Women’s Wear Daily’s Beauty Biz held its annual awards breakfast Dec. 10 at the Four Seasons. As always, the event was swift, but powerful and acknowledged innovation in the beauty business.What makes one brand, one retailer or one marketer stand out from the competition? Here’s thinking — and opinions — about what made a handful this year’s winners deserve the kudos.
Olay Professional Pro-X: When retailers first saw the price point on Pro-X they gasped (the starter kit exceeds $60). They quickly changed their tune when Olay became the first true mass market skin care line to crack price barriers in the mass market. The success came from educational advertising and products that have high efficacy. When talking about hits of the last year, Pro-X is one of the first most buyers mention. The item won because Pro-X revolutionized mass skin care and has opened the door for chains to sell more premium items.
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw: Not much happens as far as celebrity launches in mass. Most drug and discount store chains must wait for the famous “second tier” distribution process. That wasn’t the case with Coty’s launches behind this famous duo. Retailers were flattered to have first dibs on the line and responded with good positioning that paid off big time and is currently bringing in a nice fragrance bounce for the holiday.
Axe Advertising Campaign: Walk into any high school locker room and Axe is a staple — even for many girls who are athletic and like the stronger scent. To avoid complacency and lose shoppers to new and competitive products, Axe brought out a campaign that proved it is still the innovator in the market. Hard Candy: The walls and walls of pegged cosmetics can be boring. But Wal-Mart and Nu-World cosmetics knew that need not be the case. An old indie brand was reborn in the mass world and it is already moving well, according to company officials. While many once-premium-only apparel brands have converted to exclusives as mass merchants, beauty has been slower to do so. The success of Hard Candy could change all that.
Duane Reade: One need only ride up the escalator to the second floor of the new Duane Reade to see why this chain won out against huge competitors. Duane Reade is proving it isn’t afraid to add expensive brands and service to make its stores more than ho-hum.
The breakfast always lures the elite of the business and attendees were thrilled to see William Lauder, Petra Strand and Nicholas Perricone among many others. For a variety of reasons, there were some winners who were missing — but if they are innovative again, maybe they’ll attend in 2010.
And being innovative is more important than ever. Wendy Liebmann, ceo of WSL Strategic Retail, challenged the group to be more innovative for survival in the years to come. The race is officially on for next year’s BeautyBiz winners.
People, Place and Things:
A few words with Wendy Liebmann, ceo and chief shopper of WSL Strategic Retail. Liebmann was the featured speaker at the event and provided an encompassing view of the beauty business.
Liebmann: All of the innovation right now is at the retail level such as Bloomingdales and Duane Reade. It is time for all of you in the room who are being awarded as innovators to be more innovative.
What you have to remember is that consumer habits have changed. Eighty percent of female beauty consumers say they will continue to buy only products that they need, while only 15 percent will go back to spending freely. You have to make them want what you sell.
What’s In Store:
Hot For Christmas: On retailers’ nice list so far are Santa Baby from Wet ‘n’ Wild, Sexy Curves from Rimmel, McGraw by Tim McGraw, Snuggies and pedicure kits.
Chong Bang Leaves Walgreens: Chong Bang, who helped Walgreens establish its new Customer Centric Retailing Initiative, will depart the chain for a position at Shoppers Drug Mart, effective Dec. 18.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)