NEW YORK — Sears has no regrets about its exit from the color cosmetics and treatment sectors.
After six years of trying to develop its proprietary Circle of Beauty concept into a powerhouse destination department, the retailer did an about-face in the fall of 2001. Circle was yanked and plans to bring in Avon’s BeComing line were cancelled. A smattering of other color lines, including Color Me Beautiful and Fetish, were also discontinued.
Since then, said Andrea Goldner, Sears divisional merchandise manager of fragrance, beauty and jewelry, "we have completely retrofitted the department." Beauty now consists of fragrance, bath and cosmetics gift sets at holiday. All is open-sell. To do that, prestige scents are now merchandised in clamshell packaging, following a trend popularized at discounters Wal-Mart and Target.
There is also a strong representation of traditional mass brands like Coty’s The Healing Garden. "We have created an entirely new business model," she said, adding that "it is still an important business for us." Goldner noted that Sears retained its Time Out private label bath line. "We do expect to see [total department] sales grow this year," she said.
And despite the overall weak holiday fragrance season, at Sears "we were very pleased. We fared fairly well," said Goldner, although she declined to provide details. For 2001, analysts estimated Sears beauty sales at $300 million, of which color cosmetics accounted for $50 million.
Looking ahead, Sears is gearing up for the launch of Celine Dion’s first fragrance, which will make its way into stores in April. "We are so excited and encouraged that there is a big launch with the celebrity status of Celine," said Goldner. "It will absolutely help bring more traffic to the department."
It is the first time Coty has introduced a scent specifically for introduction at what it terms mid-tier department stores — such as Sears, J.C. Penney and Kohl’s. Ulta and Sephora also will be among the first to get the scent, which will later be rolled into traditional mass outlets.
"There hasn’t been a whole lot of news, but Coty is always thinking of new ideas," remarked Goldner. "We are planning [Celine] to be the number-one fragrance for us for spring."To support the launch, Sears is using in-store visuals and will include the scent in its print advertising. "There will be hanging banners in mall windows," said Goldner. The introduction will also be tied in with the retailer’s Mother’s Day promotions.
“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