I’ve been writing about the intersection of celebrity and lifestyle for a few years, back when Goop and The Honest Company were the two big players, and celebrity clothing lines (like House of Dereon and Sweetface) were literally out of style. The late 2000s is when branching out to other kinds of products – décor, alcohol, eye glasses, hair products, cookware – seemed like a good idea. And it has generally been a boon; now instead of counting which celebs have a lifestyle side gig, which just kind of assume they all do.
But matching a celebrity with a product has become a game of mad libs. Betty White promotes vapes! Jamie Foxx for compression socks! Nina Dobrev starts a trail mix company! None of these are real, but if they were, we wouldn’t flinch. We are just so used to these types of collaborations, like John Mayer for The Laundress (which really happened!) that we don’t question the partnerships.
I don’t question the “why” of Justin Bieber and Schmidt’s Deodorant – maybe he uses it, maybe he knows someone at the company, or maybe he wants to test out the personal care market for his own brand in the future, which we will get to below. (Schmidt’s has worked with Jane Goodall previous to this. See? Mad libs!)
What’s curious about Justin’s work is the timing. After announcing he would step back from music, he has recorded a song with Ed Sheeran (and we know if you record with Ed Sheeran, you are expecting a monster hit). He’s working on his Drew line while Hailey is launching a beauty and cosmetics label using her married name. Could a his-and-hers Bieber Beauty line be what’s really at play?
It’s not a bad strategy. Justin Bieber seems far off from touring and that is a major source of revenue for pop stars. Hailey has years of modeling ahead of her, but it’s a grueling travel schedule that is hard to keep up (unless you are Naomi Campbell, who is a legend). And if Justin and Hailey are planning on children (which they have talked about quite openly), travel might be a concern.
Laying track for phase two of their career before they are actually in phase two is a good strategy. Creating a brand with lots of different tentacles takes years – just ask the Beckhams, they are two decades in and still hustling and working on their brand: her with fashion, him with product endorsements and soccer clubs (they recently made a move to buy out Simon Fuller for Beckham Brand Holdings for $50 million). David has put together a team with execs from Burberry and Stella McCartney (amongst others) so clearly, fashion is in his future (he was just in Italy for an upcoming line of sunglasses). Victoria’s line is 10 years old and David retired from football 6 years ago, and they are grinding it out day by day, move by move.
But of course I turned a post about Justin’s deodorant collaboration into a dissertation on the Beckhams (did I mention they will be married 20 years this summer? How will they celebrate?). Let’s get back to Justin. The deodorant will be called Here + Now and the company spokesperson said, “They’ve been involved every step of the way, which has made for a really fun and collaborative process.” (That is what they always say about celebrities. Just once, I’d like a company spokesperson to say, “They really didn’t put much work into this and just showed up for the paycheque.”)
It’s launching in fall, and a summer deodorant is different than a fall deodorant, right? I like to switch it up. Does Justin? What does Justin Bieber smell like, and what smells does Justin Bieber like?
Attached - Justin Bieber in LA the other day.