Beauty has always favored the bold, the people whose willingness to push past the status quo can pay off big time. In a sea of sameness, the men and women on this list have shown a willingness to do just that. Their bravery in forging new paths in product development, distribution and communication have created a new direction for the industry, one that recognizes and responds rapidly to the fundamental changes wrought by the digital revolution, by rapidly changing demographics and by consumers’ driving desires for beauty products they can believe in. Here, the people who point the way forward.
This story first appeared in the October 30, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Celebrity Hair Stylist and Founder, Mane Addicts
This hot hairstylist is parlay- ing her sizzling Hollywood clientele into a thriving social media presence and—soon —product line.
“We’re always looking for fun ways to engage.
I love Periscope because I can ask people exactly what they want to see and make it happen. Our team has an open thread where we constantly brainstorm and bounce ideas off each other. I also use Snapchat to engage consumers. Instead of clogging an Instagram feed, you can get fun and creative on Snapchat. When I post a product or tool, I have at least 300 people taking screen grabs.”
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Credo Beauty
Industry vet Batra, ex-Sephora, Lauder and Victoria’s Secrets, has now set out to reinvent the naturals category for a new generation of shoppers.
“I see the personal- care space on a parallel with the food industry. This generation of consumers is very curious about the impact of what they consume. The personal-care industry cannot sustain the cost of their traditional spin and continue to disregard the impact we have on health, society and on the environment in general.”
Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer, Birchbox
In just five years, Beauchamp has built her original pink cardboard box concept into a multifaceted, multichannel beauty player.
“The biggest change is that change is accelerating. Things looked the same for decades before there was significant evolution. With digital and mobile, the changes are and will accelerate — from manufacturing to the channel itself to the brands people buy.”
Founder and creative director, Hatchbeauty
This product-development pro has married some of mass’s largest retailers, from Costco to CVS, with celebs and artists for a winning formula in the area of proprietary brands.
“The body-care category is desperate for innovation. We’ve seen enthusiasm in devices for body, but consumers have not adopted the concept of caring for the skin on their body as they do for their faces. A disruptive new concept for body could open the floodgates.”
President and Chief Executive Officer, Chantecaille
Chantecaille created a brand of firsts when she launched Prescriptives
in 1979; now the driving force behind her namesake line, she continues to produce some of the most interesting and effective products on the market.
“The promotional and GWP system is ready for retirement! The relationship with the customer is changing.”
Group President, The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.
Demsey has developed an unerring instinct when it comes to creative genius and a management style that allows entrepreneur- ialism to flourish in the context of a Fortune 500 company.
“I’ve always enjoyed shopping in highly curated, high- concept retail environments, and I love that they are becoming more and more immer- sive and interactive. Through customization, collaborations, social media conversations or online experiences, the best of retail today is a mash-up of fashion,beauty, art and culture, both real-world and virtual.”
Chief Executive Officer, Dollar Shave Club
From viral video to category disruptor, Dubin has amassed more than 8 percent market share in the men’s cartridge market since launching in 2012.
“We encourage employees to contribute their ideas, and we provide opportunities to bring these ideas to life. For example, we recently held a Hackathon with teams across the company creating a variety of innovative projects. Several of those projects have been greenlit.”
Chairman, Julien Farel Group
In the age of fast services, Farel has doubled down on luxury with a 10,000-square-foot salon and spa and antiaging hair-care line that emphasizes scalp health.
“The consumer is looking for quality products and memorable experiences wherever they go— online and in the retail environment. Operating this omnichannel strategy and scaling it on a global level is ripe for disruption.”
Founder, Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca Maxima
Horgan has become Australia’s second-largest beauty retailer and continues to gain market share despite multinational incursions into the market.
“The biggest change is new brands launching without using traditional distribution channels and instead using content and the Web to connect with the customer and build a consumer base.”
Glenn & Shannon Dellimore
Talk about hitting pay dirt: The combination of their proprietary “magic mud” with a broad international distribution network proved to be a meteoric path to profitability.
“Consumers have an ever-increasing desire to experience crazy, weird and instant cosmetics
in experimental, fun retail environments. This, along with their acceptance of brands that deliver unexpected solutions, creates a recipe for interesting and exciting products.”
Sylvie Ganter & Christophe Cervasel
Creators and Founders, Atelier Cologne
With their singular focus on one primary olfactive category and a philosophy that puts the customer first, husband and wife Ganter and Cervasel have paved a new path forward for modern perfumery.
“Spontaneity and playfulness allow for creativity. We never formally sit down for meetings. We exchange ideas as if we were playing ping-pong…and we immediately put in motion the ideas we love.”
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Hourglass Cosmetics
The antithesis of a me-too product creator, Janes has an uncanny ability to reimagine color cosmetics and render them one-of-a-kind.
“I’m intrigued by what Modern Meadow and other biomaterial innovators are creating, building, and driving in biodesign. Their work is pointing us towards a more sustainable future.”