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International Plaza’s Morphe store will open late fall, fans are dying to know if Tampa’s Jaclyn Hill will be there

The outside of a Morphe store that just opened in Texas. One is slated to open at International Plaza in Tampa this fall. (Courtesy of Morphe)
Tuesday 11 September 2018 09.55

TAMPA — You may not know what Morphe is, but if there’s anyone who is makeup obsessed in your life, they definitely do.

Morphe — think MAC and Sephora — said this week that its much-anticipated new store at International Plaza will welcome shoppers within a couple months, but did not specify a grand opening date. Plans for a new store first surfaced in July.

In addition to Morphe (pronounced MORE-fee), luxury vintage-inspired brand Johnny Was opened in April International Plaza’s second level near Neiman Marcus. It’s the brand’s first Tampa Bay store after opening shops along the state’s east coast and in Orlando.

"International Plaza continues to strengthen its diverse merchandise mix to appeal to both our loyal local customers and the tourist shopper," Sarah Williams, the plaza’s marketing and sponsorship director said in a statement. "Our goal is to provide a differentiated retail experience that expressively connects consumers with new concepts and favorite brands."

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The Morphe store, which will be the first in Florida — though another is planned in Aventura — has a base of loyal followers drawn to the makeup and brush brand because of its many YouTube celebrity partnerships. (If you don’t know who Manny MUA and James Charles are, your tween or teen likely does.)

Morphe, once just an online retailer, is one of the fastest growing makeup brands in America, according to International Plaza.

Fans have been begging for details on Twitter about the new Tampa store for months. One of the biggest questions on their minds? Will one of Morphe’s leading social media influencers and YouTube beauty guru Jaclyn Hill be there?

It’s official!!! Morphe is opening up a store in Tampa! My stomping grounds!!!??

— Jaclyn Hill (@Jaclynhill) July 21, 2018

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Not only is Hill the main face of a brand that grew through its social media endorsements, she lives in Tampa. Hill, 28, has 5.4 million subscribers on YouTube, where shes posts makeup tutorials and product reviews.

She has lines of popular eye shadow pallets and brushes with Morphe and has even done her makeup alongside reality show queen Kim Kardashian West.

Morphe cosmetics are also sold in Ulta stores, where Hill has drawn huge crowds to stores during promotional visits.

She also took a picture with everyone & She made sure nobody was left out. So happy I met you @jaclynhill ?? unforgettable experience ?? #Sosweetlookather #jaclynhill #jaclynhillfan pic.twitter.com/Deya6gIzKQ

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— Dulcemaria Delgado (@delgado_dulcee) September 9, 2018

When a New Jersey Morphe store opened at the Garden State Plaza in August, thousands flocked to see another YouTube beauty icon, Jeffree Star, according to The Record and northjersey.com.

Morphe said 21,000 people entered for a chance to be one of 300 just to meet the makeup mogul at the store opening.

Contact Sara DiNatale at sdinatale@tampabay.com. Follow @sara_dinatale.

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