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.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)