We’ve dubbed Ronald O. Perelman beauty’s most elusive mogul, because for the past 27 years, the number of times that he’s consented to sit for a wide-ranging, on-the-record interview can be counted on a single hand. But what was really significant about Perelman’s presence on Thursday, April 5, when he sat down with WWD’s executive editor of beauty, Pete Born, for an hour-long exclusive talk, wasn’t that he was there—it’s what he was wearing.
Perelman sported a white shirt, navy sweater and denim jeans by J. Crew and a jacket by Brunello Cucinelli, the luxe Italian sportswear manufacturer whose clothing costs in the thousands. That high-low mix perfectly encompasses Perelman’s vision for Revlon, the storied American mass market cosmetics company that has had its shares of ups and downs since Perelman acquired it in 1985. Revlon is currently up, coming off a 4.5 percent sales increase for 2011, and led by a dynamic management team who seem to have the chairman’s full confidence. Their mission now is to transform the brand into one that epitomizes affordable luxury, so that a woman would feel proud to pull a Revlon lipstick out of her Hermès bag—much the same way that Perelman himself effortlessly combines J. Crew and Cucinelli. For more on Perelman’s strategy for Revlon, his assessment of the current state of the cosmetics industry and why his life as a high-profile New York billionaire isn’t nearly as glamorous as the tabloids make out, turn to “Ronald Perelman’s Vision Quest.”
Ronald Perelman has never been one to shrink from big ideas, and the people who I spoke to for “From Hi to Buy” are likewise bold thinkers. Take Joseph Einhorn, the entrepreneur behind TheFancy.com, who hopes to make Amazon ancient history. Pioneers in the area of social commerce, Einhorn and his cohorts are on the cutting edge of harnessing the incredible power of social media to tap the unlimited opportunity of e-commerce. Discover how some leading brands and technology experts expect the field to evolve.
Although the four industry legends in “Leaders of the Pack” are retired from active beauty duty, they would doubtless be among the first to explore the emerging area of social commerce. Guy Peyrelongue, Jeanette Wagner, Robert Mettler and Arie Kopelman each helped shape a different aspect of the modern beauty industry, but what comes through when speaking to each is their intense curiosity, creativity, work ethic and overall sheer enjoyment of helping people achieve tough goals. As the industry’s current leaders gather for the 2012 WWD Beauty CEO Summit, we spoke to these past leaders to get some perspective on the future. I hope you’ll find their remarks as fascinating as I do. E-mail me at jenny_fine@ fairchildfashion.com and let me know where you think our industry is headed. Key Points From This Issue
1. Revlon Rising. Ronald Perelman’s goal is to make Revlon the J. Crew of the beauty industry.
2. The World Is Flat. Beauty’s most respected leaders agree: The closer management is to the creative and research teams, the better.
3. Unlock the Box. Renato Semerari on why mass retailers need to radically rethink fragrance merchandising.
4. Money Matters. Prestige sales were up in 2011 and CEO salaries followed suit. A look at the numbers.
5. The Golden Glow of Success. Look for a wave of innovation to help drive sales of bronzers and self-tanners.
@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