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When Worlds Collide

As inextricably linked as beauty and fashion are, the former has historically taken a backseat to the latter.

Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 11/09/2007

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.

One area where sales have not been a problem is the realm of designer fragrances—the category rings up almost $2 billion annually in the U.S. alone. Although celebrity scents have dominated in the last few years, the designer category came roaring back for fall. But as Molly Prior reports, ideas for designers’ scents “don’t simply march off the runways. Behind each one is a team of designers in their own right.” Meet the behind-the-scenes teams in “What Goes Inside” on page 40, then turn to “The Candid Kors” for an exclusive conversation with Michael Kors on his methods for making a mint at the fragrance counter.

In this issue, you’ll notice another change as well: WWD Beauty Biz has a new look. Created by art director Pamela Olecki, our new design combines clarity, boldness and confidence—not unlike our cover model, Sasha Pivovarova. Pivovarova’s story truly is one dreams are made of: Just two weeks after her photographer husband sent pictures of her to the modeling agency IMG, she opened the Prada show. That was two years ago. Now, she’s on a first-name basis with the fashion cognoscenti, a status that the 12 young models in “The Catwalk’s Meow” on page 22 no doubt hope to reach soon. Meticulously researched by WWD bookings editor Cinnamon St. John, they represent the freshest faces of the spring 2008 season—and we think you’ll find their looks as striking as our own.