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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
@beyonce chose a custom gown by @falgunishanepeacockindia for mother @mstinalawson 's second annual Wearable Art Gala last night. The gown, which took 10 days to make, was inspired by Nubian warrior queen Amanishakheto. Reporting by @hernameislex . #wwdeye 👑 🐝#beyonce
After dressing @justintimberlake for his Super Bowl halftime performance last month, @stellamccartney has designed the star’s "Man of the Woods" tour wardrobe. Timberlake will be wearing a mix of pieces from McCartney’s fall men's collection as well as custom designs and items from his own closet. #wwdfashion