Charlotte Tilbury makes history as F1’s 1st beauty partner

    Charlotte Tilbury is the first beauty brand sponsorship and the first female-founded brand to back the F1 Academy.
    Image: Getty Images
      Published   in Beauty

    What happened

    In a groundbreaking announcement, beauty mogul Charlotte Tilbury has become the official beauty partner for the 2024 F1 season, marking the first time a beauty brand — and a female-founded one at that — has aligned with the global racing series. This collaboration highlights the growing influence and importance of female drivers and fans in the historically male-dominated world of Formula 1.

    The role of women in F1 has been steadily increasing, both on the track and among the fanbase. Women now comprise approximately 40% of F1’s audience, contributing significantly to the sport’s 1.5 billion total viewership during the 2022 season. Despite this, female drivers remain underrepresented, making up only 7% of all drivers at the formula level and a mere 4% at the top levels of competition.

    Charlotte Tilbury's entry into F1 is more than a sponsorship; it’s a celebration of female empowerment and potential. The brand’s founder, Charlotte Tilbury, recently posed beside the F1 Academy car operated by Rodin Motorsport, adorned with pink lips and dangling lipsticks. This image not only highlights the partnership, but also symbolizes the potential for women to excel in diverse fields, including motorsport.

    Tilbury, addressing a group of beauty influencers at the event, expressed her excitement: “My brand was created for everyone, everywhere, and as a female founder, I’m thrilled that we’re the first-ever beauty brand to support these powerhouse drivers through our partnership with the F1 Academy.”

    Charlotte Tilbury and Susie Wolf. Image: Getty Images
    Charlotte Tilbury and Susie Wolf. Image: Getty Images

    The Jing Take

    Since its debut in China in 2004, the F1 Chinese Grand Prix has consistently brought high-speed excitement to local audiences. With the continuous race schedules and the emergence of China’s first F1 driver, Zhou Guanyu, the domestic F1 fanbase has rapidly expanded, becoming younger and more dynamic.

    After a five-year hiatus, F1 returned to China from April 19 to 21, 2024, celebrating its 20th anniversary at the Shanghai International Circuit, drawing over 200,000 attendees over the course of three days.

    In recent years, Olympian Eileen Gu, domestic celebrity Liu Yifei, and supermodel Xi Mengyao appeared at F1 races, posting about their experience online, further boosting local female interest in the motor sport.

    @Niki, a young Xiaohongshu female user based in Shanghai, shared, “It is my first time watching it live. It’s really exciting and gets your adrenaline pumping.”

    Image: Xiaohongshu user @Niki
    Image: Xiaohongshu user @Niki

    Historically, F1 sponsors have primarily been associated with motor oil, engine parts, or energy drinks. Tilbury’s sponsorship of the high-profile F1 Academy, the women’s league led by prominent motorsport figure Susie Wolff, marks a significant departure. It stands as the first beauty brand sponsorship and the first female-founded brand to back the F1 Academy.

    Charlotte Tilbury’s partnership with F1 could further boost interest by drawing in more female fans and participants. The collaboration with the F1 Academy aims to bridge the gap in female representation in motorsport, both on and off the track.

    As F1 comes into Chinese female consumers’ view, it is likely that related makeup and fashion trends will take off in the country. Some Xiaohongshu accounts are already analyzing supermodel Kendall Jenner, Olympian Eileen Gu, Blackpink member Lalisa Manobal’s F1 looks when attending the high-profile event.

    The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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