Ouai has conceived of a new “way” to wear its fragrances.
Jen Atkin’s hair care company has partnered with fellow Los Angeles-based brand Set Active on a line of bras and leggings. The collaboration offers five styles in three colorways that are inspired by Ouai fragrances North Bondi, Melrose Place and Mercer Street.
The limited-edition line will be sold direct-to-consumer via Set Active and Ouai’s websites. Each purchase will include a co-branded pouch with travel-size products from Ouai.
“I have been a huge fan of [Set Active] because I love the way it fits, the color tones, and it’s so comfortable and well-designed,” Atkin told Beauty Inc. “I started tagging them and posting them. The [Ouai] team is a big fan of Set Active. It was a no-brainer for us to do something with them.”
Lindsey Carter, Set Active’s chief executive officer and founder, said her company, which sells workout bras for $45 and leggings for $65, only started introducing collaborations this year. Ouai is Set Active’s first beauty partner.
“The inception [for Set Active] was my desire to create everyday essentials that have you set for wherever the day takes you,” Carter said. “I felt and still do feel that Ouai is the product equivalent of that in the beauty space.”
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Ouai’s fragrances, which inspired the collection’s color scheme, have been integral to the overall business, Atkin said. She is planning to release “other fragrance-inspired products” later this year.
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Atkin’s company grew more than 50 percent during the pandemic via its own direct-to-consumer business and retail partnerships such as Amazon, she said.
“Everybody was home, taking care of their skin and hair more than ever before. We were hydrating nonstop,” Atkin said, noting Ouai’s daily care items, such as shampoo and conditioner, drove sales. “There were obviously so many things going on throughout the last year and a half, and it [determined] the direction we went. We had hand care in the pipeline, but we made some adjustments and moved it up so that our hand cream, lotion and wash could all come out at the appropriate time.”
Atkin is now focused on products “beyond hair and fragrance,” and is seeing some success with Ouai’s merchandise. On its website, Ouai currently sells a jelly tote, $18; a phone charm, $10; a mini mini keychain bag (note the double mini), $10, and a pack of three condom hair ties for $6, as well as other miscellaneous items.
“We like to be able to take the brand outside of the house,” Atkin said. “We worked on making Ouai-branded workout slides and workout bands. As we started to be able to go outside and social distance, we came out with our cooler and sippy cups.”
Atkin and her team have taken an experimental approach to Ouai’s merch, but they have firmly drawn a line. There is one product Atkin pitched that her team eventually nixed.
“I was like, ‘Could we maybe do a branded Ouai pee funnel for when you’re on a road trip?’ Everyone was like, ‘Let’s go in a different direction,’” she said.
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