By  on February 10, 2012

In the new sitcom Rob, comedian Rob Schneider plays a schlubby anglo man married to a hot Latina. Critics roundly panned the show—“fusty banality” was the verdict of the New York Times. Viewers disagreed, however, with 13.5 million people tuning in to watch the premiere on January 12, a figure EW.com said “stunned” the entertainment industry.

Clinique’s Ricardo Quintero wasn’t surprised however. Noting that Rob marks the first time a Latino family has been the centerpiece of a TV show on a mainstream American network, he says succinctly: “This show is tapping into an overall larger cultural trend that is happening.”

Indeed. That cultural trend—namely, the Hispanic population explosion in the U.S. over the last decade—has major implications for society overall, and beauty in particular. For Latino women (and men), beauty is a cultural imperative, making this a group that is going to be a key driver of sales in the U.S. in the years to come—the new generation of power consumer. “Latinas take great care of their appearance and they embrace their femininity in an amazing way,” says Chanel’s Christine Dagousset. As you’ll read in “Viva Latina,” that translates into a group that buys more makeup, skin care, hair products and fragrance than Caucasian consumers— provided marketers are attuned to their needs.

No doubt that the four women in “The Crimson Guard”—Marla Malcolm Beck, Jani Friedman, Katia Beauchamp and Ada Polla— are listening to the Latin beat. Each is a graduate of Harvard University, and each is out to make her mark in the beauty industry in a different way. WWD’s beauty financial editor, Molly Prior, recently sat down to talk with each about what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur today.

Elsewhere in this issue, you’ll find an in-depth interview with Esi Eggleston Bracey, the exuberant executive who is the vice president of global cosmetics at Procter & Gamble. One of her favorite phrases is “rock your beautiful,” and she certainly applies it to every area of her life, as you’ll read in “Master Class.”

Jennifer Weil, our European beauty editor, profiled another dynamic rising star, perfumer Olivier Polge. The son of Chanel master perfumer Jacques Polge, Olivier is quickly making a name for himself with scents such as Balenciaga Paris and Dolce & Gabbana The One. While Polge admits that he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t aware of perfumery, he’s also very much his own man, personally and professionally. As with the others in this issue, we think he represents the best and brightest of the present and the future of the beauty industry, and hope you agree.

Drop me a line and let me know what you think at Jenny_Fine@fairchildfashion.com.

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