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.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews