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Innovation Takes The Spotlight at CEW Newsmaker Forum

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: September 20, 2012

Left to right, Renato Semerari, president, Coty Beauty; Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American Fragrances, Coty Prestige; and Michele Scannavini, CEO, Coty, at CEW's September 2012 Newsmaker Forum.

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Walsh noted that Calvin Klein is re-launching its color brand. “This is the fourth time around, and we’ve learned from past mistakes. We’ve got an entry level price point with designer cosmetics packaging, so you’re getting good value. We’ve also learned in our research that you have a consumer that maybe only wears lipstick, like me, so now we’ve segmented the products based on the way a woman shops, so it’s really easy to navigate.”

Semerari added that 16% of the Coty business is in skin care, and cited a skin care line called T-Joy, a brand founded 20 years ago and remains the Chinese platform for Coty. “It comes from the Chinese herbal tradition and is based on ginseng. It’s very important for us to be there in China, where skin care is 60% of the Chinese market,” he added.

When asked how it’s possible to manage everything, Walsh responded, “It takes a village. There’s very strong entrepreneurial spirit and people speak up a lot. They’re paid to do that. In addition, there’s a lack of layers that enables us to work in groups and across groups. Empowerment is vital to the culture,” said Walsh.

When asked what keeps the two panelists up at night, Samerari replied, “When I’m in Asia, it’s the soccer matches in Europe.” For Walsh, “Nothing keeps me up at night because I worry all day.”

Sponsors for the event included Prevention, Firmenich, Arcade Marketing, Beauty Inc, Nordstrom, WSL Strategic Retail, 24 Seven Inc., SGD Group, SelectNY,, WWD, Kaplow, Indelible and two new sponsors: the Aptar Group and the American Association of University Women.