Shoppers are buying beauty in more places, and soon they'll have more stores to encourage that habit. Some beauty retailers — namely Ulta, Bluemercury, Bare Escentuals and Sephora via J.C. Penney — have unrolled blueprints for aggressive store growth, which in most cases will accelerate in 2008. Regis Corp. plans to ratchet up the competition by transforming its 630 Trade Secret stores into "beauty boutiques," which in addition to professional hair care will carry skin care and cosmetics. It's a model that bares a striking similarity to that of Ulta, the beauty retailer that houses salon, mass market and increasingly prestige brands under one roof.
Ulta, the Romeoville, Ill.-based retailer that went public in October, has built a chain of some 236 stores located in suburban off-mall shopping centers, and plans to end the year with 250 doors. Ulta's president and chief executive officer, Lyn Kirby, said the chain has the potential to grow to 1,000-plus stores over the next decade.
In high-end shopping hubs, the Washington D.C.-based Bluemercury aims to reposition itself from a Northeastern beauty apothecary into a national player. The 26-store chain — which is now in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Princeton, N.J. — plans to open 30 more doors in 2008. The firm wants to maintain a 30-stores-a-year pace and reach 300 stores by 2010, said Marla Malcolm Beck, founder and ceo of Bluemercury.
The mineral makeup brand Bare Escentuals, which is sold in both Ulta and Sephora, continues to open its own stand-alone brand boutiques and has earmarked a long-term target of 400 such stores. Of its 33 company-owned boutiques that have been open for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, Bare Escentuals' average annual net sales during the period was approximately $1,800 a square foot, according to the firm's annual report.
For its part, Sephora — which has about 180 stores — has aligned itself with Penney's and in early 2006 began opening stand-alone branded boutiques in the department store. The beauty shop has since opened in about 30 Penney's doors, and Penney's said it plans to accelerate the rollout of the Sephora concept next year.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast