Is there anyplace on earth with more raw energy than Asia? The exploding middle class in China, India and Indonesia, to name just a few. The urbanization boom and emergence of major new cities. The unquenchable enthusiasm for new experiences, new products. Our goal with this, our first-ever issue dedicated to Asia, was to capture that energy in the pages of WWD Beauty Inc, and bring to life this region that’s so much more than just another place to sell more stuff. (Although there’s a lot of that, too. In most of these countries, double-digit sales increases are the norm, not the exception.)
But while Asia is a key business development driver, what is truly fascinating is the evolution of its role as trend setter rather than follower. Whereas historically the flow of influence has been from West to East, now the cross currents mean that Chinese supermodel Liu Wen is a global—not regional—face of Estée Lauder while the French-born Sephora and its open-sell, self-assist format has taken root as one of Asia’s key beauty concepts. “Asian women in general are true beauty seekers, quite phenomenally so,” Procter & Gamble’s Joanne Crewes tells our Beijing-based reporter Kathleen McLaughlin in “In Development” on page 28, where she looks at how (and where) the urbanization of China is impacting consumer mores, and the expected impact for international beauty marketers.
If names like Wuhan, Xi’an and Qingdao are unfamiliar, they most likely won’t be for long. All are cities of six million-plus people in China; all represent rich opportunity. All have also been colonized, so to speak, by Sephora, the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton–owned retailer, which is aggressively expanding its presence across Asia. As you’ll see in “Asia Major” on page 32, the retailer expects to have 100 stores in China by yearend, and 50 scattered across Southeast Asia within the next three years.
Sephora doesn’t yet have stores in India, where the law currently forbids foreign direct investment in retail in the multibrand segment. However, industry analysts say it’s only a matter of time before such restrictions are loosened and western-based retailers gain a stronger toehold. When they do, they’ll find a receptive population, particularly to fragrance. As Mayu Saini reports in “India Blooms” on page 34, fragrance has very deep roots in India, among both men and women. And though sales are currently small compared to the worldwide market, they are growing in some sectors by 100 percent.
Elsewhere in this issue is an in-depth interview with Shiseido’s Carsten Fischer, who discusses everything from the challenges confronting Japan after the recent natural disasters to how he’s married his native German dialectic communication style to the Japanese consensus culture. As you’ll read in “Master Class” on page 8, he’s been able to successfully meld the two and cross cultural boundaries. Likewise, the three beauties on our cover—Tao Okamoto, Hyoni Kang and Ming Xi—are as popular in Paris and New York as they are in their respective hometowns of Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai. They, too, have successfully crossed cultural boundaries and we hope that with this issue, we have as well. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
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