Fitness, wellness, beauty brand. That appears to be the new trajectory being adopted by a fitness industry eager to intersect with the multitrillion-dollar wellness movement and multibillion-dollar beauty world.
Trainers as well as studios and gyms ranging from boutique to big box are looking to extend their reach beyond the actual workouts they’re peddling, whether it’s creating protein powders to fuel the body from the inside out or segueing into beauty, from linking with Gen Z and Millennial favorite Glossier to formulating stand-alone skin-care brands.
“To say there’s a convergence of fitness, wellness and beauty is an understatement. They are all the same,” said Vimla Black Gupta, chief marketing officer at Equinox, who called the club’s motto, “It’s not fitness. It’s life,” a prescient metaphor for the current melding of the three sectors.
Before joining the fitness behemoth in December, Black Gupta spent nearly two decades in the beauty space, including 10 years at Procter & Gamble and nine years at the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., where she most recently was the global senior vice president of marketing at Bobbi Brown.
“At the end of the day, people want to look good, they want to feel good, they want to perform at their best, whether it’s beauty or their overall medical health or aesthetically how they look. That’s the holy grail — and it’s all the same,” Black Gupta continued.
To coincide with the launch of Equinox’s The Muse group fitness class that bowed in January, a series of events in partnership with Glossier took place in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and London. The brand’s Perfecting Skin Tint, Haloscope highlighter, Cloud Paint blush, Boy Brow and Soothing Facial Mist were among the products sampled at events.
Additionally, influencer Rocky Barnes hosted an event to celebrate the new class with beauty content and e-commerce site Violet Grey at Equinox’s Miracle Mile club the same month.
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For Equinox, the premise of fusing fitness and beauty started to take shape nearly a decade ago when the club partnered with L’Oréal-owned Kiehl’s in 2009 to offer its products in all locker rooms.
“We didn’t say it’s fitness or it’s beauty — it’s life. If you want the best fitness experience why wouldn’t you want the best beauty experience? That precipitated us launching Kiehl’s,” Black Gupta said.
Apparently Equinox was onto something.
Earlier this year at a wellness panel at the annual Financo Forum, Mindy Grossman, chief executive officer of Weight Watchers and former ceo of HSNi, said the wellness industry is approaching $4 trillion and growing at a rate of 15 percent.
But what’s changed since Equinox outfitted its locker rooms with prestige skin, body and hair care is a proliferation of digital that caused these categories to intersect even more. Because of social media and an onslaught of trainers and makeup brands and artists, the fitness and beauty worlds have become more accessible and democratic.