PARIS — 'Tis the season to be jolly for Europe's beauty retailers.
"We expect to end the year on a very positive note, with double-digit growth again on last year," said Catherine Bossom, buyer for perfumery and cosmetics at the U.K.'s Harrods department store, echoing many of the 14 beauty retailers representing 1,757 doors in France, the U.K., Ireland, Italy and Germany who were polled by WWD in the run-up to the holidays.
Executives who disclosed sales estimates said they expect to close 2007 with high-single- to low-double-digit gains despite transit strikes, storms and price reductions that have plagued European countries.
The current reports are all the cheerier, considering that these numbers are bucking a tough comparison with last year's holiday, when there was a moderate uptick from a decidedly soft Christmas 2005.
As in years past, fragrance rules the season. Among the scents launched in Europe this fall, retailers said standout performers include designer fragrances for women such as Emporio Armani Diamonds, Parfums Christian Dior's Midnight Poison, Gucci by Gucci, Prada's Infusion d'Iris, Daisy by Marc Jacobs, Hermès' Kelly Caleche, Paul Smith Rose, Yves Saint Laurent Parfums' Elle and Paco Rabanne's Black XS for Her.
Among the newbies for guys are Tom Ford for Men, Jil Sander Men, Narciso Rodriguez for Him and R.S.V.P. by Kenneth Cole. Other notables include the masterbrand Diesel Fuel for Life; niche scents, including Tom Ford's Private Blend, plus Christina Aguilera's celebrity fragrance, retailers said.
Of course, classics still take the gold. But there was a notable uptick in skin care sales this season, while business from pre-packaged gift sets — a perennial favorite — were down at some retailers, surprisingly.
"We can always be sure that the classics, such as Chanel No.5, will see an increase in sales in the last few months of the year," said Jeremy Seigal, managing director of The Perfume Shop, with 162 doors in the U.K. and Ireland.
Chanel No.5 topped the charts in Germany's Wir für Sie cooperative of 340 private perfumeries in September, October and November. It also came in first at Boots the Chemists in the last week of November, closely followed by the brand's Coco Mademoiselle scent.
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