With the encouragement of its new ownership, Urban Decay has brought on board a chief financial officer, geared up for aggressive international expansion and positioned itself to build its complexion products business.
Larry Thompson, formerly cfo and executive vice president of Pert Plus owner Innovative Brands and controller at The Dial Corp., has joined the Newport Beach, Calif.-based cosmetics brand in the cfo role. The hire is the first major executive move since private equity firm Castanea Partners purchased a controlling stake in Urban Decay, previously owned by the duty free operator Falic Group. The purchase took place earlier this year for an undisclosed amount.
“Our business has grown to the level where we need someone with that extra level of experience,” said Wende Zomnir, Urban Decay’s creative director and co-founder. Speaking of Castanea and Thompson, Urban Decay general manager Tim Warner, added, “The reason they bought our business is they loved our business model, so they want to support it.”
Urban Decay is carried in 952 doors globally, and Sephora, Ulta and Macy’s are its largest retailers in the U.S. Domestically, Warner projected around 40 percent growth this year and said the brand is notching growth of around “18 percent [on a] comp basis.” He forecast international growth to be 25 to 35 percent this year.
Warner estimated international revenues constitute about 20 percent of Urban Decay’s business, largely coming from the U.K. However, he foresees Urban Decay’s global business contributing some 50 percent of the total in 2013 or 2014. The brand is launching next year at Sephora in Spain, Italy, China and Southeast Asian countries.
Both at home and abroad, Urban Decay, known for its vibrant shadows and pencils in the brand-leading eye category, has been trying to establish its franchise of complexion and primer products, which Warner said constitute “in excess of 20 percent of our business.” Next year, Urban Decay will introduce a powder called Razor Sharp described by Zomnir as “super high tech” and tinted moisturizer to beef up its complexion range.
“We are seeing at the full-service [Macy’s] counters how much we can do with complexion. It is about educating consumers that we are not an eye-focused line,” said Zomnir. “It doesn’t mean we are abandoning eye. Hopefully, with the strategy of balancing out the mix, we are going to continue to see growth across the categories.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast