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Editor’s Letter: Rising to the Challenge

This month, Beauty Biz talks to Avon ceo Andrea Jung, discovers what's new in beauty technology, and talks to the pros who know about men's grooming.

During her 10-year tenure as chief executive officer of Avon Products Inc., Andrea Jung has adroitly navigated the company through some tough times. But even she had never experienced anything close to the global economic implosion that rocked 2009. Where others saw misfortune, however, Jung—one of the longest-serving ceo’s in the beauty industry—saw opportunity. Jung’s strategy seems to have worked: In its most recent quarter ended March 31, Avon’s revenues rose 13.9 percent to $2.49 billion from $2.19 billion. Beauty sales gained 14 percent to $1.78 billion, compared with the year-ago quarter, on active representative growth of 6 percent, which includes gains in all regions but China. Far from being ready to hang up her hat, Jung, it seems, is just getting started, reports beauty financial editor Molly Prior. Discover Jung’s detailed strategy for Avon’s future in “New Decade Dawning.”


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The Milan-based Ferrari clan is also not content to rest on its very successful laurels. As the owners of Intercos, the world’s most innovative color cosmetics manufacturer, the Ferraris are on a constant quest to push both creativity and technology to new highs. As Pete Born and Kerry Olsen found when they visited patriarch Dario and his family in their art-filled town house, their passion for beauty is truly all-encompassing. Their story, “Makeup’s First Family,” is here.


While passion for beauty is overstating it, many European men do have an affinity for grooming and fragrance that is helping to propel strong sales of men’s products in Western Europe, particularly in the mass market skin care category. “We’re reaching what we’d call a tipping point,” L’Oréal’s Jean-Jacques Lebel tells European beauty editor Jennifer Weil. “Things are really happening in a big way.” Find out why he’s so bullish— and how companies are using their success in Europe as a template for growth in North America—in “The Beau Ideal.”


Growing the men’s business was a hot topic at the WWD Beauty CEO Summit held in Palm Beach, Fla., in May, as was the need for continued, meaningful innovation. To that end, we decided to pay a visit to some cutting-edge labs to find out what the world’s most forward-thinking scientists are working on in the beauty arena. For a category-by-category report, turn to “Lab Quest.” I’d love to hear what you think will be the next big breakthrough in beauty. E-mail me at