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Linking Fashion and Beauty

By: Imogen Matthews
Posted: April 6, 2010, from the April 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Van den Berg agrees that fashion and beauty are linked, but maintains that there are also important differences. “Cosmetics trends are strongly different to those in fashion, which has two seasons each year. This is not the case for cosmetics. Beauty companies should realize that they are an industry of their own and not a translation of fashion.”

She notes, for example, that black clothes are currently out of fashion but black nail varnish is very trendy. “Future-Touch is also talking about the use of eye shadow outside the classical area, for example on the cheeks, and that is not fashion-influenced. Fashion’s influence is from the models and the way they wear it, not the clothes.” Van den Berg believes a strong influence is from makeup artists who work hand in hand with fashion brands. “What they do is reflect what’s hot in fashion, not necessarily translate it literally,” she says. “For example, if I see a yellow mini dress in Vogue, it doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a trend following for yellow eye shadow.”

More importantly, beauty brands need to understand the choices women make with regard to their overall appearance. Allemand calls it a reflection of the time, this famous “air du temps.” When you know how to “read” trends and find the sometimes unconscious desires behind any given style, keys to timely and successful beauty and color launches that complement fashion are revealed. “[This ability] allows brands to offer the ‘idealized’ image women want,” Allemand says.

“Fashion is part of women’s lives, and the aim with trends is to understand the drivers of their lifestyles. By catching fashion movements and changes, companies get a deeper understanding of women’s wants and desires,” concludes Allemand.

Imogen Matthews is a consultant to In-cosmetics. For more information, contact www.imogenmatthews.co.uk.