnerships and creatives whose work managed to cut through the noise. More from the series →
The Leaders: These founders and CEOs are taking their influential brands into the next phase of growth.
When Glossier founder Emily Weiss stepped down as the company’s CEO in May 2022, beauty insiders and beyond wanted to know what was next for the brand that put “no-makeup makeup” and millennial pink on the map. Would it be able to rebuild the cool factor it had around its launch in 2014? In the past year, under the new leadership of Nike and Cole Haan veteran Kyle Leahy, the answer has proven yes.
Since Leahy took the helm, Glossier has sped up the cadence of its new launches — now every 4-6 weeks, versus 10 weeks. In addition, it’s embarked on its first national college tour, launched a foundation through a second partnership with the WNBA, reopened its SoHo flagship, and most notably, shifted from selling solely direct-to-consumer to leveraging Sephora as a sales channel starting in February. It is on track to reach $100 million in sales in its first year at Sephora. According to industry estimates, Glossier’s total sales will reach $275 million this year, as reported by WWD. Its total sales are up 73% year-over-year, marking its second consecutive year of growth.
Leahy said customer demand drove the move into Sephora. “We were the top-searched brand on Sephora and, before launch, it was the No. 1 thing we heard from our customers: ‘When can I find you in Sephora?’ We’ve always been a company that listens to our community and our customers,” she said, adding that Sephora allows more customers to “touch, feel, experience and try our products.”
Glossier’s perfume, “You,” has continued to be a bestseller, with a bottle selling every 40 seconds. It’s now the top-selling fragrance at Sephora, both in stores and online. Thanks to its popularity, Glossier launched a larger bottle of “You” in October. “We’re only just getting started in fragrance,” Leahy said.
In January, Glossier launched its first deodorant. One of the scents, Sandstone, sold out in 48 hours, Leahy said.
In addition to expanding its physical reach and product range, Glossier has expanded its impact work. That’s included continuing the mission of its Glossier Grant Program, which has invested in Black entrepreneurs in the beauty industry since 2020.
“Brands with an emotional connection and longevity, and that resonate across generations, are connecting on a values basis,” Leahy said. “That’s why Glossier strikes with our community.”
She added, “We genuinely believe we’re on year 10 of building a 100-year brand.”
Click here to see all 2023 Glossy 50 honorees.