LONDON, United Kingdom — Dazed Media is betting big on beauty.
In a fast-growing beauty market powered by millennial consumers, selfie culture, YouTube influencers and a new generation of direct-to-consumer brands, the London-based youth media brand is launching a new platform: Dazed Beauty. The Instagram account goes live on September 6, followed by a website on September 26. There will also be a print supplement.
“At Dazed, we’re really tapping into the mind-set of a new generation and we saw how people were passionate about blurring the boundaries between beauty ideals. We felt that they were very under-represented in the media,” said Jefferson Hack, founder of Dazed Media, which operates Dazed, Dazed Digital, AnOther, Another Man and Nowness, and attracts 5 million monthly unique visitors. (Dazed Digital accounts for about half, with 2.65 million monthly unique visitors.)
“Dazed is inclusive, radical and exciting. We’re not a beauty blog saying this is the trend of the season. We want to be talking about what beauty means in all its dimensions and not simply via putting out images,” added Bunney Kinney, who has added editor-in-chief of Dazed Beauty to his existing responsibilities as editorial director at Dazed Media and is working on the new venture in partnership with makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench, who has joined Dazed Beauty as creative director.
For the last 50 years, brands have cultivated a kind-of homogenous style of what beauty is.
“Beauty is always something that moves me rather than talking about a person or an aesthetic. It’s trying to broaden people’s mind and awareness as to what is beautiful,” said Ffrench, who is also the international creative artist consultant for Tom Ford.
An editorial team of nine has been installed for the launch, including Amelia Abraham who joins as managing editor, Tish Weinstock as commissioning editor, Nellie Eden as associate editor and Ben Freeman — who conceived the new Dazed Beauty logo — as creative consultant, among others. Several contributing editors have also been confirmed, including Lil Miquela, Theo Adams, Cyndia Harvey, Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff of Gal-Dem and Ione Gamble of Polyester Zine.
The move is also a play for the big budgets of major beauty advertisers, which are trying to modernise their marketing formulas in a bid to appeal to millennials. “A lot of brands are really hungry for finding new ways of expressing themselves. They don’t know how, because for the last 50 years, they have been doing the same thing, which is cultivating a kind of homogenous style of what beauty is,” said Ffrench.
Dazed Media currently generates 35 percent of its revenue through display advertising and 65 percent from branded content. The company was unable to confirm any commercial partners for Dazed Beauty, though the company said that talks were ongoing.
Rival youth-oriented publishers including Refinery29 and Vice Media-backed i-D are also targeting the opportunity at the intersection of youth and beauty. “90 percent of our audience say they visit Refinery29 for beauty content,” said Kate Ward, executive vice president of Refinery29 International, who added that beauty was a key revenue driver for the business. The company currently reaches 425 million users across all platforms and has global revenue in nine figures.
Meanwhile, i-D has appointed a new beauty editor — Shannon Peter, who joins in October from Byrdie — and is currently hiring for several beauty positions. "Social media has further opened up the conversation around beauty as a form of self-expression and given rise to exciting new voices, speaking out to challenge and ultimately change the status quo, which resonates with [our] DNA,” said i-D’s editor-in-chief Holly Shackleton.
But Hack isn’t overly concerned with the competition. “What I care about is that we make a genuine connection with our audience and build a real community around Dazed Beauty. If Bunny and Isamaya succeed in that, the advertisers and brands will want to participate.”