Every year, WWD Beauty Biz publishes “Beauty’s Top 100.” Overseen by European editor Jennifer Weil, the list ranks the 100 biggest global companies based on their 2008 sales. The timing this year seems particularly apropos. After all, now that the dust from the economic upheaval has settled, what better time to assess the damage done?
Perusing the Top 100, a few points become immediately clear: Most of the industry’s major players managed to eke out growth despite the tremendous turmoil. Number–one ranked L’Oréal reached sales of $25.81 billion, an increase of 2.8 percent, while Procter & Gamble came in a strong second at $19.8 billion, a 6.5 percent rise over 2007. Rounding out the top five, in order, are Unilever, the Estée Lauder Cos. and Avon Products, whose sales rose 9.7 percent versus 2007, thanks in large part to a restructuring plan started three years ago and a 7 percent increase in the number of associates worldwide selling the brand. (For a full report, turn to “Beauty’s Top 100,” starting on page 19.)
Also of note is the tremendous management changes that have taken place over the last 12 months. Three of the top five companies, P&G, Unilever and Estée Lauder, feature new senior management, all of whom bring fresh visions and concise strategies for powering their firms—and the industry as a whole—forward. It’s a story we’ve covered extensively and will continue to do so as the year progresses.
The Japanese companies Shiseido and Kao, ranking number seven and nine, respectively, were the only companies in the top 10 to post decreases for the year. Our special report, “World Wide Watch: Japan” explains why. Though it has the highest per-capita spend on beauty products in the world, Japan is also a mature market—literally—with more than 22 percent of the population over the age of 65. That dynamic, combined with the country’s economic woes, has produced a fundamantal shift in the beauty industry, as you’ll read on page 16.
Despite the country’s challenges, luxury labels are still all the rage in Japan. Particularly popular there—and most everywhere else in the world—is Chanel, whose products have come to symbolize the ultimate in French chic. Last year, the company named makeup artist Peter Philips its new creative director of color cosmetics, succeeding 30-year veterans Heidi Morawetz and Dominique Moncourtois. It’s a big job and Philips has proven himself up to the task, as you’ll discover in “Artist at Large,” on page 44. As he tells our London-based beauty editor Brid Costello, “Beauty can be in the surprise or if it’s unintended…Sometimes, if someone is too perfect, it can be boring. I like when something is crooked—it can make you stand out and be an individual.” In an age when everyone is searching for new ways to express themselves, that sounds like a winning strategy, indeed.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)