I’ve just spent quite some time on the phone with Julian Kynaston, founder of Illamasqua. He’s requested that I publish in full his email to me. One of my general complaints about Illamasqua is that the right hand never seems to know what the left hand is doing, and so this bears out yet again in the content to follow. Julian has done more than any other brand ever has to try and sort things out, so I feel it’s fair that if I can dish it out, I sure better be able to take it. I will caveat this though with some extra points I was able to give Julian on the phone that he did not know prior to writing his open letter, one of the main being that I was expressly told that no images (not specified whether they were product, ad or open casting) would be available until after Sunday.
So, over to Julian.
“My name is Julian , im the founder of Illamasqua, I really wanted to email you directly about your recent post. I can understand your frustration ,even anger at what you have concluded.
The problem is those facts aren’t correct. You’ve left me in a very difficult, and might I say unfair position of having now to defend Illamasqua from an ‘offence’ it hasn’t committed.
As such I would like you to take on board the below facts and help to redress the situation for me.
There has been and is NO embargo of our AW collection launch related to a Sunday magazine. We are working with a title on a feature which was all about our decision to do an open casting and the backstage shots of this (and the work which went into producing the shoot itself ) have been done jointly with us and a magazine. I am perfectly happy with this decision and in no way consider it a ‘change of strategy’ for us against our what I deem to be our ‘without compromise’ support for Bloggers. Our strategy has been and remains ultimately pro Blogger and to date it is more than clear that if anything we have offered the vast majority of any exclusives we have done to the blogging community.
In the case of our Autumn Winter collection the facts are that the images etc will be released within days – with NO exclusive – evenly ( at the same time) to Bloggers and press alike. The same will apply to the products. By the very definition of the ‘instant’ blogging media we know full well that the print press will likely reject using our imagery as the blogs will spread them live same day. We will then take onboard no doubt the same criticism from those print based press as you have laid today at our feet – namely that we support the blogs ahead of them. We accept this. This is what makes your recent post so unfair. Not only isn’t it true but worse still in penalises us for the already hugely difficult commercial decision to support the blogs ahead of the press.
You do not need to point out to me the critical role the blogging world has played in the development of Illamasqua and many Bloggers have had first experience on how I personally prioritise seeing them FIRST on the overseas visits I make – the last of which was to New York ( Hi Krasey Beautiful x).
Your call into our offices yesterday was clearly confusing and it appears that you were told that images related to said Sunday magazine article couldn’t be released – this is only in the case of those backstage shots relating to the open casting as mentioned. Again I would reiterate that the FULL imagery and products will be releases evenly across all our media – more so and for clarity AHEAD of the Sunday magazine piece.
I can assure you that this brand is anarchic at its very heart and there will be no conformity as we grow .None. If any magazine threatened us to offer them an exclusive at the cost of future coverage we would take delight in saying NO. We cant outspend the competition so we have to work very very hard to outthink them it terms of product and marketing ideas. As a private British beauty brand that has – within less than two years of being available to buy – rolled out internationally and received critical acclaim we are very proud of what we have managed to achieve ,especially when our competition are multi billion pound corporates who would much rather we weren’t here making the waves we are.”