August means the publication of the WWD Beauty Inc Top 100, our annual globing ranking of the world’s biggest beauty manufacturers. This year’s list makes one thing clear, at least for the majority of firms who made the cut: Happy days are here again. After two years of being pummeled by the effects of the worldwide recession, sales of beauty products rebounded in 2010. Combined, the top 100 firms had sales of $176.18 billion for the calendar year, a 25.1 percent increase versus 2009. While the jump can in some ways be attributed to exchange rate fluctuations, beauty is without a doubt coming back. Last year for example, only one company in the top 10 (#3, Unilever) posted a sales increase; conversely, this year, only one posted a decline (#8, the Tokyo-based Kao Group.) Also notable in the top 10: Shiseido moved from sixth to fifth, bumping Avon down one spot to number six, and L’Oréal, Unilever, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. and Chanel all posted double-digit increases for the year. Beauty’s Top 100 is a truly mammoth undertaking, overseen by our European beauty editor Jennifer Weil. As you’ll see, there are many fascinating facts to be gleaned from this year’s edition.
At the top of the list lies L’Oréal, the $25 billion beauty behemoth that has held the number-one spot for over 15 years. Lindsay Owen-Jones, who ran the company from 1984 to 2006, is the man largely credited for propelling L’Oréal to that position. Jean-Paul Agon, who took over as chief executive officer in 2006 and added the title of chairman in March, is the man charged with keeping it there. Owen-Jones is one of the chief architects of the globalization of the modern-day beauty industry. Today, Agon has expanded on that idea with his doctrine of universalization—beauty for all. “I want to express a new concept, which goes beyond globalization,” said Agon, during an in-depth interview with WWD’s executive editor of beauty, Pete Born. “In order to conquer and loyalize all these consumers around the world, the idea is to build from the [international] brands that we have....The second step is to make sure that these brands have products that are completely specifically designed, formulated and adapted to the needs and demands of the local consumers.” Discover the details of Agon’s vision in “Universal Designs."
Alan Ennis, the president and chief executive officer of Revlon (#27, with sales of $1.32 billion, up 2 percent versus 2009) also has a very clear strategy for reestablishing the vibrancy of the storied American beauty brand that has been burdened with huge debts. “The objective is to drive profitable growth. That’s a change in direction from where we were five years ago,” he tells WWD’s beauty financial editor, Molly Prior, in “Master Class." Ennis has implemented a slew of changes to achieve his goals, in product development, in marketing and communications, in global initiatives. But he also admits to a somewhat unorthodox approach. “My Irish heritage lends to a somewhat humorous style,” he says. “Regularly in meetings, I’ll crack a joke here and there to lighten the mood. If you’re not having fun, it’s a waste of time.” If Ennis can keep delivering the results that he’s achieved thus far, one can only assume that for Revlon, as for the industry itself, good times lie ahead.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews