The foundations of what would become L’Oréal— the world's largest beauty company—were built in a modest Parisian apartment at the turn of the last century. Eugène Schueller, a trained chemist born into a family of artisans, became interested in the complexities of hair dye.At that time, such rudimentary products had to stay on heads for three hours and — due to the silver salts they contained — could easily turn hair green. Schueller’s goal was to develop effective, nontoxic colorants that would also protect, nourish and bolster hair’s health. Rather than using traditional recipes and prescriptions for that, he took a scientific approach to hair. In 1909, Schueller set up a firm called La Société Française des Teintures Inoffensives pour Cheveux (or The Safe Hair Dye Company of France) with the equivalent of $165 at current exchange. His kitchen served as a laboratory and the dining room, a demonstration area.The firm’s leading principles — science and innovation in the interest of individual beauty needs — were established from the outset, as was the philosophy of serving the industry. Schueller, for instance, considered his company as the “ultimate university of hair dyes,” a training center for professionals.“I did it all: formulas, sales and delivery,” writes Schueller in a diary. “Sales were the worst part. I was shy and had to force myself. I endured many a flat denial.”He became friendly with some 50 hairstylists, and 10 representatives delivered products ontricycles. In 1910, the company opened a warehouse in Turin, Italy, starting its international push. By 1930, the firm was selling products in 18 countries (and today, it’s in more than 130 countries).
The colorants the company produced in the Twenties and Thirties included L’Oréal d’Or and L’Oréal Blanc.Imédia, from 1929, was the first fast-acting coloration process and considered revolutionary. “The launch of Imédia tint marks the first time the [company] adapted to the fashion preferred by women of the day,” says Jacques Marseille, a historian who penned the book L’Oréal, 1909–2009, which will be published in September by Editions Perrin. “L’Oréal set itself apart as a brand that adapted itself to modern women.”Schueller tackled developing other types of products, including cold perming and new shampoo formulas.“The 1928 purchase of Monsavon marked [the company’s] entry into the mass market,” says Marseille of the soap brand.
“I grew up in New York but I hadn’t really experienced the city in any type of touristy way…This was probably the first museum I really explored and took the time to see,” said @haileybaldwin of the @whitneymuseum. On Tuesday night, Baldwin was joined by Jemima Kirke and more at the annual Whitney Museum Gala and Studio Party, which honored Lorna Simpson, Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo and Beth Rudin DeWoody. See more photos on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
Displayed starting this week at the @fashiontextilemuseum: An exhibition on designer @orlakiely titled “Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern,” which spans two decades and contains more than 150 pieces. “I want people to come away loving pattern and print. It’s something that makes you feel so good,” said the designer during a preview of the exhibit. Also on show are mood boards, samples, sketches and more. Head to WWD.com to see more photos. #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Dan Doperalski)