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Companies & industry

“It is our responsibility to become a trusted resource within the industry,” Shelley Sullivan, ModelCo

Eighteen years after its creation, Australian beauty brand ModelCo, renowned for innovative, cult-cool beauty products and globally-recognised collaborations, has reignited the beauty industry with its latest evolution. Once again, the brands aims at pioneering the constantly evolving beauty landscape with purpose and integrity. Exclusive explanations by Shelley Sullivan, CEO & Founder of Innovative Brands Group which houses both ModelCo & MCoBeauty, for Premium Beauty News.

ModelCo is looking to widen their distribution in 2020, in particular in (...)

ModelCo is looking to widen their distribution in 2020, in particular in the USA

Since the brand’s early beginning, self-tanning has been at the core of ModelCo’s business, closely followed by the premium range of colour cosmetics, both of which gained worldwide attention from collaborations with the likes of creative genius Karl Lagerfeld, high-profile model Hailey Bieber and former Victoria’s Secret Angel and founder of Rose Inc, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Since owning the category back in 2002 with Tan Airbrush In a Can, ModelCo has continued to remain a reputable trusted resource within an industry that has embraced self-tanning.

Premium Beauty News - What do you think of today consumers?

Shelley Sullivan - Today’s consumers are demanding and conscious, they want to trust in brands before they make their next purchase and they want to ensure it signifies purpose. We already have a brand that is globally recognised for offering the best quality at an affordable price point, and now we are in a position to be socially responsible and truly relate to our everyday customer.

Premium Beauty News - As the brand celebrates its 18th birthday, what was your most challenging experience?

Shelley Sullivan - In 2013 we released Super Tan, a product that created extensive buzz around before the official launch. We approved the formula internally, yet it was produced wrong with an over-developed green base and turned our customers green. It was a real turning point for the business and put us in a vulnerable position, and we had to rebuild customer loyalty through direct consumer communications.

Shelley Sullivan

A trailblazer of the Australian beauty industry, ModelCo’s CEO and founder Shelley Sullivan is undoubtfully one of most significant female entrepreneurs in the Australian Beauty industry today. Early in her career Sullivan started her successful model and talent agency before shifting her focus to beauty after identifying a new opportunity to create sophisticated, yet purposeful beauty products that delivered what they promised, proved performance and exuded a sense of luxury at an affordable price point.

More than 18 years after the brand’s foundation, ModelCo has grown to peak success with globally-renowned collaborations and international stockists while constantly evolving to reflect what women seek in their beauty routines. Last year, Sullivan launched MCoBeauty, a luxe-for-less beauty range that caters to the mass market grocery space.

Premium Beauty News - Where do you position the brand now?

Shelley Sullivan - We wanted to take a real-life approach to self-tanning and evolve how we speak to the everyday consumer, sparking conversations about beauty with meaning. As we continue to foster brand loyalty, it is our responsibility to become a trusted resource within the industry. ModelCo is a brand that allows people to become part of the conversation through relevance.

Premium Beauty News - What is next for ModelCo?

Shelley Sullivan - Our global presence has always been at the forefront of ModelCo. It started with our world-first Tan Airbrush In a Can that gained worldwide attention, and went on to be sold in the likes of Colette in Paris, Sephora and New York’s Henri Bendel. We’ve always had a uniqueness to assemble our products with trending celebrities which is another success driver of expanding our global fan base. There has been a lot of interest around ModelCo tan and cosmetics in the US for 2020, and we’re looking to widen our distribution.

Interview by Béatrice Saffre

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