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.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@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)