EVIAN, France — To Marcel Frydman, a beauty retailer must be part sector expert, part psychologist.
And he should know: Frydman’s been in this business for 18 years, building Marionnaud Parfumeries from scratch to become the 1,084-door perfumery chain it is today.
"Many women come to us when they are worried, down, perhaps even when they are depressed," Frydman, Marionnaud’s president, said during his keynote address. "It is quite common that, in such a case, the client who was not feeling too great leaves the store feeling much better than when she came in."
The secret, he said, is customer service, which leads to customer loyalty. "We all offer more or less the same assortment of products, and the prices are often pretty equivalent," he continued, referring to his fellow retailers. "If one store is more successful, more attractive [to the consumer], it’s because the experience there is more pleasurable."
Marionnaud has been aggressively rolling out its traditional, service-oriented perfumery concept by acquiring and converting existing stores across 13 countries, including France, Switzerland, Italy and Eastern Europe, over the past four years as part of a high-speed expansion plan.
"Consolidation is a sign of our times, across the board in all industries," he said. "I think it’s been a good thing in our industry, as in most."
He did, however, warn that consolidation is not always beneficial. The extinction of independent perfumeries in sparsely populated areas could be detrimental to the beauty industry, he said. "If they were to disappear, the only alternative for the consumer would be to turn to the mass market, and that would be unfortunate for our profession, and it would have disadvantageous effects on small [beauty] manufacturers."
Another danger for the industry, according to Frydman, is the gray market, which increases the pressure on beauty retailers. "We strive to meet qualitative standards that correspond to best practices…but there are plenty of others who couldn’t care less and buy their products on parallel markets," he said.
But despite such woes and the troubled world economy, Frydman said he remains confident the beauty industry will hold its own, as it did in the days of the Gulf War."[Then], we drew the following conclusion: A woman who has to face the worst, most terrible experiences still wears a day cream, a moisturizer, makeup and fragrance," he said.
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Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
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Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)