A CLOSER LOOK

NEW YORK — In the three years since WWD first began publishing the Best Beauty Brands, the question of brand building has been explored from every angle.
Retailers and consultants have been interviewed on what makes a top seller. Manufacturers and leaders of the top-ranked brands have been quoted and store surveys have been included to supplement the tallies from NPD BeautyTrends and Information Resources Inc.
In this year’s edition, the customary sales rankings are accompanied by profiles of freestanding brands. These companies represent a melding of manufacturing and retailing, a concept that has drawn considerable comment and controversy over the years. This is a further attempt to shed light on a phenomenon that could be called the era of the brand.