Cyberspace and TV airwaves are giving beauty sales a boost this holiday season, as shoppers have shed misgivings about buying color cosmetics and fragrance electronically.
In fact, color cosmetics has emerged as a top-selling category with new items from Smashbox, Bare Escentuals and Dior prompting shoppers to call in orders and fill virtual shopping bags.
But among the din of virtual ringing cash registers one item has emerged as the standout: the Clarisonic skin cleansing and exfoliating device. Clarisonic — designed by the makers of the Sonicare toothbrush — got a jolt in sales after Oprah Winfrey named it as one of "Oprah's Favorite Things" on her program Nov. 20. That endorsement landed the device on Amazon.com's beauty shop bestsellers list (where it has remained), said an Amazon.com spokeswoman, adding that gift sets and cosmetics infused with sparkle and shimmer also were selling well. Beauty.com and QVC — which launched Clarisonic on its airwaves in October — have also reported brisk sales of the $195 device.
QVC's director of beauty merchandising, Allen Burke, said he is encouraged by the performance of color cosmetics this season, and expects that robust sales in the category will spill over into 2008. The big winners this holiday include Bare Escentuals' BareGold Pure Luxury 10-piece collection, Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Face Powder with brush, Laura Geller Long-Lasting Color Brow Marker and Bobbi Brown's entire range.
Referring to the bestsellers, Burke said, "There is more color on that list than there normally would be." He added, "The items that are surfacing are powerful and have a long life ahead. These items really have traction." Burke declared, "I can say with confidence that December will be the biggest beauty month we've ever had." Burke, like many of his electronic retailing counterparts, plans to wrap up holiday sales early next week to guarantee delivery by Christmas.
This season marks HSN's one-year anniversary with Sephora. To fete the partnership, their vendors rolled out glitzy gift sets. For instance, Dior featured a Red Carpet Kit for $70 that included Diorskin Airflash, a peach facial powder and large powder brush. Separately, its Diorshow Blackout mascara sold through 4,000 units in two minutes, said Michael Henry, HSN's senior vice president of beauty merchandising.Other standout items on his list include FusionBeauty's Bling Fusion, a LipFusion Color Shine with a crystal-encrusted cap and a mini LipFusion for $49, and GoSmile's Advanced B1 Formula Tooth Whitening Holiday Kit for $99, which includes Peppermint Smile Toothpaste. "Who would ever think that tooth whiteners would be a hit for holiday," said Henry, adding that sales of the kit were 30 percent over plan. He noted that as of Tuesday, items with a holiday twist had helped to push December sales up 9 percent over last year. (See related story, page 12.)
Beauty.com, which is owned by its partner site Drugstore.com, has seen traffic increase since its relaunch in late September, said David Lonczak, chief marketing officer of Drugstore.com/Beauty.com. He added that the revamped site — complete with personalized skin care analysis and, for the holiday, the personality gift finder tool — has attracted more prestige brands to the fold, including Oscar Blandi.
He named top sellers as the Bliss Merry Citrus set for $38, Tarte Ready-to-Wear Pret-a-Porter Duo Look Palette for $44, Philosophy's Makeup Optional kit for $78 and L'Occitane Honey Lemon Box for $66. New partnerships with Bluefly.com and Top Button, an online fashion community, have also boosted sales. Lonczak said, "We are definitely seeing a lift in holiday traffic year-over-year."
For November, the top five most heavily trafficked pure beauty Web sites in descending order were: avon.com, sephora.com, FragranceNet.com, marykay.com and lancome.com, according to the online tracking firm ComScore Inc. Ulta.com is ranked sixth.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion