It was during long plane rides between Australia and the U.S. that Mecca Cosmetica founder Jo Horgan hammered out a plan to fill the gap of beauty retailing in Australia.
“Seventy percent of cosmetics are sold in department stores [in Australia],” said Horgan, noting a need in the market especially for niche brands. Thirteen years ago, she sought to offer customers an edited specialty beauty option with “the best of the best.” Today her company, Mecca Cosmetica, operates three formats: Mecca Cosmetica, Kit Cosmetics and Mecca Maxima.
“We were a new model, so we couldn’t go head-to-head with department stores,” said Horgan, who said she begged brands to sell her. Many of the beauty companies had little or no recognition in Australia, so Mecca took full ownership of them, handling everything from distribution to marketing. “We are solely responsible for our brands, so we are invested in their DNA and their success,” she said of the lines, which are sold exclusively at Mecca.
The hands-on approach, born out of necessity, clicked. Today Mecca counts 29 stores throughout Australia and New Zealand. Horgan followed that up with Kit Cosmetics, a beauty lifestyle store offering a no-frills approach to finding rare and coveted brands. There are now 10 of these units targeted to a slightly younger customer. The final format is Mecca Maxima, an evolution of Mecca Cosmetics that brings an edited mix of prestige beauty brands into one environment, with more than 3,000 beauty products across 100 brands. Mecca has nabbed a 10 percent share of sales in its markets and enjoys sales growth exceeding 20 percent in a “static” market.
Currently, said Horgan, 50 percent of sales are cosmetics, 35 percent skin care and 10 percent fragrance. She said she sees great opportunities to lift the percentage of fragrance, but that color was the easiest starting point for gaining shopper loyalty because women are more “fickle” and want to try new color brands.
Mecca’s shopper fan base has been built by a network of sales associates who are well trained and passionate about their jobs (there’s less than a 3 percent turnover in staff). Intense training is backed up with clever marketing, making optimal use of store signs and marketing campaigns such as a French theme for Valentine’s Day. Makeover services are offered in stores, building loyalty. “People want unbiased help, advice and brand edits,” said Horgan.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye