The brand is launching Glam Up and Away airport kiosks containing its 30 best-selling stockkeeping units — including They’re Real mascara, Porefessional pore minimizing primer and travel kits — with the first kiosk set to launch today at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Tex. By yearend, 24 additional kiosks are set for launch, including New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
“Airports used to be these doom-and-gloom places — now I view them as the new shopping mall,” said Julie Bell, executive vice president of global marketing for Benefit. “Once the TSA [Transportation Security Administration] changed the rules, people started having to arrive at the airport much earlier, and they’re looking for ways to shop and have fun.”
Benefit teamed with ZoomSystems — a leading automated retail company that has devised similar systems for companies such as electronics retailer Best Buy, and which provides the technology and infrastructure — to implement the self-service kiosks, which resemble vintage pink beauty buses. In true Benefit style, the kiosks also feature images of the company’s mannequins and cheeky slogans. Travelers can also browse beauty tips and tricks on the kiosk’s touchscreen graphic user interface. “This is a small-format store that delivers product and delivers a brand message in real-time in great, high-traffic locations,” said Jack Lawrence, president and chief executive officer of ZoomSystems, calling the kiosks a hybrid of boutique and online shopping — while the product is delivered in real time, the user can also have a net-type experience with the digital interface.
Shannon Clemence, vice president of global creative services for Benefit, noted that food trucks were the primary inspiration for the kiosks. “Rather than a storefront, we wanted our kiosks to have the movement of going somewhere, and it evolved from there,” said Clemence. “It’s like a big pink beacon in the airport.”
The primary goal of the kiosk project is to “explode our DNA and raise brand awareness,” said Bell. “We’re viewing this as a test, and hoping to expand it domestically and internationally starting in 2014,” said Bell. Benefit’s global business is split equally between the Americas, Asia and Europe, she noted.
For her part, Bell thinks lip glosses will be hot sellers in the kiosks. “In department stores the color assortment can be overwhelming; here it’s easier to make a decision because the assortment is more limited,” said Bell.
Executives declined comment on projected sales, but industry sources estimated the kiosks could do between $3 million and $5 million in retail sales in their first year of operation.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
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“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