Dubai is emerging as a major market for beauty innovations coming to the U.S. The latest to come ashore is a fast-growing vegan brand with value pricing.Luscious was developed 10 years ago by Founder Mehrbano Sethi as a cruelty-free, vegan and long-lasting collection highlighted by vibrant colors. Prices range from $8 for a brow pencil to $24 for a contour kit. Although developed in Dubai with formulas to withstand any climate, the inspiration for the line came while Sethi was a student in the U.S. The brand is now sold in six markets including the U.S., Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.“I’ve had my eye on the North American market for some time, considering the idea for my brand stems from my time as a student in Boston,” Sethi explained. When she couldn’t find shades to suit her South Asian complexion at drugstores, she set out to create a richly pigmented line that could be sold at an affordable price.[caption id="attachment_10960103" align="alignnone" width="200"] Mehrbano Sethi[/caption]“Our pricing philosophy is also an important asset. While not cheap, our products are extremely affordable taking into consideration our cruelty-free, vegan and paraben-free claims as well as eye-catching packaging and innovative product concepts,” Sethi said. She added the markets where Luscious has grown are very price-sensitive. “A $9 lipstick is expected to perform and feel like a $30 lipstick without cutting any slack for the lower price point,” she added.Sethi also decided to forge into the U.S. as the market opens up to global brands. “The recent rise of independent beauty brands including K-beauty brands, and the way American customers are engaging with them, was a sign that the time is right to introduce Luscious Cosmetics to a new audience that is open to discovering new products and brand stories,” she said.Luscious, by design, will debut online only from the company’s web site. “We want to find our customers, create a connection with them and grow our presence before partnering with other online retailers, followed by brick-and-mortar retail,” she said. “Another factor that gives me pause before seeking retail partners is the rapid launch and disappearance of in-house beauty brands that is taking place in a bid to cash in on what is perceived as the beauty ‘bubble.’ I believe we need to establish credibility before we open more sales channels,” she explained.[caption id="attachment_10960105" align="alignnone" width="300"] Camera Powder[/caption]That said, she does have an eye on pop-up stores and visibility at makeup trade shows along with influencer collaborations.Her vegan positioning is key as that demand expands in the U.S. “The vegan aspect of our products came through in the early development stage when I was creating our first formulas. Our target customers in South Asia and the Middle East had a pronounced sensitivity to animal-derived ingredients whether it was because they wanted halal products or because they were vegetarian,” she said.It was also a personal motivation, but it made product development a challenge. “I had to dodge many ingredients, including beeswax — which most manufacturers don't even consider as a non-vegan ingredient — carmine and lanolin, leading to unusually long development times for new product formulas,” Sethi noted. “Being vegan paid off in the long run as more and more customers demand it.”Changes in the beauty business also paved the way for Luscious. “When I was researching the possibility of starting a beauty brand almost straight out of college in 2004, contract manufacturing was not easy for small, independent businesses — unlike the extreme ease today of creating an eponymous or private beauty brand,” she said. The rise of small quantity fillers and private labeling options has eased the process.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.