Olive & June taps influencer Riley Hubatka for its first press-on collab

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Riley Hubatka, 20, has 8.5 million followers on TikTok and 2.3 million on Instagram. On both platforms, she posts a mix of lifestyle and beauty content and has become known for her unique self-expression via her nails. On Thursday, she released her first brand collaboration, a collection of six sets of press-on nails with Olive & June, the L.A.-based manicure brand that launched press-ons in November 2021. Olive & June has 18,000 followers on TikTok and 461,000 on Instagram. Though Olive & June has collaborated with influencers on nail colors before –including Emily Schuman of Cupcakes & Cashmere, Nabela Noor and Katie Sturino’s Megababe — this is its first time creating press-ons with an influencer.

Hubatka “only started doing social media in 2019,” and she never imagined it would become a career. Her memories of press-on nails date back to childhood, she said. “I remember being 5- or 6-years-old and taking trips to Target with my mom and seeing all of the press-ons on the wall. I was like, ‘I want those.’ I was always wanting to feel older and cooler than I was. My mom would never let me [get them], and my desire to want to wear them definitely grew by being told no,” Hubatka said. She noted that having three sisters and babysitters with long acrylics also influenced her love of the category.

“One of the reasons we were excited to partner with Riley is that she is a visionary. We felt completely confident in giving her full creative control of this design process,” said Sarah Gibson Tuttle, founder of Olive & June. “She had a specific vision for everything she wanted to create, and she has a very distinct point of view of what, when and where she likes to rock certain nails. It was clear to me that we shouldn’t get in the way; we should let Riley be Riley. We actually set out to create three to four sets of nails, but we created six because she’s so talented.”

The brand hopes Hubatka’s collection will appeal more to her Gen Z peers than some of the brand’s prior collaborations with millennial creators.

Gibson Tuttle declined to specify the impact the launch of the press-on nails had on Olive & June’s overall business but said the category expansion has been an “explosive part of the business.” Collaborations have been key, as well, she said. “Collaborations bring a piece of someone else’s creativity to the Olive & June world. I never created this brand to be the Sarah Gibson Tuttle show,” she said, noting that the brand’s bestseller is a shade she doesn’t even wear. “What we are creating, we are creating for our community and the world at large.” On average, collaboration launches have a 25% increase in new customer mix, the brand said.

On TikTok, the hashtag #pressonnails has 3.2 billion views, while #manicure has 6.5 billion, proving that nail content is booming. Hubatka found that application videos where she shows herself switching out her nails, perform well. Gibson Tuttle added that color is in; viewers want to see loud and exciting hues, patterns and designs.

The collection spans from pink nails with a wraparound blue outline to nails with video game-inspired stars, latte-inspired swirl art and rainbow French tips. It is available on Oliveandjune.com. A set of press-ons is $12, while the entire set of Hubatka’s collaboration will cost $100. Shop it here.

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