NEW YORK — For their final presentations, graduates of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s 2010 Capstone program looked to 2020, outlining the beauty industry’s boundless future. Wednesday’s graduating ceremony marked the 10th anniversary of the Capstone graduate program, one that offers instruction and training for future beauty industry executives. This year the program was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.

This story first appeared in the May 28, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The event included four 14-minute presentations, each of which imagined and explored innovative possibilities for the future of fragrance, retail, leadership and beauty. The presentations examined potential new technologies and initiatives that would engage Generation Y consumers, who collectively exert $250 billion in annual spending power, surpassing Baby Boomers by 2020.

When discussing Millennials — a term referring to Gen-Yers — one group member described them as “bored,” impatient and seeking “instant gratification” and brand cocreation. Millennials crave authenticity and value, seeking balance between their digital identities and their tangible lives. Each group stated that the future of the beauty industry will hinge on speaking to these up-and-coming beauty customers in ways they can relate to. From the creation of new fragrance molecules to a new beauty-centered curriculum for elementary students, the recommendations appeared forward-thinking.

“This is not a time to play it safe,” said one group member.

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