PARIS -- Like many beauty giants, the health of L'Oreal can be gauged by its flow of new products. Last year's launch tally was 60 different lines, a staggering number by any industry standard.
Here, some new brands to watch.
Start by Laboratoires Garnier: L'Oreal's entry into the budding men's men's treatment market debuted in February on French mass-market shelves and will roll out to selected European markets by the end of the year.
The Laboratoires Garnier brand, which includes toiletries, sun care and hair care lines, eventually will come to the U.S., according to Guy Peyrelongue, president and chief executive officer of the New York-based Cosmair, Inc. The brand, he said, would give Cosmair a lower-priced alternative in the mass market. "The products have great quality, but they're more affordable than L'Oreal."
Helena Rubinstein: After completing its acquisition of the brand in 1988, L'Oreal yanked Rubinstein from the shelves, then set about reinventing the brand.
Today, Rubinstein skin care, makeup and sun care products boast striking, upscale packaging, sophisticated advertising and prices 10 percent above Lancome. The real test will be Rubinstein's homecoming to the U.S.
Lindsay Owen-Jones, chairman and chief executive officer of L'Oreal, said, "It's difficult to determine just how long we'll feel we have to wait until the memories of Helena Rubinstein in the mass market have gone away sufficiently for us to be able to relaunch it in U.S. department stores."
Capital Soleil by Vichy Laboratoires: Although there are numerous sun filters for UVB rays, which cause sunburn, there are very few that protect effectively against UVA rays, which cause photo-aging. In 1982, L'OrÄal researchers developed a new anti-UVA molecule -- Mexoryl-SX. However, it took nine years to get European Community authorization and it is still waiting for U.S. approval. Last year it was put to use in Capital Soleil. The Vichy pharmacy brand does 97 percent of its business in Europe. But executives believe there's worldwide potential.
Biotherm: In 1992, Cosmair restricted the brand's distribution to the Miami-based Burdines. Worldwide, Biotherm was given updated packaging and a new ad campaign to emphasize nature and simplicity, an apparent answer to the industry's New Age marketing trend. Price points have been cut in some world markets, including the U.S. Owen-Jones predicts, "You'll see a lot more Biotherm in the States."Peyrelongue said Cosmair is planning to expand Biotherm's distribution to an additional department store chain.
Oui-Non by Kookai: L'Oreal has ruled out children's fragrances, but has no qualms about going after the toddler's teenage sister. Oui-Non is L'Oreal's most sophisticated effort yet to woo the elusive teenybopper customer. Launched in the French mass market in July, it had 1993 sales of 40 million francs and is set to be rolled out in Europe this year. It follows the 1991 launch of a Naf Naf scent.
Both are part of the company's scheme to grow its mass-market fragrance business.
"We're beginning to understand how to develop something approximately equivalent to the [U.S.] Vanderbilt type of franchise in the rest of the world," Owen-Jones said. "The big difficulty is that the brands that appeal in this mass-but-quality-fragrance business are not really very often worldwide brands. But even if Kookai clothes didn't come to the U.S. for a long time, who says that the Kookai kind of madness in advertising and way of talking to kids couldn't be translated into something attractive for American teenagers?"
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast