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.
In honor of Rihanna’s 30th birthday, we took a look back at an interview with the Barbados-native when she was just 18 years old. Here, she talked about her second album, “A Girl Like Me” in 2006. “I want to be me. I want people to fall in love with who Rihanna is, and that’s why I want the album to be about me so people can really find out who this girl Rihanna is, because they only know the ‘Pon de Replay’ girl.” Fast forward 12 years, and she’s released six more albums and has become a powerhouse in both the fashion and music industries. Happy birthday, @badgalriri 🎈(📷: Pavel Antonov) #wwdarchive
For @simonerocha_‘s fall show, hairstylist @jamespecis created a look inspired by the painter John Constable. Models’ hair was pulled back, tied into knots and topped off with a bow. (📷: @kukukuba) #wwdbeauty #lfw
Queen Elizabeth made a surprise appearance at @richardquinn1's London Fashion Week show to present the designer with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. The new award will be handed out annually to an emerging British fashion designer who shows exceptional talent, while demonstrating value to the community and sustainable policies. #wwdfashion #lfw (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)