From reinventing the mascara wand to reimagining the at-home hair color experience, this year’s standout products captured the imaginations (and dollars) of consumers and retailers alike.
PRESTIGE COLOR COSMETICS Givenchy Phenomen'eyes Mascara
See a ball where a brush should be on a mascara wand and it’s natural to assume its creator has lost his or her marbles. Givenchy proved quite the contrary, though, with Phenomen’Eyes, a sphere-topped mascara wand that proved form and function go hand in hand. “The ergonomic brush allows the mascara to grab the very roots of the lashes and, by coating this critical area, the mascara mimics the same effect as eyeliner: Eyes appear fresher, enhanced and more awake,” explained Nicolas Degennes, Givenchy’s creative director of makeup. Phenomen’Eyes’ formula was as innovative as the wand, with fluid waxes for maximum playtime and molding polymers to keep lashes in place once the desired amount has been applied. For the launch, Givenchy created buzz with pop-up galleries outside Sephora doors, nighttime video installations in New York and a create your-own–screen saver Internet campaign. The plan worked: Launched as a Sephora exclusive in August, Phenomen’Eyes sold out in a month and continues to be a top seller in both the U.S. and France, with sources estimating that first-year retail sales will exceed $7 million in the U.S. alone. —Julie Naughton
PRESTIGE FRAGRANCE Harajuku Lovers
Creating five different scents and five different doll-shaped bottles for a simultaneous launch would be viewed by many companies as nuts. Coty isn’t most companies, though, and that’s exactly what the house did with Gwen Stefani’s September launch of Harajuku Lovers. For the project, Stefani created scents based on herself and her four real-life backup singers, Love, Angel, Music and Baby. “I didn’t think this project would actually come to life,” she admitted. “The idea that Coty would let me do five fragrances was a fantasy. [But] it really had to be five. Each girl has her own personality and sense of style.” Stefani has long been fascinated by the whimsical style of Tokyo’s Harajuku area. That whimsy is reflected in the Harajuku Lovers bottles, which consist of a glass base holding the juice and a personalized doll on top, each meticulously crafted with hand-applied detailing. The scents are inspired by Stefani’s views of her singers. Love is described as “sweet, caring, free-spirited and off in her own little world.” Lil’ Angel is “constantly looking out for others,” but is no saint. Music is “looking to make someone laugh,” and Baby is “enticing in her frilly innocence.” And then there’s G, representing the singer herself. Coty’s risk has paid off: Sources say the scents will hit $30 million globally in first-year sales. —Julie Naughton
PRESTIGE SKIN CARE Tria Laser
At-home high-tech devices had retailers raving this year, and earning the biggest kudos of all was the Tria Laser. The first laser hair remover approved for direct-to-consumer sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the $995 device launched in Bergdorf Goodman, Studio at Fred Segal, select Bliss spas and dermatologists’ offices earlier this year. Already available in select European and Asian markets under the name i-Epi, the device sold 15,000 units in two years at a higher price point of $1,600. Created by SpectraGenics, the company that developed the first diode-laser hair-removal technology more than decade ago, Tria was called “easy and effective” by Bergdorf ’s Pat Saxby. “My customers want things that really work,” she said earlier this year. One of a handful of FDA-approved personal-use devices, Tria has consumers migrating from dermatologists’ offices and spas to the privacy of their bathrooms for services that were previously only performed by professionals. Said dermatologist Eric Bernstein, who started selling the device shortly after its U.S. introduction: “You cannot stop a field-changing technology. You have to embrace it.” —Jenny B. Fine
PRESTIGE HAIR Intelligent Nutrients Horst Rechelbacher isn’t one to mince words or think small. He’s the person, after all, who introduced aromatherapy to the U.S. with his line Aveda, which he sold to the Estée Lauder Cos. in 1997 for a reported $300 million. So, after years of criticizing the beauty industry for “harmful” product formulations, he put his money where his mouth was with the launch of Intelligent Nutrients, a hair care line bearing the USDA Organic seal. All items, save for two designed for color-treated hair, are 100 percent certified organic; each contains a proprietary seed oil complex, described as an antiaging, antioxidant blend of black cumin, pumpkin, red grape, raspberry and cranberry seed oils. Pure enough to drink—as Rechelbacher himself demonstrated by quaffing hair spray during the line’s debut luncheon—Intelligent Nutrients’ products contain many ingredients sourced directly from his 600-acre farm in Wisconsin. The entrepreneur enlisted a team of scientists and marketers to launch the venture, with an innovative cross channel distribution strategy that ranges from the trendy—such as ABC Carpet & Home, Studio at Fred Segal and Barneys New York—to the populist, like the specialty chain Pure Beauty.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty