London-based futurist Chris Sanderson’s take on beauty — and where it’s headed — seems like the stuff of sci-fi movies.
“In the 21st century, we are faced with a new set of beauty paradigms,” Sanderson told attendees at the Self Healthy Beauty Awards, held Tuesday morning at Rouge Tomate in Manhattan. “The future of retail is going to change dramatically,” said Sanderson, cofounder of global trend forecasting consultancy The Future Laboratory, adding that he expects the global beauty market will continue to grow at rate of 3.4 percent until 2017, when it is estimated to reach upwards of $265 billion. “It’s good news for beauty at the moment. To tap into this expanding market, brands need to connect with consumers’ desire to live a lean, digitally connected lifestyle.”
During his presentation, he touched on trends like wearable technology, “hyper” personalization, life-monitoring mobile apps and digestible beauty products.
“Technology is turning every surface into a retail opportunity or enabling us to buy from a brand simply by taking a snap of a stranger,” said Sanderson.
Since the recession, Sanderson said, beauty consumers have learned to live with less and simplify their lives and, because of that, shop smarter. “It may look scary, but in fact the selective consumer is one we’d much rather have,” he said. “We have a better customer now than we did a decade ago.”
One of Sanderson’s most notable points included the increasing importance for beauty businesses to “get a slice of the PIE,” or the personal information economy. “What we are talking about here is the continued growth — primarily through mobile phones and apps — of the way we are becoming obsessed with our own personal data,” he said. “What we can learn from it, but then also what we can do with it.”
Sanderson discussed new apps and mobile data tracking programs designed to help consumers live healthier, more informed lives. Expereal, for one, is an app which allows users to chart their emotions each day, leaving them with a virtual mood calendar they can reference to get a sense of “what a week or a month felt like.” Sanderson also touched on the expanding trend of wearable technology, naming items like the Nike Fuelband, which monitors daily activity, the Basis Band, a health and heart rate monitor, and Jawbone’s Up band, a movement and sleep tracker. “That sense of monitoring is becoming increasingly important, and it’s going to have a huge effect not just on health and fitness but on the beauty business across the board,” said Sanderson. “It’s this integrated sense of health, fitness, wellness [and] beauty that is probably the single most important trend and breakthrough that we are seeing at this point in time: that I’m in control, it’s my program. It’s my life. I’m using this technology to make me feel, and I’m becoming a better version of myself.”
The fusion of health, beauty and technology, according to Sanderson, can also be seen in a slew of futuristic new products on the market, including smart mirrors, which record and analyze personal data, anticellulite jeans by Wrangler and posture and exercise monitoring fabrics by Studio XO and Electricfoxy. “Increasingly our products will be able to measure how well we are performing,” said Sanderson, who also named Ioma’s Youth Booster antiager, which features a micro chip on the cap to assess skin’s hydration levels, and a skin-care app by Fujitsu Laboratories that analyzes and diagnoses skin issues.
Looking to the future, Sanderson said groundbreaking products in development include First Warning Systems’ Smart Bra, said to detect breast cancer, sunblock pills by L’Oréal, edible deodorant and swallowable perfume, said to emit fragrance through pores, by Lucy McRae and antiaging hair caplets that return pigment to hair. “Is it spooky or is this life changing,” Sanderson asked audience members. “This is the decade of change across business sectors. The revolution that we see goes deeper than just beauty.”
“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