While at Wella's International Trend Vision 2016 in Barcelona, we sat down with Sylvie Moreau, President of Coty Professional Beauty, to learn about how the newly developed pro beauty division (which include brands Wella, OPI, Kadus, Sebastian Professional, Nioxin and others), is working to unite all categories of beauty to empower women and diversify the industry.
WHY DOES THE COTY BEAUTY GROUP MATTER TO BEAUTY PROFESSIONALS?
Generally, hairdressers and salon owners might think this merger doesn’t matter, or isn’t relevant. In this case, I really view the merger as a trust formation. When you think about it, we moved from being part of a big company that was working across different categories—and moved to a pure beauty company. So 100% of our energy and dollars are focused on beauty. You’ve always known me as an optimist, but I’ve never been so passionate now that I’m a Coty employee.
WITH THE ADDITION OF WELLA TO THE COTY/OPI FAMILY, HOW DO THE TWO CATEGORIES UNITE?
One of the reasons we got so excited about the marriage of Wella and OPI is realizing we all have a lot of color. Our whole business model is we drive value for ourselves and our customers when we have great innovation. When we drive innovation for the nail tech, it helps the up their game to the delight of their clients.
At Wella, we have same business model. Wella can further reinforce the commitment of OPI professionals and education. You see it in Trend Vision, you see it when we speak one language we can help each other.
OPI has a very US-centric business, while the Wella brand is an icon everywhere in the world. So the approach to OPI was quite tactical and as a small company it can’t have a sales force everywhere—but we have that on Wella.
DIVERSITY SEEMS TO BE A BIG FOCUS WITH THE NEW DIVISION, HOW IS COTY INCORPORATING THIS INITIAVE?
As beauty professionals, our job has always been to craft bespoke solutions to make women look their best. As a company, we’ve really embraced the role of being a champion for our industry to better serve the individuals. We want to stretch our functions: think small batches to serve the market’s individual needs—now, not in two years. That’s what's great about having a purpose: asking ourselves what changes do we need to make to be a better company, a better employer and a better support to the industry. When you think about the beauty landscape in general, consumers feel misrepresented in the sense that the diversity of the world is not represented in beauty. “Ethnic beauty” is a pathetic term. When you look at the world, Caucasians are a minority—but advertising and media don’t represent that.
HOW DOES SOCIAL MEDIA PLAY A PART IN THE COTY BEAUTY GROUP?
What I love about social media is consumers are taking the power back in the form of consumer democracy. They’re taking the voice via a consumer republic. On social media, beauty is way more diverse and individual—even quirky. In the salon, hairdressers always place individual at the heart of the consultation conversation. And the most successful hairdressers are the ones who provide a bespoke, tailored look that reflects the personality or character of their client. In beauty we have the chance to be the one who can bring this diversity the masses.
The truth is I’ve always blended my personal and private life even before social media. So when social came in, it was quite natural for me to be that transparent. It’s a source of joy. Every morning, I start my ritual by looking at Instagram, and being mesmerized by what hairdressers do. Most posts I see in the morning are from the US when I wake up. It’s my breakfast joy, starting the day with a positive outlook and inspiration from the world.
WHY DOES TREND VISION CONTINUE TO BE A PRIORITY?
When you think about Trend Vision, it’s a big concept that has a few elements to it that are critical for the industry. One piece is that as a hair company we need a point of view on trends for the season. And we can create this window to the world to offer salon owners who don’t have access to fashion. Trend prediction is a big part of it. The second part is, beyond inspiration, finding a way to make it relevant to the salon. You see the trend reveal, and it’s very high-end, we need to then make it relevant to the salon. So we create and distribute the techniques to then make it relevant for clients. The third piece is based on those trends to give a stage in the world to the hairdresser who aspires to showcase their craft and skills.
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