SEOUL — Last week, Intercharm Beauty Expo, a major South Korean beauty trade show, took place in Seoul, at Coex Convention and Exhibition Centre in Seoul’s major commercial district, Gangnam. The three-day event featured a diverse array of Korean skin care, with more than 100 local brands exhibiting products. A major addition to this year’s event was the Russian pavilion showcasing major Russian skin-care brands, as well as the noticeable numbers of Russian buyers. The event also marked the 15th edition of the fair, and more importantly, the rebranding and relaunch of Intercharm Beauty Expo Korea, formerly known as Beauty Expo Korea, and its new partnership with Russian cosmetics trade show organizer, Intercharm Professionals. The South Korean organizer of the event, Reed K. Fairs Exhibitions, who also partnered with local exhibition and convention company Seoul Messe International, said the key reason for linking with Russia was the Korean cosmetics industry’s need to diversify, especially in the aftermath of South Korea’s tensions with China over its deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense antiballistic missile system. South Korea saw a huge fall in Chinese tourism, Chinese tourist-related domestic retail sales, and experienced issues in exporting its cultural content to China much of this year, due to an unofficial boycott by China over its disapproval over THAAD. South Korea is expected to experience a devastating $15 billion deficit this year, due to the drop in Chinese tourism and retail sales alone. Along with tourism and entertainment, Kbeauty is one of the sectors that has been hit the hardest, as profits fell for the nation’s major beauty producers. One of the nation’s largest cosmetics producers, AmorePacific, reported net income between July and September this year dropped to 79.8 billion won (or $73.4 million), compared with 117 billion won (or $107.6 million) during the same period in 2016, according to Yonhap. Other brands have experienced similar plunges in sales. “The South Korean beauty market was quite affected by the drop in Chinese consumers,” said Hadley Hong, project director at Reed K. Fairs Exhibitions. “Our industry, they realized — we cannot depend on the Chinese market so much. We need to aggressively find a new market which is not so risky, or changeable.” Despite reassurance from both sides — China and South Korea have promised to resume good relations, and local press cite Chinese consumption will go back to normal by February — THAAD tensions has left the K beauty industry shaken. “Last year, our major visitors were Chinese, but because of this kind of conflict, we could lose our biggest customers [if it were to happen again],” said Hong. “In Korea, we think that Southeast Asia, the Middle East, or the Russian and Central Eastern European markets have great potential. This is the kind of discussion that [the K beauty industry] had while we were in the middle of THAAD,” he added.Last year, K beauty exports to Russia totaled more than $48 million, according to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. While makeup and skin-care products saw a 69 percent increase in sales year-over-year, and are expected to continue to grow.“Yesterday, we had a conference held by the Russian embassy in Korea. They came here to give visitors information about what’s going on in the Russian market and how to sell well in the Russian market. More than 150 people from local Korean companies came," said Hong, adding that many Korean firms are eager to gain entry into the market. Russian buyers at the event included PJSC 36.6, the nation’s largest pharmacy chain with more than 1,740 pharmacies. As well as beauty anthology retailer L’Etoile, who can be likened to Sephora, with 1000 stores in 200 Russian cities. Besides the Russia-centric focus, the event also saw many South Korean brands touting Kbeauty’s latest big trends including organic baby skin-care brands, "cosmedicals" or medical cosmetics, Jeju Island-branded products, and a vast aray of oral care products -including toothpaste in chewable tablet form, and Korean color cosmetics.
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“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 at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. 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.