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Live From New York

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: June 17, 2008

page 8 of 9

She introduced moderator Karen Young, CEO, The Young Group, who led the discussion. “The beauty industry is re-inventing itself and today’s beauty shopper is moving fast. In fact, niche or alternative brands are now 30% of the beauty industry,” said Young. Panelists represented a variety of perspectives within the industry, including Linda Carroll, color insight manager, Ampacet; Sherry Lay, vice president of products for The Body Shop; Jane Hertzmark Hudis, president and founder, BeautyBank; Michael Henry, vice president of beauty for the Home Shopping Network (HSN) and Debbie Murtha, senior vice president of cosmetics for Macy’s Merchandising Group.

Carroll, with expertise in color mapping as it relates to color in consumer packaging via socio-cultural preferences, cited trends including uber communication—a micro-trend dealing with gesture technology via breath and thoughts, as well as virtuality—a new acceptance of artificial intelligence to enhance communication. She mentioned new shades of green and bright yellow that have gained popularity in Europe, and the anodized bronzes and antique effects, forecasted for global use. It’s clear that color selection in packaging and product creation is a key factor in the presentation of beauty products and beyond.

Sheri Lay credited Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, making reference to the emerging environmental movement in Europe from the company’s inception. “From one small store in the UK, to stores in 55 countries, The Body Shop has maintained its social values through tremendous growth,” she said. “For The Body Shop, beauty is about high performance makeup and a way of life. Standing up for human rights issues and giving a lift up, rather than a hand out, is an important part of The Body Shop philosophy.”

Lay noted that Roddick created an innovative model for fair trade—which she finds to be an empowering principle. “We want our customers to experience the benefit of our products and the benefits to our planet,” she said. “Creating social change through beauty is a win-win for everyone,” Lay concluded.

Hudis, founder of the BeautyBank, said it was the brainchild of William Lauder. “We have to think like the new consumer to meet their needs,” said Hudis. She acknowledged the open environment of BeautyBank, saying, “We’re built on different rules, with a different flavor organization and a 100% team environment driven by creativity, with speed to market as a significant part of the model.” While the company values the 50-year tradition of the Lauder organization, of which it is a part, Hudis said, “We are re-inventing new ways to go after new brands that are relevant to consumers all around the world, so we can be part of the future of what beauty will be about.”