In retail, there’s a need for speed.At least, according to E.l.f. Beauty chief financial officer and president John Bailey.“Speed is literally the most important characteristic that will define a company in today’s new retail environment,” Bailey said. “If you don’t have product cycles that are less than six months and an ability to react to customer feedback in 24 hours, you should take a look at your business and figure out ways you can get faster.”Bailey was on the E.l.f. team that took the mass-market beauty company public last September. Since then, E.l.f.’s growth has skyrocketed. For fiscal year 2016, sales were up 20 percent. For fiscal 2017, they’re projected to be up by as much as 28 percent.E.l.f. makes makeup, skin-care and beauty tools that cost an average of $3. The company’s products are geared toward beauty enthusiasts — consumers who just cannot seem to get enough beauty — and originated on E.l.f.’s web site before moving into Target and Wal-Mart, as well as freestanding E.l.f. stores.“She literally cannot get enough product,” Bailey said of the brand’s shoppers. “I don’t know how many lipsticks you need, but God bless you.”Speed is one of the ways E.l.f. keeps the demand up as the company looks to satisfy a customer that is constantly looking for beauty innovation.“For us, we’re trying to stay in front of her and innovation is a constant,” Bailey said. “This is a brand that was able to bring ideas to the marketplace in as little as 20 weeks, leverage a direct dialogue with their consumer base immediately into an innovation process, and have that innovation process look as incredibly robust."On average, E.l.f. launches one new product a week.One of the ways E.l.f. engages with its customers is via its web site, which has more than 130,000 customer reviews, which the company seems to take seriously. Bailey cited an example of E.l.f.’s Micellar Water launch, which didn’t rake in rave reviews. In response, Elf reformulated and relaunched a modified product 12 weeks later — it also sent handwritten notes to the people who left negative reviews to let them know the product had changed.E.l.f.’s influencer strategy ranges from trips to collaborations — but centers around social media stars who are authentic supporters of the brand, Bailey said. “Some recent studies have shown that some bigger-name influencers are now getting influenced by smaller influencers,” he added, as to why the brand doesn’t focus specifically on the influencers with the most followers.
To celebrate Pride 2018, @themarcjacobs released the #GratefulNotHateful campaign, a social media initiative aimed at extending Pride beyond the parade. Inspired by Jacobs’ everyday outlook, the campaign features Jacobs along with a group of models and social media stars who are members and supporters of the LGBT community, all seen wearing @marcbeauty’s Highliner Gel Eye Crayons in colors of the rainbow. Head to our Instagram stories to see close-ups of the liner. #wwdbeauty
Virgil Abloh’s dad Nee and Don Crawley, cofounder of RSVP Gallery, were some of the hometown crew at the Chicago-born designer’s debut show for Louis Vuitton. (📸: @jdiderich ) #wwdmens #louisvuitton #virgilabloh
About last night: @marycharteris and @adwoaaboah hit up Hyde Park for the Serpentine Galleries’ annual summer party held in partnership with @chanelofficial. Head to WWD.com to see more photos. #wwdfashion
“This is Paris, my first show. I’m all about democracy. If some kid shows up, flew from New Jersey to just be around, let’s get him a seat.” — @virgilabloh tells WWD’s @jdiderich ahead of his first show for @louisvuitton men’s. (📸: @alfredo_piola ) #wwdmens #virgilabloh #louisvuitton
“Kate Spade was a true fashion icon who brought joy to the lives of women around the world, and inspired women to live life to the fullest. We are dedicated to carrying on her legacy,” said Anna Bakst, brand president and chief executive officer of @katespadeny. The Kate Spade Foundation announced that it will be donating $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health awareness in tribute to the recent death of Kate Spade. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @chinseephoto)
A first look at @virgilabloh’s sneakers for @louisvuitton. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion 📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim