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.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.