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Editor’s Letter: Change Is Good

Welcome to the new WWD Beauty Inc!

Welcome to the new WWD Beauty Inc! This magazine marks a new era in beauty publishing for WWD, one that builds upon our heritage of being a news leader and provides the insight and analysis that we hope will enable you to stay on the cutting edge of business thinking. As we were putting this issue together, many people in the industry asked me what prompted us to rethink our editorial approach. The answer: At a time when the industry itself is changing so dramatically—and so quickly—we knew that staying ahead of the ever-evolving business curve was incumbent upon us, as well.

One of the most dramatic changes that is taking place revolves around demographics and age. The old distinctions that used to exist are rapidly dissolving—for proof, look no further than this month’s cover stars, the 67-year-old supermodel Lauren Hutton and the 20-year-old rising star Ashley Smith. Hutton, the iconic American beauty who ushered in an age of individualism that opened the door for generations to come, may be almost 50 years older than Smith, but I think you’ll agree in looking at Ruven Afanador’s wonderful pictures that the two women look like contemporaries.

But the changes revolving around aging are much more than skin deep. As Pete Born writes in “When Worlds Collide”: “The once homogenous world of big-time beauty marketing is being pulled apart not only by a painful contrast between the recession- plagued countries of the West and those in the vibrant East, but also by the widening gap between graying Baby Boomer markets on one hand and the youth-fueled ascendant societies on the other.” For a fascinating and in-depth look at where this new dynamic is taking us, turn to page 30.

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Not only is the world getting younger—people are living longer, too. Over the last decade, scientists have become increasingly adept at identifying the genetic factors responsible for aging. Already, in laboratory animals, they are able to manipulate genetic material and impact life span. Is the time near when the same is possible for humans? Read about the latest advances in the field of aging research in “Endurance Testing” on page 36.

Of course, all of this presages a major metamorphosis for the industry, and Gina Drosos, group president of global female beauty at P&G Beauty & Grooming, will no doubt be among those who are leading the charge. As an executive who thrives on challenging the status quo, Drosos is perfectly positioned to embrace the future. “People who seek out change see opportunities that other people don’t see,” she told me during our in-depth interview for “Master Class,” a new feature in which an industry leader discusses his or her strategic vision and leadership style.

That sentiment perfectly sums up everything we’re trying to achieve with this magazine. To that end, you’ll find a number of new departments in our pages. Corner Office is where we turn the focus on you—the people who shape the industry, from the secrets of a ceo to Linda Wells’ first job (find out what it was on page 14) to the latest executive shuffles. Beauty Bulletin has the lowdown on the month’s key products and places, while Consumer Chronicles presents a multifaceted look at our industry from a shopper’s point of view— what’s selling where, who’s buying what (and why), how much is selling. Our goal is to inform, educate and entertain, and we hope that you’ll enjoy WWD Beauty Inc as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Drop me a line at and let me know what you think.