When Leonard Lauder created his famous term, the Lipstick Index, to illustrate the resilience of beauty during times of recession, it’s safe to say he probably wasn’t referring to $48 lipsticks. Thus far this year, though, Tom Ford Beauty is doing a brisk business in lipsticks costing just that. Meanwhile, sales of luxury skin care brands like La Mer, La Prairie and Chantecaille are soaring, while fragrances priced $100 and over are up 48 percent year to date. Indeed, the upper end of the beauty market is booming, and the positive impact is cascading across the entire prestige market. As Karen Grant, global industry analyst of The NPD Group, which provided these figures, says, “The higher end is the engine that is igniting the category, and is part of the reason we are seeing such strong growth.” Discover how the consumption habits of the affluent shopper have evolved in the last 12 months and how they’re impacting the overall market in “Indulge Me.”
One key evolution has been the demand for great service, among both the affluent and the aspirationals, a fact not lost on our cover subject, Lauren Remington Platt. A fixture of the New York social scene and descendant of the founder of Remington Arms Company, Platt is redefining the door-to-door concept with Vensêtte, which provides hair, makeup and manicures in the privacy of one’s own home. The 20-month-old company is booming, and Platt is now looking to expand her domain geographically and digitally. WWD’s European beauty editor Jennifer Weil reports on Platt’s growth strategy in “At Your Service.”
There’s a retail boom going on up North, too, in Canada, to be exact, where an influx of stylish fashion and beauty retailers are setting up shop. Sephora, J. Crew Anthropologie, Nordstrom and Target are among those drafting expansion plans for the country, which has a relatively low barrier to entry compared to many emerging markets. But as WSL’s Wendy Liebmann tells beauty financial editor Molly Prior, “Canada is a country that at first glance looks familiar, but there are a lot of differences.” Find out the key issues in “Red Hot Canada.”
No doubt Karen Buglisi, the global brand president of MAC Cosmetics and the subject of this month’s Master Class profile, would have some sage advice for those looking to expand in Canada. Buglisi is one of the key players in MAC’s ascendancy as the number-one color cosmetics brand in the prestige market, and as WWD’s executive editor Pete Born discovers, one who pours her heart and soul (as well as considerable brain power) into growing its business worldwide. Right now, Buglisi and her team are focused on Brazil, a country she calls the brand’s China. MAC is in full expansion mode there, exporting its innovative vision and theatricality to a beauty-hungry consumer group. One key initiative is the opening of flagships, both in Brazil and around the world. It’s an audacious goal, and one that epitomizes MAC’s strategy. Says Buglisi, “We take 100 percent responsibility for entertaining the consumer...It’s the way we bring the brand to life.”
5 Key Points From This Issue
1. Rich Rewards: In beauty, both the affluent and aspirational shopper are back—provided they receive great service.
2. Northern Star: Canada is North America’s new retail hot spot, with Target, Nordstrom and Sephora all plotting expansion plans.
3. The Growth Continuum: MAC’s global flagship strategy looks to capitalize on its key business drivers of entertainment, innovation and inclusiveness.
4. Shake it Up, Baby: Two top London department stores are experimenting with nontraditional formats to attract younger consumers.
5. The Young Guns: Individuality and a subtle sophistication connect the new young stars of the hair and makeup worlds.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion