One of the biggest stories over here recently (and there were many: from the atrocious wet weather, to Tony Blair’s retirement, the latest Harry Potter and the Beckhams moving to Los Angeles) was Boots’ No. 7 Protect and Perfect Beauty Serum. Featured on BBC’s Horizon science program, this antiaging cream was an overnight runaway success, and the demand was such that stores quickly ran out. Boots had to enforce a one pack per customer policy when new stocks arrived in-store. The cream is said to be Boots’ fastest selling product ever, and production facilities have needed to work around the clock to reach targets of 24,000 bottles per day. Needless to say, Boots bosses were “absolutely delighted,” according to BBC news reports.
CEW (UK) continued its busy program of breakfast events, among them a mentoring session in July with Nichola Mendelsohn, deputy chairman, and Karen Ellis, European creative director of Grey London, where they discussed “brand fame in order to survive.” CEW also announced a new title sponsorship deal with handbag.com for its CEW (UK) Achiever Awards 2007/2008. Supporting sponsors include London College of Beauty Therapy, Givaudan and JSL Concepts.
It will be the sixth year of the awards that “recognize women who have achieved tremendous success in their own career and who have contributed significantly to the growth of the beauty industry and the advancement of women,” according to CEW (UK) President, Caroline Neville.
This year’s ceremony will be held on October 15, at the Carlton Tower Hotel, London. The Lifetime Achiever award goes to Diane von Furstenberg, and the Achievers awards go to Eve Lom, founder of Eve Lom; Judy Noake, lifetime president, St. Tropez; Sue Peart, editor, You magazine; and Daniela Rinaldi, head of perfumery and concessions, Harvey Nichols. The CEW Special Industry Award goes to Roja Dove for his passion and lifetime commitment to keeping luxury fragrance in the consumers’ mind in a crowded marketplace.
The London College of Fashion (LCF), which offers many courses for the fashion and beauty business, opened its doors to the industry in early July for its Graduate 2007 exhibition—an opportunity for new fashion graduates to show and discuss their work with prospective employers. LCF also announced the launch of a new range of natural cosmetics courses to run in conjunction with How2doBeauty, designed for those working in beauty therapy spas or hair salons who would like to provide their clients with a bespoke natural cosmetic treatment. The course, developed and taught by Judi Beerling and Joseph Hunwick, is designed to provide an insight into the world of natural cosmetic products and the science underlying their creation, with further details available at www.fashion.arts.ac.uk.
At the Races
In June, I hopped across the Channel to France for the inauguration of the Alcan Packaging Beauty facility at Parigné-L’Eveque, which just happened to coincide with the running of the 24-hour endurance race in nearby Le Mans. For the uninitiated, this is a competition for racing cars where 55 teams of drivers compete to drive their car around a 14 km circuit over a period of 24 hours. Crazy, but very exciting.
The theme of speed began with an early start on the TGV from Paris to Le Mans. Then a short car journey to the Parigné factory, where presentations on Alcan’s activities and business sectors followed. The new factory is particularly focused on production of transparent plastic components for the beauty and perfume industries. Following a gourmet lunch, where the menu did not do justice to the visual artistry of the food, guests were treated to a tour of the factory facilities and given time to interact with the creative team. It was fascinating to watch as intricate bottle tops came off the production conveyor belts to be carefully checked and packed.
The day ended with a special visit to the practicing session at Le Mans, as guests of Team Oreca. This included tours of the paddock and the pit area where the team prepared the three cars entered. Unfortunately not even the French could avoid the horrible wet weather but the rain certainly did not spoil the day.