Claudia Poccia, global president, Mark, at Avon Products Inc., oversees all aspects of the beauty and fashion brand that was created in 2003 for a younger generation of consumers, which is sold by like-minded brand representatives.
Innovation, she said, is driving growth at Mark, and that has meant reimagining direct selling for this new, young generation. Striking up innovation in a model that is 120 years old and structured and financially aware, is a challenge. But, she said, the single ingredient to innovation is talent and Mark has plenty of ammunition.
“We are transforming a business model to meet a new constituency,” she said, and with employees such as Gail Boye, vice president of product development beauty and fashion for Mark, fresh new ideas are keeping Mark at the forefront of consumers’ minds.
Most recently, Boye came up with a makeup product, Mark Flip For It, after being fascinated with the amount of data her Blackberry packed. Flip, which offers seven products in a small, square compact, was also born out of an episode of Sesame Street, which focused on the square.
By listening to consumers, Mark also created Hookup, an interactive makeup system of modular, interlocking products held together by a connector piece. Items for eyes, lips and face can be joined together for 2,000 combinations, and is also jean-pocket friendly.
“Innovation does not always begin in the research and development lab. It often begins in the girl lab. And at Mark, the people who have the entrepreneurial spirit with the smarts to navigate the labyrinth of a large corporation is what is setting the division apart from others. High emotional intelligence, too, is paramount because in this economic downturn budget cuts won’t fuel growth but ideas and the ability to initiate them and execute them will,” said Poccia.
Distribution is Mark’s other growth driver.
“Each rep selling Mark brings the brand to their consumers, like a store manager,” said Poccia. This year, to garner more reps, the brand is launching its first recruiting commercial, one that aims to change the perception of the Avon lady.
Strategic partnerships also unlock opportunity for innovation, such as Mark’s partnership with Barnes & Noble, reality star Lauren Conrad and with its development of creative assets that can be tapped and put onto social networking pages.
“Today’s consumer wants a brand experience, and the most recent Cassandra Report shows that Mark’s demographic is feeling lost and uncertain about their future. We as marketers can help them reinvent their identities,” said Poccia.
“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