Why Harry Styles Stans Can’t Get Enough Of Pleasure

NEW YORK – Grace Daniels, 19, owns 17 bottles of nail polish from Pleasing, Harry Styles’ beauty and lifestyle brand, which launched a year ago, as well as at least one hoodie or sweatshirt hood wheel from each of the five drops of the line. He’s back for more at the Pleasing pop-up shop that opened in SoHo last weekend.

It’s the first of several planned visits to the flora and fauna-themed space, where purple deer and pastel pink birds line the walls and are printed on fabric lampshades. There are greenery, colorful checkered rugs and whimsical ceramic animals. Nail polish is displayed on cupboards, shelves and counters – both as single bottles and box sets with cute names like ‘Shroom Boom’ and ‘Super Magic Family Time’ – alongside make-up, clothing, socks, journals, blankets and Christmas ornaments.

“I try to increase what I buy,” Daniels said. On Sunday, she added a red hoodie, a journal and a pair of socks to her nail polish collection. She plans to return to the pop-up several times before it closes to buy more.

Alyssa Coy, 20, who attends New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies with Daniels, is also making her move.

“I’m going to come back here and to LA multiple times and buy multiple different things,” Coy said, clutching several Pleasing hoodies (a pop-up is open there through Dec. 27, along with a third location from London). In New York, she bought clothing, journals, socks and ornaments, and is thinking of getting blankets and towels in the future.

Pleasing debuted last year with four nail polishes and a handful of skin care items, one of dozens of star-studded beauty brands to hit the market at the same time. As a category, nail polish isn’t particularly innovative, but the packaging – the bottles have globe-shaped tops in metallic or marbled pastels – are made for display. However, there have only been a few product releases since that initial release (although there have been plenty of tie-ins, including the highly requested “Pleasing” hoodies). As launching beauty brands became the de facto side hustle for actors, musicians and influencers, Styles himself promoted Pleasing only intermittently. He doesn’t pretend to oversee every step of his brand’s development like other celebrities do.

But Styles’ fans don’t seem to care.

A sales associate at the New York pop-up said customers started lining up at 6 a.m. Saturday, five hours before the store was scheduled to open. About 100 people entered the store per hour until it closed at 7 p.m.

Even on a rainy Sunday afternoon, 15 people were waiting to get in, including Jeneva Silverman, 36, who is nine months pregnant.

“They were sold out of a lot of clothing when we arrived,” Silverman said by email Monday. She ended up ordering a sweatshirt online for her husband.

“I like the minimalistic branding and the colors are really good for nail polish,” said Hilary Scherer, 32, who also braved the rain to get a Pleasing sweatshirt and possibly nail color.

Pleasing's unique bottles are a big part of the brand's appeal.

Pleasing’s hero beauty product is nail polish, a category that has seen action from male celebrity founders and “genderless” lines over the past year, including one from Colson Baker, better known as Machine Gun Kelly. Last December, a month after Styles released Pleasing, Baker introduced UN/DN LAQR.

Where celebrities typically claim to have been heavily involved in the creation and branding of their beauty products — think Lady Gaga or Kim Kardashian talking about the years of development that went into their lines — Styles didn’t make the rounds. Ahead of the pop-ups, Pleasing’s biggest offline venture to date, his team refused to make him available for interviews.

Other stars have been chastised for not adequately backing up their lines, which can lead to accusations, true or not, of slapping their name on a product as a cash buy.

In a way, Styles’ approach to Pleasing is a test of his fan base’s devotion.

NYU students Coy and Daniels said they find Pleasing more authentic than most big-name brands.

Some visitors to the Pleasing pop-up in New York think this duck looks like Harry Styles.

“Harry tried to separate himself from Pleasing,” Daniels pointed out, noting that the company is a collaborative effort with Styles’ stylist Harry Lambert. “He [Styles] he wants it to be its own separate entity rather than something that is exclusively related to him. At the same time, he’s very Harry – he’s very eccentric.”

It works nicely because it’s an embodiment of styles; beauty, and especially nail polish, is rooted in his personal brand, something he’s been known for almost as long as he’s been famous. It’s a safe bet that few of the customers queuing in the rain in Soho think they’re scrutinizing financial models or lab recording time. It just doesn’t matter.

“He’s so embedded in everything Pleasure is, and you can feel connected to him in that way, but he’s also an expression of himself,” Coy said. “You like him for a reason … and that’s really valuable to me, so I get to represent that and write that and almost co-author it with him.”

The same goes for the rest of Pleasing’s merchandise — and the pop-ups themselves. Brand spaces are busy and engaging, the opposite of many digital brands’ attempts to disconnect, which often involve well-arranged products thrown into minimalist white space.

“If you look around, everything is very reminiscent of him,” Coy said. “We walked around pointing at things that said, ‘This is Harry’ or ‘This is literally Harry.’

Coy and Daniels refer to a life-sized poodle wearing a metallic string of magenta pearls with a crystal and pearl brooch attached to the right ear.

“How’s Harry?” I press them.

“Just because it is. He looks like him,” Coy replied. “It’s a feeling. He’s also this little duck over there, he’s extremely that duck—that’s how he is. He is so precious. It’s like a little duck on the counter.”

Daniels pulls up an iPhone photo of the pastel yellow ceramic duck on display outside the store and then scrolls to a photo of Styles in a yellow stripe with a string of pearls.

When you look at them side by side, it’s hard not to see the resemblance.

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