Dr. Jean-Michel Karam is an expert in the field of micro- electro-mechanical systems, and although he always suspected his work had applications for the beauty industry, he long resisted exploring them. “I had a bad opinion of the cosmetics industry,” he confessed to West Coast beauty editor Rachel Brown, summing up his opinion in two words: “pure marketing.” The Frenchman did, finally, approve the development of a skin care device within his company, which turned into a complete line called Ioma, which is launching in the U.S. this fall at Saks. The devices measure different parameters of a customer’s skin (moisturization, wrinkle depth, etc.), then prescribe a regimen that will result in measurable improvement about two months later. The line is expected to reach worldwide revenues of about $20 million this fall—but it’s not the numbers that have made Karam a believer in beauty, as you’ll read in “The Measure of a Man”. It’s the science.
Indeed, this entire issue is devoted to the beauty industry’s quest for discovery. Jennifer Weil, our European editor, traveled to Darmstadt, Germany, where she toured Procter & Gamble’s research facilities for its professional hair care and devices businesses. There, she found a veritable world of wonder—from microscopes that magnify a hair strand up to 3 million times to acoustic cameras able to pinpoint the precise spot where an electrical device is malfunctioning. For a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of this beauty behemoth, turn to “Inside Oz”.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"