The message from the Tax Free World Association show in Cannes was clear: beauty may be recession resistant, but it certainly isn't reality proof.
The global beauty industry’s ATM machine, known as the worldwide duty free business, is wobbling badly as it flies into severe economic downdrafts. There was a growing chill in the air as the confidence level dropped faster than attendance figures during the TFWA (Tax Free World Association) World Exhibition held in October in Cannes. The duty free channel possesses two attributes not seen in American department stores since the Reagan administration: foot traffic and impulse buying. What results is quite a golden egg: According to Generation, which tracks global figures, total duty free and travel retail sales generated $34 billion in 2007, including beauty, liquor, tobacco, accessories and ready-to-wear. Fragrances and cosmetics alone accounted for 30 percent, or $10.2 billion.
But what makes Cannes singularly important is that it has evolved beyond the duty free market and mushroomed into the global cosmetics meeting. Everyone is there—hordes of distributors from Europe, Asia and the Middle East and brand marketers large and small. There is plenty of pageantry in the drab corporate landscape. Every night, glittering dinner parties are held along the storied Croisette as fragrance manufacturers hype their latest offerings for airport retailers. Novelty is added by indie brands and seat-of-the-pants start-ups, which often haunt the bar of the iconic Majestic Barrière hotel. This year, it was Yes for Lov, a line that promises the “return of elegant eroticism” with a bagful of boudoir innovations. There are also specialists in parallel marketing, i.e. diverters, who usually can be seen hovering around the Palais. But according to a number of observers, there weren’t as many free agents on the scene this year. While asserting that total attendance was up 1 percent to 5,756, TFWA said core attendance—retailers, store operators and landlords—was down 3 percent.
The duty free business is driven by air travel. September and October reportedly experienced a 3 to 5 percent drop in traffic, particularly in the important North Atlantic routes. On a more optimistic note, manufacturers note that only 25 to 30 percent of passengers purchase in duty free shops, so one solution is targeting the reluctant 70 percent. Heinemann, a key German duty free operator that runs 250 stores, hopes to do that this month with the opening of a highly innovative pilot store in Hamburg Airport that will be driven by service and laden with personality.
Exclusive: Nicola Formichetti is parting ways with @diesel after nearly four years. Formichetti, who served as Lady Gaga’s stylist in 2009, joined Diesel in 2013 as creative and artistic director. His first show debuted in Venice with a show held at the Venetian Arsenal. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
The polo shirt - an icon of preppy style - is roaring back into fashion in many creative guises, like this A-line polyester top from @carven, worn with @31philliplim cotton and elastane pants. Designers stretched a fashion classic into all kinds of new permutations this season. See how @mayteallende styled the preppy trend on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📸 : Kinya)
(Market Editors: @andrew_shang and @elmercer, Makeup: @amandawilsonmakeup using @fentybeauty, Hair: @gonn24, Model: @bara_holotova at @women360mgmt)
“I do like period [projects] a lot because I like creating those worlds, a world that is different from today," costume designer Mark Bridges said about the '50s British couture featured in @phantomthread. Bridges created the overall aesthetic and individual fashion looks for the film, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville and Vicky Krieps. Pictured here is a gown he designed for Krieps who plays Alma – the love interest of Day-Lewis' character, Reynolds Woodcock. #wwdfashion
@prada is embracing the holiday season with a series of short movies about the art of gift-giving. "The Postman's Gifts", which was directed by American filmmaker Autumn de Wilde, focuses on the brand's signature Prada Galleria bag and features Elijah Wood as the postman. In the first two episodes, Wood's delivers the iconic bag to @emmaroberts, who plays herself as a movie star, and Sasha Frolova. #wwdfashion
“I think I never met the person while we were working,” Vicky Krieps said of Daniel Day-Lewis, who she plays the love interest of in “Phantom Thread.” Day-Lewis remained perennially in character, so much so that she feels she’s just meeting him now. “It’s interesting to see how different he is in real life to the character,” Krieps said. WWD sat down with the 34-year-old actress to talk about her new role in the period film, which brings the fifties’ gender dynamics into the mix. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@gucci has expanded its “Places” project to include six new cities. The initiative, which was first unveiled in July, aims to invite people to explore inspirational locations for the brand. On the list is the Biblioteca Angelica library in Rome pictured here. See the other five new venues on WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @massimo_listri_official)
#ad From tools to lashes, WWD rounded up wellness and beauty products guaranteed to take your skin care and makeup routines to the next level in 2018. Follow along as @laceandleatherbyelyse, @ashnfashn and @elleisalwayshere experiment with these products on their Instagram profiles and blogs. #NewYearBetterYou
Blogger @camilacoelho is one of the fastest growing beauty influencers around the world. The bilingual blogger has worked with brands like @revolve Beauty, @dior, @louisvuitton and more and has an Earned Media Value of $34,338,441, according to @tribedynamics. But Coelho isn’t the only influencer making a major impact — head to WWD.com to see the other fastest-growing influencers in six key global markets. #beautyfridays (📷: @zefashioninsider)