ShopTheExpo Drew Indie Beauty Brands, Influencers And Shoppers To Neiman Marcus Fashion Island

Neiman Marcus and Indie Beauty Media Group held the second ShopTheExpo event on Friday and Saturday, which brought 18 independent beauty and wellness brands and their founders to the luxury retailer’s Fashion Island store in Newport Beach, Calif.

The ShopTheExpo concept is helping 111-year-old Neiman Marcus stay au courant in beauty. Together with the producer of Indie Beauty Expo, it’s scouting and showcasing emerging beauty and wellness brands that historically faced uphill battles breaking into department store collections dominated by their established counterparts. 

“Neiman Marcus is known for continually finding innovative, unique and fresh concepts for their customers, and this event and partnership certainly did just that,” says Cheresse Pentella, spokeswoman for the retailer. “These new and under-the-radar brands had fascinating stories and exposed our customers to special products that they haven’t seen before.”

“These new and under-the-radar brands had fascinating stories and exposed our customers to special products that they haven’t seen before.”

Out of the 18 beauty and wellness brands involved in ShopTheExpo Fashion Island, eight were new to the event, including nude lip shade specialist nude envie, pistachio oil authority Pistaché Skincare and professional Swiss skincare range Mila D’Opiz. These eight brands were joined on the Neiman Marcus Fashion Island beauty floor by 10 returning brands that took part in the October 2017 debut ShopTheExpo at the Dallas NorthPark Neiman Marcus store.

The returning brands, which have been sold online at since the October shopping event, include skincare brands CIRCCELL and Ranavat Botanics, oral care line Swiss Smile and color cosmetics brand Joséphine. “Team IBE and Neiman Marcus Fashion Island really turned up the heat for the second edition of ShopTheExpo,” enthuses Joséphine Cosmetics founder Sholayide Otugalu. “The energy and excitement levels were so incredible, I received such a great reception for Joséphine from both the customers and store associates. This was definitely the place to be.”

The Neiman Marcus Fashion Island team started drumming up the energy on the first day of ShopTheExpo with a private soiree called “Beauty, Brunch and Bloody Marys” attended by L.A.-based influencers, including Amy Chang of @bondenavant and Christine Kong of @DailyKongfidence“The brands were very excited about the influencers who attended, and each [brand] got a chance to speak to them,” says Pentella.

ShopTheExpo The influencers were exposed to new products at the event. “It was incredible to see all these up and coming brands at Neiman Marcus,” says Kong. “I enjoyed learning about the products, but, more importantly, meeting the founders and hearing their stories of why they came to develop their brand, what ingredients go into them, and seeing their enthusiasm and passion really resonates and helped connect the product to me. It was amazing to see such an iconic store like Neiman Marcus partner with smaller brands and share in their growth and development. I’ve already started incorporating many of the products from [ShopTheExpo] into my daily skincare routine.”

Neiman Marcus and Indie Beauty Media Group plan to produce two additional ShopTheExpo events this year. “ShopTheExpo at Fashion Island Neiman Marcus exceeded our expectations in many ways,” says Jillian Wright, co-founder of Indie Beauty Media Group. “The associates shared information about the indie brands with their customers ahead of time, and the people that turned out were excited to discover new beauty.”

She continues, “Even diehard La Prairie and Chanel enthusiasts were buying from the ShopTheExpo brands. We are reaching an audience that may never have had exposure to these brands. Educating potential new customers is just as important as making an immediate sale. When an iconic brand like Neiman Marcus enthusiastically welcomes indie beauty into their retail space, it sends a message that indie is a significant and relevant part of the beauty industry.”