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Live from New York: Sharing the Fantasy

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: August 7, 2006

FGI Welcomes Panel

The Fashion Group International welcomed industry leaders to Beauty’s New Balance, Science and Nature, a panel discussion at the Hilton Hotel in New York City. Caroline Pieper-Vogt, senior vice president, marketing, Clarins USA, Inc., delivered the opening remarks, and Carol A. Smith, senior vice president and Elle Group publishing director, was moderator. Smith said this is a nation obsessed with two extremes—natural and high-tech cosmetics. “Whether science-based or nature-based, women want it all,” said Smith, who cited an Elle survey noting that women sought high-tech products for immediate results and natural products for inner well-being.

Panelists included Joseph Gubernick, chief marketing officer, Estée Lauder Companies Inc.; Howard Kreitzman, vice president, cosmetics and fragrance, Bloomingdale’s; Betsy Schmalz, executive vice president Creative and Technical Innovation, Beauty Avenue, Division Limited Brands; Lauren Thaman, global director, P&G Beauty Science, Procter & Gamble; and Stéphane Wilmet, general manager, SkinCeuticals, L’Oréal USA.

In addressing consumer motivation, Gubernick noted that the organic revolution started 30 years ago, supported by “a sense of nurturing and caring,” the yin of his yin and yang equation. “The high-tech aspect is yang, a male characteristic. There will always be a balance between the yin and the yang,” which drives consumer purchasing, he noted.

Thaman said the major revolutions have taken place in the last five years, and Wilmet thought that consumer purchases were “driven by a culture of results, demonstrable results.” Schmalz cited an analogy of integrated medicine and cosmetics, noting that spirituality, emotional wellness, plus realness, like the example of real people in the Dove campaign, support “a trend toward homegrown.” Kreitzman made the case for a significant demographic, noting someone turns 50 every seven seconds , and called 50 the new 30. Ultimately, “we’re selling solutions to people,” he said.

High Performance Ingredients

Innovations in new product development and beauty packaging were subjects of HBA’s mid-year conferences, held at New York’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. Jean Louis Mathiez, vice president of Packaging Innovation Colour Cosmetics and Fragrances, Coty Beauty, Europe, opened the Packaging Symposium with the discussion: Packaging and Dispensing Innovations: Hygiene, Health, Beauty and Body Care, which addressed application breakthroughs, adding value to packaging and developments in pigments. Wendy Lewis, international industry consultant, delivered the keynote at the High Performance Ingredients Conference. She stressed the importance of knowing your customer, building trust and constant newness as keys to brand success.