“The product is crucial and the consumer is crucial.”This sentiment was the key takeaway from today’s CEW Connected Consumer conference, held in New York at Cipriani 42nd Street.Trevor Hardy, chief executive officer of The Future Laboratory, came to this conclusion as the resolution to a friendly disagreement between two industry heavyweights — Frédéric Rozé, president of L’Oréal USA,and Marc Rey, president and ceo at Shiseido Americas Corp.Kicking off the morning’s speakers with a keynote address, Rozé addressed the vast changes the industry is facing due to digitization.“Before I share a few of the paths we are going down to respond to these changes, I feel compelled to say one thing — it’s a message I reinforce every day with the teams at L’Oréal,” Rozé said. “ In our pursuit of digital transformation, we should never lose focus on what matters most in our industry — products, products, products. Only product innovation bringing the best, most effective, most inventive, most relevant products can drive and grow the market and the brands. In our industry, brands win or lose because of the superiority of their product offering. In the end, having a high digital IQ is essential if and only if it is in the service of serving the consumers the products they can’t live without. Never forget that.”But Rey, who closed the morning in an open discussion with Hardy, is not as product-centric as Rozé — something Hardy jokingly attributed as a fundamental difference in French and Japanese ideologies.Rey’s view is that product innovation, while necessary, will only get a company so far.“It’s not only product,” Rey said. “Imagine at Shiseido that I do as well as L’Oréal does — [laughs] I know it’s tough to imagine, we’re the number three player in the industry in the U.S. behind L’Oréal and Lauder. Imagine that we do everything at the same pace as well as L’Oréal does, maybe sometimes better, maybe not as well.…I’m basically going to, at best, maintain my market share. If I really wanted to create a competitive advantage, I’d need to disrupt probably more than we do, so I’d need to look outside the industry,” he said, pointing examples of innovation like Capsule, a same-day prescription delivery service.The rest of the morning’s speakers included Christine Barton, managing director, Boston Consulting Group; Amy Eschliman, general manager and head of e-commerce at Sephora; Jessica Rotnicki, senior vice president of brand sites and retailer.com; Nathalie Kristo, general manager, marketing and global business development at NYX Professional Makeup; Karen Moon, ceo and cofounder of Trendalytics; Doreen Bloch, ceo and founder of Poshly; Anthony Koithra, partner at BCG Digital Ventures; Karin Tracy, head of industry for beauty, fashion, luxury and retail at Facebook; Flynn Matthews, global insights lead for home and personal care at Google; Vikram Bhaskaran, strategic partnerships at Pinterest.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“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 during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. 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.