In September, CEW’s Women in Beauty series welcomed Christine Beauchamp, president and CEO, Victoria’s Secret Beauty, whose career began as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs and who has combined a background in financial services with a strategy and process perspective geared to beauty business growth at Victoria’s Secret.
“Victoria’s Secret is a $5 billion brand and the Victoria’s Secret beauty business is a $1 billion brand,” said Beauchamp.
Body care and fragrance are the biggest parts of the beauty brand, selling more than 68 million products annually, which has successfully launched fragrances and a makeup line in concert with its lingerie and apparel products.
“We are truly a masstige brand and accessible to young consumers,” said Beauchamp, noting that many younger customers are part of the company’s broad demographic. The company and brand appeals through aspirational positioning on an increasingly strong domestic footprint.
Beauchamp noted that much of Victoria’s Secret’s traffic is driven to beauty by an extension of its interest in lingerie, and the company, therefore, manages its beauty business like a fashion initiative. “Our risk profile for beauty resembles our lingerie business,” said Beauchamp. “We always want to be on the tasteful edge of sexy when creating products.”
Beauchamp offered rules of living successfully—work hard, honor everyone in your family’s history, be part of the team, have fun and always be kind.
Audience reaction was enthusiastic, typified by Josephine Fugazzotto, vice president, fragrance evaluation, Wessel Fragrances, Inc., response to the presentation. “She was very open and honest and came across as someone who really cares about the business,” said Fugazzotto. “I’m sure the business will do phenomenally with the kinds of values she instills in her people. I believe the way people work is a reflection of the management. People want to do more when they know they’re being recognized and appreciated, which is what she is doing with her team.”
Carlotta Jacobson, president, CEW, acknowledged series support by sponsors Givaudan, WWD, 24/7 Beauty and Fashion Employment, and Shape magazine.