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.
@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