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Live from New York: Sharing the Fantasy

Nancy Jeffries

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.

The next HBA events will be the annual HBA Health & Beauty America trade show and conference, PCITX, Personal Care Ingredients & Technology Expos, and Inside Beauty, on September 12–14, 2006, at New York’s Javits Center.

Fragrance Foundation Hosts Selling Scents

The Fragrance Foundation hosted a panel discussion at New York City’s Museum of Television & Radio. The event, which was followed by a cocktail reception and showing of television fragrance advertising through the years, brought back memories of “Sharing the Fantasy,” “An Aviance Night,” “Charlie” and more, while the discussion injected a new perspective into a field long dominated by sensual suggestion, limited copy and as much skin as television would allow.

Rochelle Bloom, president of The Fragrance Foundation, noted that there are now 300 new fragrance entries annually, and that the event marked 55 years of celebrating fragrance advertising. The panelists included Stuart Elliott, advertising columnist, The New York Times; Tom Julian, trend expert, McCann Erickson North America; Neil Kraft, president, Kraftworks; David Lipman, chairman, Lipman; and Robert Passikoff, PhD, founder and president, Brand Keys, Inc. Stephanie Saull Thompson, a reporter for Advertising Age, moderated.

The panelists explored the challenges of branding fragrance in the media and distinguishing brands among the competition. Stuart Elliott noted that “high-end categories are somewhat lagging behind, as compared to cars and fast foods,” citing print ads, scent strips and gifts-with-purchase as the predominant modes of fragrance promotion. Tom Julian said an industry with so much excitement seems to have fallen short in online experiences, adding that “New media and online brand expression will need to be addressed by the fragrance business.” Passikoff said it was important not to fall into the bad habit of utilizing technology without understanding how to best leverage it,” while Lipman offered, “It’s always about the ideas.”

The panelists offered diverse ways to look at fragrance advertising phenomena, with Julian concluding that “Vision, understanding, expression and experience are key, but exchange with the consumer is essential.”

ICMAD’s Cosmetic Regulatory Workshop

The Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors (ICMAD) held its 26th Cosmetic Regulatory Workshop at the New York Athletic Club. Penni Jones, ICMAD’s executive director, welcomed attendees, noting the objectives of the workshop to foster safe and properly labeled cosmetic products. Karen Acker, ICMAD president, discussed ICMAD services, and introduced the first speaker on the agenda, Linda Katz, MD, director, Office of Cosmetics and Colors, U.S. FDA.

Katz provided an overview of the FDA’s current regulatory program. She urged that attendees not lose sight that something can be a drug and a cosmetic, “but it’s important that your labeling be consistent with what your product is, and that it is filed as both a drug and a cosmetic.”

Carl Geffken, ICMAD technical committee chair, noted the importance of providing information to the FDA and consumers to “let them know our products are safe,” and urged the voluntary reporting of ingredient formulations, saying the information “helps to support the safety of ingredients and helps the FDA and industry companies to maintain the benefit of safe cosmetics for manufacturers and consumers.” Robert Eshelman, OTC Compliance Team, Office of Compliance, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research FDA, provided a review of how drugs are regulated, citing new monographs and an update on concerns. Stan Katz, ICMAD chair and president of the ICMAD Purchasing Group, introduced Ben Thrush, Hub International Northeast, who discussed product liability and how ICMAD’s program can help small companies protect themselves.

CEW Beauty Awards

The Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) Insider’s Choice Beauty Awards were held at the Grand Ballroom of New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria. The awards recognize innovative beauty products each year, and are voted on by CEW members, which include 4,000 professionals in the beauty business. Jill Scalamandre, chairman of CEW, and Nancy Berger Cardone, publisher of Allure, provided welcoming remarks. The complete list of winners is available on CEW’s Web site,

Rachel Hunter Launches Dermacia Collection

Actress and supermodel Rachel Hunter, along with Barry Knapp, president and chief product architect, Dermacia, Inc., launched the Dermacia Breathable Collection at New York’s Bryant Park Hotel. The makeup and skin care line features several noncomedogenic hypoallergenic products, and is touted by plastic surgeons and Hollywood makeup artists for its sheer and therapeutic characteristics.

Luxe Pack New York

Luxe Pack New York 2006, held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, welcomed 75 packaging manufacturers. The annual two-day packaging event featured high-profile content seminars, special displays and the gala Art of Packaging Award dinner. Seminar presentations included “Innovations in Brand Security, Tracking and RFID;” “What’s New: Is it Cutting Edge or Cannibalizing Brands;” “Emotional Branding,” featuring Marc Gobe; and “Design and Hidden Dimension in Smell,” with Debra Butler, vice president, Creating Marketing Studio, Firmenich.

Marc Rosen welcomed award recipients, speakers and attendees to the annual Art of Packaging Award dinner at New York’s University Club—which has raised $250,000 for the Marc Rosen Scholarship for Graduate Package Design at Pratt Institute in its 10 years. This year’s award dinner honored P&G Beauty, with Marc Pritchard, president of Global Cosmetics and Hair Colorants, P&G, accepting the award.

Pritchard acknowledged this year’s scholarship recipients—Pratt students Guemhee Choi, Kyoko Ikemoto, Sun Min Park and Chatwalee Phoungbut—and praised them as being among “the students who will become the designers of the future.” He cited the visceral reactions ignited by design, saying, “I love the way design creates the total experience,” and adding, “Designers help us bring form and meaning to function. Design is the make or break part of this industry.” Mistress of Ceremony, Molly Sims, star of NBC-TV’s Las Vegas and CoverGirl spokesmodel, congratulated Pritchard, with whom she has worked closely on CoverGirl.

CEW Beauty Series

At New York’s Harmonie Club, CEW welcomed three beauty entrepreneurs to speak on the challenges of creating a successful indie brand. Laura DeLuisa, founder of DuWop; Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter; and Wende Zomnir, founder of Urban Decay and Hard Candy, discussed the “Secrets to Early Success” and the individual paths that led them to establishing their own businesses.

Zomnir, who launched Urban Decay 10 years ago, said it was a learning process that required being very resourceful, scouting out manufacturing contacts, fillers and packaging sources. She said, “We wanted to create cosmetics that were colorful and beautiful, but also urban and gritty—the antithesis of what cosmetics were 10 years ago.” Urban Decay became so successful that it was acquired by LVMH.

For Price, everything started with her love of fragrance, and she began mixing and blending oils in her kitchen. Her reputation grew largely through appearances at flea markets and by word-of-mouth, eventually bringing customers to her Brooklyn, New York, home to purchase products. After years of creating homemade blends (including one misadventure with an exploding Sea Moss Shampoo), she took on a business partner—a move that she says enabled her to grow and develop her business.

DeLuisa, whose career began in the film industry, first launched her now well-known eye gels that she thought were something actors would like. Her next product, lip venom, became successful as well. “It started off very organically,” said DeLuisa, who credits her partner with a lot of brainstorming. She noted that QVC has allowed the brand into people’s homes.

All participants emphasized the importance of editorial and PR as drivers for their businesses. “Developing relationships is how you get back in the door,” said Zomnir, “(And being) unique in terms of vibe and point of view (are key factors).” Caption: CEW Beauty Series presentation, with (from left), Susan McEwen, vice president, fine fragrance sales, Quest International Fragrances Company, Inc.; Lisa Price, founder and managing partner, Carol’s Daughter, Inc.; Wende Zomnir, executive creative director, Urban Decay and Hard Candy; and Laura DeLuisa, CEO and co-founder, DuWop.

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