Kees Kruythoff assumed his post as president of Unilever’s North American business after running the Brazilian operations of the Anglo-Dutch giant. Although conventional wisdom would hold that an emerging, fast-growing country would present a plethora of growth opportunities versus a mature, well-developed market, the opposite has proved to be the case. Unilever’s U.S. beauty business is on fire, with the company leading the mass market in sales increases in the key categories in which it competes. We wanted to know what is driving that success, and for the first time in more than a decade, key Unilever executives—Kruythoff and Gina Boswell, executive vice president of personal care in North America—sat down with WWD Beauty Inc for an in-depth discussion about the company’s strategic vision for the personal-care category. “We have a real growth agenda in the U.S.,” says Kruythoff. “It is all about growth, growth and growth.” To find out how he and Boswell are going to do it, turn to “Clean Sweep.”
Kruythoff also spent time running Unilever’s South Africa business. As he no doubt can attest, some of the countries of that continent are emerging as hot spots for beauty brands looking to establish a toehold in developing markets. WWD’s executive editor of beauty, Pete Born, and South African- based reporter Bambina Wise have collaborated on a report to give us a comprehensive overview of the region’s rapidly evolving beauty landscape. The result is in “Oh Africa!.”
The 18 people featured in “The Bay City Rollers” are also adept at optimizing growth opportunities. They represent the Silicon Valley power players in the worlds of tech and finance who most impact the beauty universe. The list features everyone from JH Partners’ John Hansen, best known for his acquisition of Bare Escentuals back in 1990, to Amy Cole, Instagram employee number six and the person to know if you’re a brand hoping to maximize your presence on the platform.
They’re on the cutting edge of knowing what’s next, and we hope you’ll feel the same after reading this issue.
“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