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Editor’s Letter: Rise and Shine

To borrow a line from the incomparable Frank Sinatra, 2011 was a very good year for beauty companies.

Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 08/10/2012

To borrow a line from the incomparable Frank Sinatra, 2011 was a very good year for beauty companies. For proof, look no further than the WWD Beauty Inc Top 100, our annual global ranking of the world’s biggest beauty manufacturers compiled by our indefatigable European beauty editor, Jennifer Weil. This year’s companies weigh in at a whopping $195.36 billion, a 10.6 percent increase over last year’s total. In all, 84 companies increased their sales and 38 posted double-digit growth. Of the 13 registering declines, six were from Japan, where consumer confidence remains low due to an anemic economy and the aftereffects of last year’s disastrous earthquake and tsunami. But the news was largely positive, as you’ll see in “Beauty’s Top 100.” Those who are long-time readers of WWD Beauty Inc will notice some changes to this year’s edition. In addition to the in-depth quantitative assessment of the industry, we’ve added more qualitative analysis as well. Let me know how you like the changes at jenny_fine@fairchildfashion.com.

In 2011, the fourth-ranked Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. posted the largest sales increase of any company in the top 10, with a 13.9 percent gain to estimated sales of $9.44 billion. A stellar performance in North America and a blistering travel-retail market contributed to those gains, as did the results posted by Origins. The brand struggled in the early 2000s, losing its focus on skin care and floundering amidst increased competition in the naturals category. In 2008, Jane Lauder took control of Origins and revived it, creating a performance-based brand platform that has successfully resonated with consumers today. The granddaughter of company founder Estée and daughter of Ronald and Jo Carole, Lauder has shown during her steady rise at the company that the clan’s fabled business acumen definitely runs in the family. Her latest challenge, as global president and general manager of Origins and Ojon, is to sustain the pace of growth at Origins as she simultaneously builds a nascent prestige hair-care category for Ojon. As you’ll discover in “The Natural,” those who know her well have no doubt that she will achieve both goals. “She is the ultimate professional—super committed and dedicated, a woman with a mission,” Rose Marie Bravo told me. “She is determined to make her mark.”

Nicolas Mirzayantz has also made a significant mark as group president at IFF, where he oversees the company’s $1.4 billion fragrance business. Mirzayantz is the ultimate right brain–left brain executive, combining an inherent creativity and sense of curiosity with a sharp analytical mind that understands that return on investment can take many different forms. As you’ll see in “Where Analysis Meets Innovation,” he is passionate about bringing forth the innovation that will drive the future growth of the industry. And for all the manufacturers who are included in this year’s Beauty’s Top 100 and those who aspire to make the list, it’s a point on which the entire industry can agree.

5 Key Points From This Issue

1. Who’s On Top; Who’s Not: Our definitive global ranking of the world’s biggest beauty companies.

2. A Global Worldview: By fostering the development of keen regional insights, IFF’s Nicolas Mirzayantz is driving his company’s global business.

3. Performance Art: How Jane Lauder is creating a resonant brand platform for the naturals category.

4. Eye Catching: Fall’s hottest product category.

5. Positive Outlook: As the second half of the year commences, Pete Born takes the temperature of key retailers.