Pure Beauty

‘Come hang with Kate Spade’: Ulta Beauty slammed for ‘insensitive’ marketing misstep

By Becky Bargh | Published: 3-May-2022

Kate Spade, the founder of her namesake brand, committed suicide by hanging in 2018

Ulta Beauty has been slammed by consumers for its ‘insensitive’ marketing email, which contained the subject line ‘Come hang with Kate Spade’.

The late beauty and fashion entrepreneur committed suicide by hanging in 2018 at the age of 55.

Ulta’s email – circulated by Estée Laundry, the Instagram account that calls out the beauty industry’s injustices – highlighted Kate Spade’s fragrance lines, along with a product offer.

Commenters on Instagram, branded the beauty retailer as “disgusting”, while another called the misstep “horrific”.

The backlash has forced Ulta to publicly apologise for its blunder.

“In an email we recently sent featuring the Kate Spade New York brand of fragrances, a very insensitive choice of words was used and for that we are very sorry,” the statement read.

“We have the utmost respect for the Kate Spade brand and the joy it brings to the beauty and fashion industries.

“At Ulta Beauty, our teams are human and this was truly an error with no intent to do harm.”

The US seller also apologised to the Spade family: “To the Spade family and to our Kate Spade brand partners, we’re deeply sorry, and to our guests, we apologise for this upsetting mistake.

“Simply put, this is below our standards.”

Building a beauty empire

Spade – who made her name in the fashion arena for her handbags and accessories – launched into fragrance in 2003 with more than 20 scents on the market to date.

Some of the brand’s most popular products include the Kate Spade New York edp, Live Color Fully and Twirl by Kate Spade.

Following its founder’s death, in 2019, the company signed an 11 year fragrance licence agreement with Interparfums to distribute and produce its fragrance products.

The brand is said to have contributed to Interparfums’ top line business growth in 2021 after a sales for Q2 the previous year.

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