[ Article by Emma Sandler originally published on Glossy.co on March 31st, 2021 ]
After making a name for itself by investing in beauty brands like Kjaer Weis and Revea, Waldencast is now incubating its own brands with the launch of Whind.
On Wednesday, Whind debuted via DTC with two Moroccan-inspired products: a cream exfoliator for $60 and a face oil for $75. Whind’s proposition is to infuse joy back into the beauty regimen, which Hind Sebti, Whind founder and Waldencast co-founder and COO, said she finds lacking in the current market. Though Whind’s branding and products are inspired by Moroccan landscapes and ingredients like argan, date and prickly pear oil, the intention is that it will derive inspiration from many places around the world as it grows.
Michel Brousset, former L’Oréal North America group president and current Waldencast CEO, previously stated that Waldencast is interested in brands that focus on sustainability, inclusivity and “conscious entrepreneurship.” Waldencast Acquisition Corp. filed as a SPAC on March 17 and with nearly $700 million to invest. It is expected to pursue deals in the $1.5 billion to $3 billion range.
“We created Waldencast with the purpose of supporting and partnering with the next generation of conscious purpose-driven brands that are the next multi-million [-dollar, in revenue] stars of the industry,” Brousset said.
Waldencast plans to launch four additional incubated brands this year. Sebti declined to share first-year sales expectations for the new brand. Though Whind is focused on a particular emotion, it is reminiscent of a larger self-care movement taking shape across the beauty industry. The Covid-19 pandemic, in particular, has pushed both brands and customers to focus on self-care.
“The market has become all head, no heart. Functionality has been elevated at the expense of [enjoying a product]. You see a lot of problem-solution [brands], mono-ingredient products and no-no lists that do not focus on what the product does,” Sebti said. “There’s a market for that, and those approaches are needed. But there are a bunch of other consumer needs that are not covered, and that’s why I wanted to launch Whind.”
Sebti said that Whind infuses joy into the product, not only for joy’s sake but also because products are more efficacious when people continue to use them and enjoyment is central to compliance. This is conveyed through the sensorial elements of the products, such as the Moroccan ingredients, the texture of the creamy exfoliator, and the scent of amber that Sebti described as “warm” and “hypnotic.” Occasionally, e-commerce orders will also be shipped with surprise small gifts such as a bracelet.
The launch campaign was shot on location in Morocco, with the idea of portraying a “happy, grounded and joyful” vision of beauty, Sebti said. Photos on Instagram and Whind.com focus on product textures, locations and people bathed in warm golden light. Paired with the campaign are editorials on topics like Moroccan lifestyle, travel, craftsmanship and culture. Whind has been publishing articles and Instagram photos to tease the brand launch since the end of Dec. 2020.
“There is a growing trend for what we call emotional beauty. We think that has a place within the global beauty landscape, and we have extremely high expectations for Whind,” Sebti said.