Mae West seems an unlikely sage for the beauty industry. But those looking for guidance in surviving the ups and downs of 2007 would have been well served by her counsel to hold on tight. For many, it was, indeed, a bumpy ride. This issue of WWD Beauty Biz celebrates those who not only held on, they had a veritable iron grip. Despite the hurley-burley roller-coaster ride of retail consolidation, a downward-spiraling economy and ever-more demanding consumers, a number of companies hit the highs with innovative products, resourceful strategies and a single-minded focus on moving their business forward. It is those companies we celebrate in this, our fifth annual awards issue. As always, choosing the winners was no easy feat when our editors convened to debate. Using a set of criteria based on retail performance, industry feedback and our reporters throughout the year, we’ve compiled a roster that we think encompasses the best of beauty for 2007. Of particular note was the rise of highly specific niche brands that may do only one thing, but do it very well. It was also impossible to ignore the increasing influence of the green movement on the industry, as well as those who upped the ante in the advertising stakes, using their campaigns to unleash a multifaceted brand strategy. Turn to “The Winner Is...” on page 23 for full coverage of the 2007 WWD Beauty Biz awards.
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
“From concept to creation, my goal was to create beautiful pieces, with a variety of sizes, all at affordable prices,” said @joansmalls of the swimwear and intimate apparel she designed for @smartandsexysocial. The collection includes neon laced bras, sheer bodysuits and swimwear separates. The intimates collection will launch in July, while the swimwear collection will be available for purchase on Tuesday at select @walmart stores, walmart.com and smartandsexy.com. #wwdfashion