EXCLUSIVE: Karlie Kloss’ Lauder Deal Goes Deeper Than Typical Partnership

For entrepreneurial model Karlie Kloss, a role as global spokesmodel and brand ambassador for the Estée Lauder brand is “a natural fit.”
“Estée was this iconic American entrepreneur and a real trailblazer — the story is something I’ve always been inspired by,” Kloss, who has founded and oversees her own production company and a philanthropic initiative, told WWD in an exclusive interview the day her appointment was revealed. “There’s a lot of shared values between and in my brand and businesses.”
This isn’t Kloss’ first beauty contract. L’Oréal Paris tapped the supermodel for a brand ambassadorship in 2014. But it’s certainly her most involved beauty deal to date. Kloss’ contract with Lauder will extend beyond standard spokesmodel duties.
She is partnering with the brand on digital beauty content for her and Lauder’s social channels, which is to be produced by her production company, Klossy Productions. Lauder has also agreed to support the charitable endeavor Kloss founded, Kode With Klossy, through coding camp scholarships and events.
“I’ve gotten to know the team on a much more intimate level than any company I’ve worked with in the past,” Kloss said.
The first order of business is creating Lauder-branded beauty content for Klossy’s YouTube channel — Kloss has close to 700,000 subscribers.
“We plan on doing all sorts of beauty tutorials, but in addition to that, fun, informative content around the science behind some of these products and all the research that goes into creating them,” Kloss said of her content strategy. “I don’t just want to show and tell the products, but really create entertaining, engaging content.”
The first video — a four-minute sketch featuring Kloss’ “first day on the job” at the General Motors building in Manhattan — launched today in tandem with the announcement. In the video, Kloss is escorted around the new office by Danielle Lauder, a professional actress and daughter of Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. executive chairman William Lauder and one of Estée Lauder’s great-grandaughters. Kloss is shown reviewing lipsticks with members of the Estée Lauder team, and she plans to be similarly involved with the brand in real life.
“Part of why I’m so excited is to really learn about the science behind beauty — how things are formulated, the product and packaging design,” Kloss said.
Her own product collection isn’t out of the question. “It would absolutely be a dream of creating product down the line,” she said when asked directly if she hoped to see her role expand to product development. “Hopefully that’s in the future.”
When it comes to Estée Lauder products, Kloss is already a superuser of the skin-care assortment. “Advanced Night Repair Serum is one of my favorites — I don’t go anywhere without it,” she said. “I always have the Powerfoil Masks in my bag for when I travel — I’m that crazy lady on the airplane with a face mask on.”
Kloss is often photographed by the paparazzi without makeup on, but she says she’s big on beauty — skin care, in particular.
“I’m a little alchemist — I always have beauty kits and zipper bags with travel-size serums, cream, lip balm, eye cream and face masks — I’m pretty diligent about my routine and putting on skin care, no matter where I am in the world.”
The contract with Estée Lauder is a dream beauty deal, Kloss said. “It’s been on my bucket list since the very early days of my career.”
Her first campaign for the brand will drop in July across digital, social, television and print platforms, along with in-store materials. She’ll be promoting the Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick, Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup and Revitalizing Supreme Global Antiaging Cell Power Crème. The campaigns were shot in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, Calif.
Kloss is joining Lauder’s stable of brand ambassadors, including Kendall Jenner, Carolyn Murphy, Joan Smalls, Fei Fei Sun, Gabriella Wilde, Hilary Rhoda, Misty Copeland and Yang Mi.
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