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Skincare and apparel brands poised for a positive 2021

Gaelle Walker
20 January 2021

Skincare and apparel brands are primed for a positive year ahead, after both categories posted “particularly strong gains,” in 2020, while others struggled to weather the COVID-19 storm, a new report by Tribe Dynamics claims.

The report, which includes Top 10 rankings and analysis of 2020’s standout brands, also highlights earned media value (EMV) rankings, to reveal the brands which it thinks are capturing consumer interest and poised for “significant growth,” in 2021.

Apparel experienced a strong 2020 among Top 10 verticals, with its success most notably fuelled by the “star power” of high-profile celebrity collaborations, the report said.

The standout growth figure belonged to Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie line, which collected $269.2m EMV in 2020, up 295% year-over-year.

Much of this momentum came in Q2, when the brand teamed up with rapper Megan Thee Stallion to promote Savage x Fenty’s summer collection.

2020 also saw the success of apparel brands that encouraged customers to work out and relax at home.

Gymshark and SHEIN, which both claimed respective year on year EMV increases of 9% and 37%, were quick to respond to 2020’s shift to at-home culture, embracing “homebound” campaigns and initiatives, the report said.

More broadly, 2020’s high-growth apparel brands catered to self-care and supporting consumers’ efforts toward self-improvement during the challenging times.

Activewear and loungewear both experienced success, with brands such as Fabletics, which saw a 142% YOY EMV growth, standing out with “savvy campaigns surrounding high-profile collaborations,” the report said.

Lounge Underwear ($123.1M EMV, 119% YOY growth) also rose steadily throughout the year thanks to its dedicated #FemaleFamily of brand partners, who regularly showcased the brand’s comfy styles in at-home outfit posts, the report added.

However, while apparel shone, luxury fashion experienced a number of setbacks and EMV declines with Top 10 brands averaging an 11% YOY EMV decrease, as jet-setting promotional campaigns and fashion shows were largely swept off the table.

While topping the Top 10 Luxury brands, Gucci experienced a 35% EMV decrease, followed by Chanel at number two, which saw a 25% decline.

Skincare however, delivered a strong performance in 2020, with the Skincare Top 10 brands of 2020 averaging a 56% YOY EMV increase, the highest average of any Top 10 vertical.

Much of this momentum stemmed from 131% and 383% surges for TULA and Good Molecules, respectively.

Outside of the Top 10, two blockbuster launches resulted in some of the year’s most dramatic EMV spikes among skincare brands.

In February 2020, beauty guru Huda Kattan debuted WISHFUL, which went on to garner $30.7M EMV.

Additionally, the launch of Fenty Skin galvanized influencers, with Fenty Skin closing out 2020 with $25.8M EMV.

Beauty had a more turbulent year, with successful brands having focused on hero products, self-care and famous faces.

In the UK, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Morphe, Huda Beauty, Benefit, Mac and Nars topped the Top 10 List, however many of the verticals’ biggest year-over-year gains occurred among lower-ranking brands.

Number 10 ranked P Louise Makeup Academy’s $143.2m EMV represented the largest YOY spike at 24%, followed by Nars in 6th place up 11% and Fenty Beauty in 7th place up 8%.

Brands looking to “make a splash” in 2021 should expect continued adjustments to the “new normal” and seek to focus on what worked well in 2020: “a combination of product quality, fully invested influencer partners, and a focus on inclusivity, self-care, and the well-being of their consumers,” the report said.

“Further, brands can keep in mind that although influencer marketing practices have adapted to account for the COVID era, the philosophy behind influencer marketing principles has remained the same.

“By continuing to build loyal, passionate influencer families, brands can not only strengthen their chances for success, but also enjoy a dose of much-needed continuity and connection amid all the changes the last year has brought,” it concluded.

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