By  on November 9, 2007

As inextricably linked as beauty and fashion are, the former has historically taken a backseat to the latter. Beauty was commerce, not art—a sideshow, rather than the main event. Anyone who’s been backstage at a fashion show recently, though, knows that’s no longer the case. From trend creation to product ideation, a business platform for emerging brands to a breeding ground for burgeoning talent, the runway is now as much about what’s going on above the neck as below it. Even Vogue recently ran a cover story on makeup superstar Pat McGrath.

This issue of WWD Beauty Biz is the ultimate guide to the convergence of fashion and beauty, starting with a veritable backstage bonanza from London, New York, Milan and Paris in “Project Runway” on page 32. Beauty-wise, each city has its own particular strength—New York often drives red-carpet trends in Hollywood and beyond, for example, while Paris is the epicenter of creativity and artistry. What each city has in common, though, is the number of hair and makeup companies sponsoring shows, all vying for attention. While once backstage was the primary domain of MAC Cosmetics, now brands big and small ply their wares there. Discover who the major players are in “A Common Thread” on page 28, and whether their attempts to monetize runway efforts into retail sales are succeeding.

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