Suzanne Grayson knows a thing or two about lipstick. And, her knowledge extends well beyond shade selection: Grayson can explain the difference between creamy, tacky, moist and buttery lipstick textures as easily as she can recite the first cosmetics...
Suzanne Grayson knows a thing or two about lipstick. And, her knowledge extends well beyond shade selection: Grayson can explain the difference between creamy, tacky, moist and buttery lipstick textures as easily as she can recite the first cosmetics company to use silicones in their lipstick formula. (It’s Revlon, by the way, for ColorStay.)
That’s why Grayson, a well-known beauty industry consultant, along with Craig Arpino, director of research and development at private label cosmetics giant Kolmar Laboratories, will co-host, "Anatomy of a Lipstick," a 3-hour seminar on Oct. 15 from 1-4 p.m. at this year’s HBA Global Expo. The seminar, which in HBA Global jargon is known as a master class because of its in-depth, hands-on educational element, is among 23 marketing sessions and eight product and development sessions to be offered to the Expo’s nearly 16,000 expected attendees.
The purpose for "Anatomy of a Lipstick" is to educate newer members of the beauty industry on lipstick trends, shades and ingredients over the past 40 years. It also aims to teach them how to develop a successful lipstick formula and shade range for a specific target market. "Younger people have no clue as to what is in the guts of a product," she said. "They have no sense of history of products and it’s that history that really makes a difference" when making new lipsticks.
Grayson and Arpino will also stress the importance of formula development and textural terms. "The problem is that there is no training going on. I was trained at Revlon, whose strength was the great ability to create great products. Other people copied Revlon and at one point, the head of every large cosmetics company’s R&D department came from Revlon."
Grayson, who selected the topic for the session, explained that lipstick is one of beauty’s three biggest categories — the other two are foundation and mascara. But lipstick she said, "is the signature of a company in terms of color awareness. There are lots of elements companies have to tackle in terms of training people — one of them being the six aspects of lipstick texture. These days, a product manager is usually a giggly girl just out of school. That’s what’s in charge of development! [They] need to know what goes into a lipstick, the characteristics a consumer wants and how to balance all those characteristics."Part of the presentation will include an analysis of L’Oréal’s Endless Lipstick formula and shade range. "We are going to look at what it is versus what it might be," said Grayson, explaining that since Endless courts a more mature customer, its shade selection skews darker.
It costs $150 to attend "Anatomy of a Lipstick." The program will be limited to 100 attendees since each will be supplied with a box of spring 2003 lipstick samples to touch and feel as each lipstick type is explained. "This is not just a show-and-tell. This will be a hands-on experience," Grayson said.
According to Grayson, creating the perfect lipstick is all about compromise. "Formula, shade, texture…some features limit others. It’s a trade-off," she noted. "For example, half the world uses a [pearl] formula. Trying to make that formula long lasting can be a challenge. That’s why R&D has to know what they want and how to express those wants. Otherwise, it’s just going to be submission after submission, which can be time-consuming, and you wind up with a sub-optimal product."
As to what 2003 will offer, "my forecast is that, in terms of formula, improving wear of lipsticks will be the golden goose," Grayson said.
“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