The book Granularity of Growth was published in 2008, but it is a concept that has become especially ubiquitous today in beauty as growth plateaus in traditional sectors. As a result, marketers are forced to create new opportunities in unexpected places, and many have done so with spectacular results—to wit, Clinique’s Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, which blasted open the brightening category in the U.S. Although the stories in this issue of WWD Beauty Inc are very diverse, they have a common thread: The retailers and categories featured are all experiencing explosive growth in a period when single-digit increases are the norm.
Take the dollar store channel of retail, which is growing at a pace faster than Starbucks, reports WWD’s contributing editor and mass-market expert, Faye Brookman. This year alone, two of the biggest players will open more than 1,000 new stores combined, and the channel is expected to continue nabbing market share (and top executive talent) from drugstores and discounters. Brookman explains what this means for beauty in “Penny Press.”
Another fast-growing and ever-evolving channel is infomercials. The direct-response television business is booming—spending increased 47 percent in 2012 and was up 38 percent in January alone this year—but as many brands are discovering, a big spend doesn’t necessarily translate into big sales. WWD’s West Coast–based beauty reporter Rachel Brown talked to the industry’s most successful practitioners to discover what it takes to win today and the foundation brands are laying for a multiplatform future. The results are in “Small Screen Dreams.”
Mass-market hair-care brands are also looking for a big win. After years of stagnant growth, the category has been energized in the past 16 months by an onslaught of launches—more than 500 new stockkeeping units alone from the industry’s biggest names. This generation of innovation has a singular goal: to transform consumer’s behavior and convince women to evolve their hair-care regimens into multistep programs that mimic skin care. “The hair-care market is undergoing a massive, long-term transition,” Unilever’s Gina Boswell told beauty financial editor Molly Prior. “Increasingly hair consumers are becoming more sophisticated and understanding that products work as a regimen of wash, care and treatment and they are willing to invest.” The early numbers bear out Boswell’s optimism. Find out how the market is expected to evolve this year in “Maximum Volume.”
There is another theme running throughout this issue: an emphasis on West Coast brands and leaders. You’ll find Benefit’s Aurelian Lis in “Master Class,” skin-care entrepreneur Ole Henriksen in “Private Lives,” and the hottest young Hollywood makeup artists and hair stylists in “Red Carpet Whiz Kids.” Although he brings a unique sensibility to the industry, Lis’ ideas about beauty are universal. “We all work in the cosmetics industry, which is inherently frivolous by nature, but it makes a big impact on people’s lives,” he says. “It is an awesome job. And very motivating.” I couldn’t agree more.
5 Key Points From This Issue
1. TUNE IN: The infomerical channel is growing and becoming increasingly integrated with other platforms.
2. REGIMEN CHANGE: Hair-care marketers are trying to grow the pie by transforming women’s habits.
3. VALUE ADDED: Dollar stores are booming, proliferating even faster than Starbucks.
4. GOOD TIMES: Why making people laugh is good for sales.
5. POP TOPS: Bright colors are all the rage for spring.
“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