In the past six months alone, WWD Beauty Inc has published wonderfully compelling stories on Brazil’s booming direct-sell business, the evolution of the Indian fragrance market, Sephora’s aggressive expansion into China and Southeast Asia and the global worldviews of some of beauty’s most powerful chief executives. But when we stopped to take stock, we realized that much of the uncertainty roiling the industry is happening in our own backyard: The U.S. The first half of the year has certainly presented a mixed bag: Prestige beauty sales shot up just as the consumer confidence index was heading towards a 30-year low; retail stock prices surged, but the unemployment rate stubbornly hovered at 9 percent. The contradictions aroused our curiosity, and the result is this, an issue entirely devoted to America. We started by asking questions: Who’s shopping today? Why? What is she looking for in terms of beauty products and experiences? And how did the recession permanently alter her consumption patterns, overall and with beauty specifically. As you’ll see in “The Anxiety Gap,” the results are fascinating. One fact that became abundantly clear is that the affluent are clearly driving sales; the concept of the upper middle class has all but disappeared and the middle class itself remains wary about discretionary spending. “The recession is over, but the behavior people have learned is not,” retail analyst Wendy Liebmann told me during the course of my interviews. Discover what the permanent changes are, and how they will impact your business. The nail category has not only not been hard hit during the recession, it has positively thrived. Prestige nail sales soared 58 percent in the first half of this year alone. As Rachel Brown reports in “Hand Power,” women have turned to nail as an affordable indulgence, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. Gain insight on how the category is expected to evolve, and the hottest products driving growth. When it comes to influencing what women buy, few have a voice as powerful as the beauty editor. While social media and the rise of bloggers have certainly added to the chorus of credible advisors, a group of forward-looking editors have retrenched and created new ways to dimensionalize the pages of their publications, both online and offline. As you’ll learn in “Messenger Center,” what was once a month-by-month communication with readers has now become minute by minute—and even extended to the retail counter. “ People call it new media and social media, but to me, it’s media,” says Teen Vogue’s beauty director Eva Chen. “It’s different layers and everything has to serve its purpose.” Chen’s statement reflects not only the new democratic approach to the the dissemination of information, it’s a also a perfect summation of how we live and shop in America today. Let me know what you think at email@example.com.
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)