Urban Decay’s Wende Zomnir is a passionate advocate of intellectual property — and she showed exactly how much in a challenging speech she called “The Naked Truth.”
“We have to be vigilant about protecting our intellectual property,” said Zomnir, who recently sold the brand she cocreated with Sandy Lerner to L’Oréal USA. “Innovation is what makes the passion real, and it’s here where I think the naked truth comes out: There really should be more innovation and individual brand definition in the beauty world. If we consider fashion, there are some really clearly outlined aesthetics among the most coveted brands — you know what that bag is, and who made it. The seasonal interpretations may evolve, but the core DNA is there.”
Zomnir’s particular bone to pick was with those who she feels knocked off her best-selling Naked eye shadow palette and its sequel, Naked 2.
“Let’s face it, we all get inspiration from each other,” said Zomnir. “However, I think the best creative people respect the genius of others and try to create something that is unquestionably their own. And while we may all be following the same macro trends, the interpretation must be true to their own brand’s DNA.
“So how did a color-focused brand hit it big with neutrals?” Zomnir continued. “We took what we do well, which is palettes, we combined it with some sales data, and then we asked ourselves what shades we’d want if we were stranded on a desert island. Then we mixed it with getting geeked-out on the shade work so that every shade was exactly perfect and wrapped it up in what we felt was an iconic Urban Decay package. But the naked truth is that a lot of time has been spent copying it.”
Zomnir posits that this is inherently bad for the industry. “Instead of riding the coattails of a hit, I propose using all the creative bandwidth of the beauty business to create something fresh and new and forge a genuine connection with your customer. If we all stay true to our individual brand positions, there’s plenty of room for everyone to create an original that’s a home run. When brands strive for creativity, the prestige beauty customer will buy more, because the makeup junkie is insatiable when the goods are good. The pie’s only going to get bigger if we’re more creative.”
Zomnir said that Urban Decay channels her point of view, a critical skill in “a world where everything seems to be manufactured by committee.”
“People cherish things that have a point of view and personality,” she opined. “We always try to walk a fine line between art and commerce to balance that creative-financial piece. I think you arm yourselves with facts — I think research and selling data can really free creativity — and beyond that, I like to let intuition go to work. I call it getting emo on the data. Let it percolate and marinate inside you, and then find that thread of humanity in it. Fueling innovation isn’t always easy — sometimes you’ve got to take a risk. Sometimes it doesn’t work. But when you do, it can be huge and it can be brand-defining.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)