The Hut Group snaps up cult cosmetics brand Illamasqua

The Hut Group continues its heavy investment in online beauty by announcing the acquisition of cult cosmetics brand Illamasqua.


Photo:Illamasqua

Founded in the UK in 2008, the brand prides itself on never testing its products on animals. Its make-up brushes are made entirely out of synthetic hair and its range includes over 100 vegan products.

Illamasqua was founded by Leeds’ Propaganda chairman Julian Kynaston and is backed by around eight investors, including Agent Provocateur founder Joseph Corre. It was purchased for an estimated £25m.

Founder Kynaston said the Hut Group acquisition is a “natural step for the brand” after having worked together for over a year.

“Finding the right partner, with whom we could align our vision for the future, was of crucial importance and I’m in no doubt that The Hut Group’s digital strength and marketing expertise will take Illamasqua to the next level,” he said.


Photo:Illamasqua

The brand aims to celebrate diversity in its campaigns, and hit headlines last month when it hired transgender model Munroe Bergdorf shortly after she lost her role as a L'Oreal brand ambassador due to having made a number of controversial comments on race.

“In Illamasqua’s unwavering commitment to professional, high-quality products and creativity, not to mention its strong identity, we saw a business with a unique proposition and an opportunity to take a strong and dynamic brand to the next level,” said Matthew Moulding, founder and chief executive officer of The Hut Group.

This is the group’s third beauty acquisition in less than three months, following deals with spa and skincare brand Espa and online beauty retailer Glossybox.

The company plans to become the world’s largest online retailer of health and beauty products by 2018, building on its position as Europe’s largest retailer of premium beauty. In addition to Espa and Glossybox, it owns Lookfantastic.com and a host luxury beauty brands including Mio Skincare, Mama Mio and Grow Gorgeous.

CEO Moulding said: “We are confident that, with our world-class e-commerce platform and large marketing infrastructure, we will deliver significant growth and further extend Illamasqua’s global customer base.”

The London-based Illamasqua has a flagship store in Carnaby Street and more than 50 locations worldwide, as well as a thriving online shop.

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