TOKYO — Japanese women are famous for their intricate multistep skin care rituals involving several products, while their counterparts in the Western world are more likely to go for the simpler, quicker route with fewer items.
Japan’s Kanebo is out to change that. This week, the company’s Sensai brand is rolling out a new product it bills as a “first-step moisturizer” to the U.S. and 41 other countries in Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.
Sensai Prime Solution, which carries a pretax suggested retail price of $170, or 120 euros, for 2.5 ounces, contains a signature ingredient called Koishimaru Silk EX as well as hawthorn extract. Kanebo claims that Prime Solution will boost the skin’s production of hyaluronic acid, which keeps skin hydrated and elastic, and will help other moisturizers and creams applied to the face work more efficiently.
Japanese women often use lotion as a first step of their skin care regime and subsequently apply emulsion and face cream. Kanebo executives said the concept of lotion in the Western world is more closely associated with cleansing products like tonics or astringents rather than with the moisturizing process. To that end, Kanebo opted to not call this new product a lotion. It also made its consistency thicker and less watery than traditional Japanese lotions.
Kanebo has been trying to lure Western women into the habit of double moisturizing for decades using standard Japanese-style lotions. Executives said they have made some gradual progress, but it’s time to alter the company’s strategy with a new first-step product.
Yuji Naito, Kanebo’s senior manager for the Sensai brand, said the new product is a “special flagship item” aimed at boosting brand awareness. “We’d also like to acquire new customers with this product.”
Hirohisa Yamazaki, senior manager for Kanebo’s international marketing group, said it’s clear that the Western skin care market, still heavily based on demand for face cream, is starting to change as more Western women incorporate more products into their regime. He noted the market presence of products like Dior’s One Essential and Lancôme’s Genifique as evidence of the trend.
“It’s obvious that customers are changing their routine,” he said.
Although Kanebo has been present in Europe from as far back as 1979, the company’s efforts to internationalize its business have lagged that of its rival Shiseido. Kanebo, a part of Kao Corp., does not disclose sales figures but Kanebo only does about 10 percent of its business outside of Japan compared to Shiseido, which does about 41 percent abroad. Kanebo is hoping to lift that percentage to 15 percent as soon as possible, according to a spokeswoman.
It is shaping up to be a tough fiscal year for both companies.
Net sales for the period grew by 2.2 percent to 934.8 billion yen, or $12.02 billion. Kao’s beauty care business — which beyond Kanebo, includes Molton Brown, Jergens and Bioré — saw sales growth of just 0.3 percent to 410.7 billion yen, or $5.28 billion.
Over the same period, Shiseido saw its net profit plunge on charges linked to a change in Japan’s taxation policy. Net profit fell 35.9 percent to 5.77 billion yen, or $73.27 million at average exchange rates for the period.
Shiseido’s net sales grew 0.8 percent to 490.7 billion yen, or $6.23 billion, as international growth compensated for a drop in its home market of Japan, where consumer demand is still recovering after the devastating March 11 earthquake.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye