The first time I tried to surf, a strong current propelled my board so fast toward the beach that I hit sand before I ever had a chance to stand up. After several failed attempts and swallowing more than my share of seawater, I made a last-ditch effort to accomplish my mission. As a new wave took form and I paddled to catch it, the earth suddenly seemed to stop spinning. For a moment, everything played out in slow motion and I somehow, calmly and quietly, found time to push myself up onto my feet and ride all the way in to shore.
Athletes refer to this phenomenon as “being in the zone.” And if any major executive today knows the feeling, it would be Susan Arnold. Named president of all Procter & Gamble business units just last month, she now runs a $75 billion-a-year empire. Increasingly, beauty sales account for a significant share of that pie. And it’s no secret: She is maneuvering P&G in a bid to overtake L’Oréal as the largest cosmetics company in the world.
But what’s most interesting about Arnold is not that she’s determined to win the race, but that in the process of getting to the finish line, she is profoundly changing the game. Right before going on maternity leave this summer, Jenny B. Fine traveled to P&G headquarters in Cincinnati to talk strategy with this dynamic leader.
On the subject of change, Pete Born writes eloquently in this issue about the continuing erosion of department store dominance in America and where even the big guns, including L’Oréal, Lauder, Dior and Arden, are now taking some of their business. The Internet and television are just two of several enterprising options.
Given the retail sea change, Molly Prior has gathered five innovative merchants from every channel of trade for an insightful panel discussion on how they are staying ahead of the curve. If only it were as easy as launching the next “It” bag. In between meeting all her deadlines for Women’s Wear Daily, Sharon Edelson examines why beauty marketers don’t emulate their fashion counterparts and churn out status items at sky-rocketing prices, season after season.
Well, maybe washing in and out with the tide is not the way to go anyhow. For brands seeking long-term relationships with their consumers, Michelle Edgar gets guidance from mentors of FIT’s graduating class.
Believe it or not, looking washed-out is in for fall. A so-cool-it’s-cold pallor, paired with either dark eyes or bold lips, is a surprisingly strong trend among those spotted on the runways and showcased in these pages.
More fabulous, hair-raising news: Photographer Guy Aroch snaps standout styles by ever-inventive mane man Oribe. And Megan McIntyre rounds up every hair color product on the market for this month’s It List.
It’s all to dye for. So, happy reading! I’m going surfing.
@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