Retail isn’t dead — at least not if beauty has anything to do with it.Speaking at a Fashion Group International breakfast Thursday morning at Manhattan’s 21 Club, Esteé Lauder Cos. Inc. executive group president John Demsey addressed the economic slowdown hurting the malls and brick-and-mortar department stores where many Lauder brands are sold.“It’s been particularly bad for the apparel business,” said Demsey, in a conversation moderated by his close friend, Ballantine Bantam Dell editor-at-large Alina Cho. “One of the major retailers made a point that [apparel] in its more selective, [high-end] distribution is 50 percent of the size that it was 10 years ago. And the beauty business is much bigger.”The byproducts of the digital era — influencers, social media, e-commerce platforms — that the industry blames on the downfall of brick and mortar are actually good for business, according to Demsey. “All of this promiscuity of content and experiences and showing off [with selfies and how-to videos] and talking about everyone is an accelerator in the beauty business.”Beauty will always have a place in brick-and-mortar retail because it offers and experience, he argued — and experiences are what consumers want out of brick and mortar right now. “They’re going in-store when they can have experiences and services,” said Demsey. “The companies that are winning are able to establish an omnichannel relationship between what goes on in the cloud and what goes on in the store.”Speaking of the cloud, Demsey predicted that technology will continue to be further ingrained in the shopping experience. “Artificial intelligence and learning by the machine, understanding big data and knowing how to translate that into creative solutions and applied marketing techniques — we’re looking at everything,” he said. “Anything [linked] to retail and omnichannel, virtual experience or communication or shoppability is superimportant.”Switching gears back to simpler times, Demsey recalled his early years working on the Tom Ford Beauty launch. “We felt there was tremendous aspirational value in an American designer with a movie-star persona,” said Demsey. He noted the brand began in fragrance and grew to include lipstick, but didn’t really hit its stride until Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., joined the company in 2009. "He unlocked the barriers to allow us to really add dimension the business — being Italian, knowing Domenico De Sole [chairman of Tom Ford International], the lineup of all those things has proven to be very successful."
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)