Founded in September 2017 with products launched 18 months later, War Paint For Men offered a range of makeup products for men, including foundation, tinted moisturiser, primer, bronzer and brow gel. The brand also had bespoke application brushes. Available online and in select department stores across the UK, including Harvey Nichols and John Lewis, War Paint For Men most recently secured a retail partnership with global fashion house Reiss. Already available on the fashion website, the entire range was primed to launch into 15 UK Reiss stores and three New York stores in the coming weeks.
Danny Gray, founder of War Paint For Men, said the tie-up made a lot of sense: “Reiss is one of my favourite clothing brands, so I really trust them with my brand. War Paint For Men and Reiss have a lot in common; we both want to help men feel good about themselves, inside and out, by boosting their confidence. I know that I can go into a Reiss, or go online, and pick up clothes that will make me feel good, and now War Paint will be able to add to that experience, giving men more options in their appearance.”
Premium apparel partnerships have ‘always been on the agenda’
Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe, Matt Lumb, CEO and director of War Paint For Men, said the priority for the brand was to launch with quality retail partners versus mass market.
“Premium clothing and apparel outlets have always been on the agenda,” Lumb said. “Launching with Reiss is a really important step for us to expand our global retail footprint with a partner who shares in our brand values and vision.”
Importantly, getting stocked in the fashion chain placed the beauty brand in front of a curious target audience.
“A huge part of our target market is a new male beauty consumer, so we need to position ourselves in spaces where they’re more likely to shop and browse for new products,” he said.
Male fashion and beauty blur – ‘we have to rip up the rule book’
Lumb said additional retail partnerships beyond traditional beauty and personal care outlets was all part of War Paint For Men’s longer-term goals.
“It’s a vital part of our strategy to be positioned in lifestyle and fashion retailers. War Paint is unlike almost every other beauty brand as our primary user isn’t female, so we have to rip up the rule book when it comes to our business plan and go where our customers are,” he said. “We have a wish list and we’re in discussions with a number of exciting partners.”
After expanding into Ireland and Japan this year, despite challenges presented by COVID-19, War Paint For Men was aiming to secure a retail footprint in Brazil, Germany and Australia by November 2021, Lumb said, along with further expansion into the US.
He added that the brand was also currently “in discussion with several big European distributors” which would see it expand into mainland Europe soon. “Our launch in Ireland this year has been really well received, so that’s a great case study for us to showcase to other markets,” Lumb said.