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‘Beauty and the Beast’ Is Bringing Out the Worst in Brands

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All these collaborations suck.

Skin Inc Beauty and the Beast serum Photo: Skin Inc.

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Maybe I should be more empathetic. I mean, when a brand is faced with collaborating with a movie about a bookworm getting wooed by a creature with the head of a buffalo, the body of the bear, and the eyebrows of a gorilla (I’m not making this up) with the help of a candelabra, a teapot, and a teacup — well, maybe the only option for brands is to create the most over-the-top products imaginable.

That certainly seems to be the strategy of the handful of brands that have released Beauty and the Beast-themed collections in advance of the upcoming live-action movie. The scariest red flag was the HSN collection, which features a $350 necklace in the shape of a castle that will assuredly give whomever wears it back problems.

HSN Castle Necklace Photo: HSN

But wait, there’s more. So much more. Nearly as flashy are the pieces by Swarovski: roses covered in diamonds and turned into a ring, a bracelet, and, you guessed it, a choker. And it’s all downhill from there.

Photo: Swarovski

Judith Leiber has a couple of clutches that can probably be seen from space. Does anyone in these design departments know the word “restraint?”

Judith Leiber Beauty and the Beast clutches Photo: Judith Leiber

Apparently not, because there are these ostentatious gilded cases housing this L'Oréal Beauty and the Beast-themed makeup, which is launching exclusively in Italy, of all places.

L’Oreal Paris Beauty and the Beast-themed lipsticks and nail polishes Photo: L'Oréal Paris

It’s a collection that seems to have been made in response to the challenge “Create something more ridiculous than this:”

Beauty and the Beast poster starring Lumiere

Mission accomplished? And because that wasn’t enough, Skin Inc. released this serum called — what else? — “Disney's Beauty and the Beast Get Glowin' Serum.” It lives in a super casual glass case, just like the rose in the movie, and is the perfect thing for someone with too much space and money ($90) on their hands. Imagine walking into someone’s house and sighting a glass cylinder filled with serum on their nightstand.

Would you stay long enough to see if they have these Juicy Couture zip-ups hanging in their closet? In the spirit of the movie, the brand took its bedazzling up a notch with collaborative hoodies, one with a shimmering graphic resembling stained glass and another emblazoned the words “Beauty Is Found Within.” Each rings in over $500.

Juicy Couture Beauty and the Beast themed jacket, on a model Photo: Juicy Couture
MinkPink jean jacket with Beauty and the Beast themed embroidery Photo: MinkPink

Then there’s MinkPink, which made a denim jacket that could be a Gucci item if designer Alessandro Michele ever got interested in Beauty and the Beast.

Also, answering the question “Will brands do anything for money?” is this Le Creuset Beauty and the Beast soup pot. I understand the instinct to cash in on a hit movie, but maybe companies need to start asking themselves whether this collection is a fit for them. It can’t possibly work for everyone — can it?

Le Creuset Beauty and the Beast Photo: Williams Sonoma

On the other end of the WTF spectrum are these Asics sneakers in a muted white and brown that seem to have nothing to do with the movie?? Slapping the Beauty and the Beast name on these very boring sneakers feels like quite the cash grab.

Photo: Asics

The only collaboration I won’t take issue with is this one from Gelish and Morgan Taylor. The combination of the nail polish and overlay coat changes the color to make it look “antique.” That feels like just enough. (Meaning these Beauty and the Beast-themed nail wraps are probably unnecessary.)