If Plato’s utopian city-state Kallipolis ever becomes a reality, Yoshiharu Fukuhara is a shoo-in to become its philosopher king. One of the most successful chief executive officers in the history of beauty, he is also one of its most modest. Largely responsible for transforming Shiseido, the company founded by his grandfather 140 years ago, from a Japanese beauty concern into a global conglomerate, Fukuhara remains a humanist at heart, the antithesis of the hard-driving executive. Yet his achievements are legendary, impacting not only his company but the entire industry: Fukuhara was an early champion of creativity, giving collaborators such as Serge Lutens and Chantal Roos the artistic and business freedoms to execute their visions. He brought Shiseido to Europe and the U.S., and was an early pioneer in China, creating relationships there in the Seventies that have blossomed into an enormous business today. And he was a leader who understood the importance of development and collaboration at a time when authoritarian figureheads were most often found in the corner office.
If those achievements sound like the fundamental tenets of success today, it’s because they are. Fukuhara paved the way that others have followed, and we are delighted to honor him with the WWD Beauty Inc Visionary of the Year award. For a fascinating look into Fukuhara’s analysis of the beauty industry, turn to “The Zen Master of Beauty.”
Doubtless, Fukuhara would appreciate the achievements of this year’s WWD Beauty Inc Award winners. In a standout year for beauty overall, they represent the best of the best. As always, our editor’s choice business-to-business awards recognize the brands, products, people and retailers that powered our industry forward this year. On behalf of everyone here, I’d like to wish congratulations to all of this year’s winners.
@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)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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