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WWD Beauty Forum
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
This story first appeared in the June 17, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Although the leaders of the beauty industry tackled the tough topics at the WWD Beauty Forum held at the Asia Society in New York, love was in the air. “Commodities are things,” declared Lynne Greene, global brand president of Clinique, Origins and Ojon, during her presentation. “Brands are human. Feelings matter.” It was a theme that many speakers reiterated. “We are reshaping what it means to be human,” said Vassiliki Petrou, the London-based marketing director of trends & innovation for P&G, during a fascinating presentation that touched on the melding of the physical and digital worlds, the demographic revolution and global redistribution of wealth and the impact of technology on beauty and humanity. Among others who presented were José Barra, Target’s senior vice president of health and beauty, who promised more innovation in the category, including coveted designer exclusives; Annalise Quest, general merchandise manager of beauty at Harrods, who revealed her three criteria for taking on a new line (innovation, the wow factor and—ideally—exclusivity), and Jo Horgan, the founder of Mecca Cosmetica in Australia, who emphasized her hands-on approach. “We are solely responsible for our brands,” she said, “so we are invested in their DNA and their success.”