For Hudson’s Bay Co.’s Shelley Rozenwald, not being afraid to introduce change has led to beauty success.
Rozenwald, who is senior vice president and general merchandise manager for beauty — she prefers “chief beauty adventurer” — joined the 344-year-old company in 2010 and immediately set to optimizing beauty matters at Hudson’s Bay in Canada and Lord & Taylor in the U.S., revamping installations, revisiting assortments and listening to consumer requests.
“In 2013, we renovated eight departments, actually built six new ones — four of them were flagships,” said Rozenwald, adding that 2013 was the year that the parent company formed its department store group. “And we built a total of 172 installations across North America.” See Complete Coverage of the WWD Beauty CEO Summit Here >>
In both countries, the beauty business is led by color cosmetics, followed by skin care and fragrance. “We’re at a time right now when one has to be focused on bottom lines, focused on budgets, watching expenses,” she said. “But that does not mean that we have to be boring and unproductive.”
There are two approaches to managing a business, she believes. “The risk taker and innovator versus the Typical Tanya or Safe Sally,” she said. “And on the retail side, it’s very easy to fall into the safe place. Being safe does not work anymore. We at Hudson’s Bay, along with our vendor partners, share in going on an adventure through charted and uncharted territory. And it’s all about taking risks, about innovation and exciting the consumer. And speed is key.”
Still, that also means risking responsibly — taking such measures as examining ethnic mixes frequenting stores, signing exclusive brands and making sure advertising and consumer communications are engaging. “We wanted to take the leadership position with beauty and digital,” said Rozenwald. “We launched the world’s first luxury beauty digital magazine. And it’s doing phenomenally. We get excellent support from all of our vendor partners. We’ve had guest beauty editors such as Bobbi Brown and François Nars and Oscar de la Renta.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast