NEW YORK — Extracts, the natural beauty and wellness expo, has evolved into a hospitable launching ground for smaller players trying to make a go at retail distribution. And while the show is known for helping new concepts gain a footing — such as the kitschy cosmetics line Wink Beauty that debuted last year — the number of exhibitors has dwindled in recent years.
Extracts attracted 80 exhibitors to this year’s fall market that was held at the Jacobs K. Javits Center here Oct. 8-11. That figure was down from 110 participants last year and 140 in 2002.
Like most trade shows looking to reverse declining foot traffic, Extracts consolidated its fall event with related industry shows. This year, it was one of four shows — Extracts, The New York Home Textiles Show, Surtex Gallery and the first New York Gourmet Housewares Show — represented under one banner dubbed “House to Home Market Week.”
Organizers had expected 8,000 visitors for the combined show and actually clocked 6,400 people, according to George Little Management.
The idea behind House to Home is to make it easy for retail buyers to category-hop and to generate additional traffic for exhibitors.
The Extracts portion got off to a respectable start Friday morning, but faded over the holiday weekend, according to several veteran and first-time exhibitors.
Buyers from Anthroplogie were seen booth-browsing, and a daily bulletin from show organizers listed Neiman Marcus, Target, Macy’s and J.C. Penney among its retail attendees. However, given all four shows were housed under one roof, there was no way to confirm these buyers made their way to the Extracts area. Two exhibitors commented they were a bit miffed that representatives from consumer products giants — Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive — were walking the show floor mining ideas for mass-market products.
Despite the show’s modest attendance and size, which historically is smaller than Extracts’ spring market, several new notable takes on beauty and wellness emerged.
While Fruits & Passion is certainly not a newcomer to Extracts, the Montreal-based company was on hand to debut a pet grooming collection dubbed Hot Dog. The whimsical product line squarely targets dogs’ pampering owners. According to Fruits & Passion research, there are 68 million dogs in the U.S. Luckily for these pups, 66 million owners buy their dogs Christmas presents. All six products in the Hot Dog collection — from a $14 gentle puppy shampoo to a $24 eau de toilette, are PH balanced for canine skin. Brown rubber caps that top the shampoo and fur detangler bottles are intended to look like a dog’s nose, and the elongated shape of the containers resembles a muzzle. Hot Dog, which will be launched in early 2005, is aiming to nab distribution in department stores and high-end pet shops, such as those found on the Upper East Side.
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Fellow Canadian company Vasanti Cosmetics made its U.S. debut at the show. The line, sold in its namesake store located in Toronto’s Fairview Mall, was created for women with yellow-based skin tones by three South Asian women. Since its introduction five years ago, the trio have built Vasanti from a select offering of foundations and powders to a full cosmetics collection of more than 100 stockkeeping units. “Now that we have a full line and a range of shades we’re ready to expand to the U.S.,” explained Salim Maherali, Vasanti vice president of U.S. sales & marketing, who relocated from Toronto to Boston to oversee the expansion plans south of the Canadian border. Maherali said Vasanti got 10 strong leads from boutiques and salons over the weekend, and expects about three or four to pan out.
Nature’s Beauty Nectar traveled from Italy to introduce Winetherapy, a Chianti wine-based skin treatment line, which the company said is ripe for U.S. distribution in high-end specialty stores. Nature’s recommends women use Winetherapy for a 30-day stretch two to three times a year to detoxify and repair skin exposed to the elements, such as following a dry summer or a harsh winter. The five-item skin care collection, which ranges in price from a $27 Renewal Body Lotion to a $47 Renewal Face Cream, is already sold in 500 doors aboard in countries including Hong Kong, France and the U.K.
Michael Wood, co-founder of the upscale Richmond, Va., salon Nesbit, attended Extracts for the first time to unveil YY, a personal care collection based on the principles of yin and yang. Each category in the collection represents the five elements of the philosophy and is color-coded accordingly — green/wood for hair care, blue/water for spa products, red/fire for cosmetics, brown/earth for skin care and silver/metal for nail lacquers. Price points for the hair care collection are in line with those of Kérastase.
Wood, who is now the principle owner of Nesbit, recently opened a second Richmond salon called YY, a sleek warehouse-style space with a minimalist interior of white and steel. The salon showcases the entire YY product line.
Wink Beauty, the brainchild of two beauty editors, was back, this time to expand its offering with a multiuse holiday gift set called Tickled Wink. The set includes a pink canvas bag, a Double Trouble duo for lips in the new shade called Giggle, and Shimmer & Smile, a die-cut compact that houses individual powdered papers. The papers impart a highlighting powder on the face and décolletage. Wink, now sold in specialty boutiques in select test Nordstrom stores, will extend the concept to include blush and bronzer.