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.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
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.