Carol Hamilton, president of L’Oréal Luxe USA, does not want to see an end to the double-digit growth the luxury beauty market has been experiencing. She believes what will keep the momentum going is educating the consumer about new products and benefits and providing great beauty experiences and education both in-store and online.
She became ever more convinced of the opportunity after recently attending a course in leadership at Harvard University called “Women in Power.” What struck her immediately was that of the 62 high-power women in the course, most were ill informed about beauty, makeup and skin care — and hungry for information. “They kept hounding me and asking, ‘Is there a eye cream that really works? What is the best mascara?....And are your products gluten-free?” With the luxury beauty market generating more than $20 billion in sales in the U.S., the executive said she’s always surprised that women and men are still asking such basic questions. “What renders the confusion in this category?” asked Hamilton in her talk entitled “From Beauty Novice to Beauty Junkie.”
Over the past three years, the luxury beauty market has had an incredible rebound and growth, she said, with an influx of new products leading to double-digit growth. However, a recent Bain study on the worldwide luxury segment noted that luxury beauty will slow to single-digit growth. “I find this completely and totally unacceptable. All of the consumer dynamics suggest this industry is still ripe for double-digit growth on a sustainable basis,” said Hamilton.
She said it’s not just new products that will drive future growth. Hamilton recently did a Google search for the top 10 beauty questions people asked in the last quarter. At the top of the list were questions asking how to apply eyeliner and how to apply eye shadow. By providing service and information in a way consumers can digest and actually absorb, Hamilton said, the beauty industry can continue its trajectory of growth.
To prove her point, Hamilton cited statistics about the habits of affluent shoppers. The luxury beauty market has grown 24 percent, and has been driven by new product introductions, which have contributed 18 percent. Among the affluent, some 98 percent shop online and 31 hours are spent online each week. Affluents spend 50 percent less time watching TV, 20 percent more time online, and are watching 14 percent more videos. Some 83 percent watch videos online. “The consumers can’t get enough of how-tos,” said Hamilton. “It shows how much consumers love beauty and how much they want to know about beauty.”
A study by the Boston Consulting Group revealed that beauty, jewelry and fashion comprise only 14 percent of luxury spending in the U.S., cars make up 35 percent, and the experiential luxury segment represents 51 percent of the market, and is the fastest growing segment. She noted that prestige beauty in the U.S. has benefited from the explosion of new product categories, such as devices, body sprays, brightening specialists and BB creams. “We need to combine the product explosion with the regimen explosion with the information explosion and take all of that, and turn beauty into a highly experiential category. Bottom line, knowing how much the consumer seeks and loves beauty, when you combine it into this kind of experience, it’s a recipe for sustained double-digit growth for years to come,” said Hamilton.
She summed up by asking several thought-provoking questions: “How do we use this information explosion to deliver compelling beauty experiences? How do we turn the regimen expansion into double-digit sales growth? What would be the incremental business value of providing great beauty experiences in store? And lastly, what should we do to reinvent our business models to make luxury beauty truly experiential?” That’s the work for the next year or two, she said.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews