This week, a peek at how beauty brands took part in the bi-annual fashion extravaganza of New York Fashion Week.
It may be called New York Fashion Week, but beauty brands are finding ways to stand out during one of the biggest fashion moments of the year.
Since 2020, the conversations around NYFW have centered on whether the industry event is back in full swing or a shadow of its former self. Glossy has covered this before, remarking that NYFW was “(kinda)” back in Sept. 2021, before officially proclaiming it so in Sept. 2022. But now, more than ever, everyday consumers are getting the halo effect of NYFW’s rebirth, with multiple fashion and beauty events open to the public.
Beauty brands, in particular, found strong opportunities to shine. For example, Chanel Beauty promoted its Lucky Chance fragrance via a buzzy Williamsburg diner takeover from September 8-10. Attendees could enjoy an outdoor garden, shop the Chance fragrances, and enjoy games and diner-inspired refreshments like ice cream. Fellow luxury brand Prada, meanwhile, promoted its new refillable fragrance during a SoHo pop-up from September 8-10. Meanwhile, Sakara Life has a co-branded pop-up during the week with fashion brand La Ligne — the brands also collaborated on a custom, co-branded sweater.
Several brands, including Agent Nateur, SkinCeuticals and retailer Sally Beauty, used trucks to get in on the action. For its part, Agent Nateur promoted its retail expansion with The Vitamin Shoppe on September 11 with a branded food truck that handed out matcha lattes. They featured Agent Nateur ingredients like pearl powder and collagen.
SkinCeuticals’ treatment truck ran from Sept. 8-10 with New York City as the first stop in a 10-city, yearlong tour. The Skinceuticals campaign aims to promote post-facial treatment products. According to Amy Sloan, svp of Business Strategy and Growth for SkinCeuticals U.S., the brand’s research found that 43% of consumers understand the importance of skin-care products but do not know they should use them post-facial to aid in healing, cellular renewal and hydration.
“When we embarked on creating this truck and this treatment tour, New York Fashion Week seemed the ideal starting point. Everybody is back in the city post-summer, and it’s also the start of [what we call] ‘treatment season,’ which is post-summer [skin] care,” said Sloan.
The three-day truck activation was spent in the Meatpacking District, a fashionable and high-foot-traffic commercial area of the city. Sloan said, that in addition to the post-summer overlap of New York Fashion Week, it’s a time in which many new visitors arrive in NYC, further opening up the brand to new people. Recent data could not be found, but a 2015 study from the House Joint Economic Committee and New York City Economic Development Corp. stated that more than 230,000 people attend the annual September and February fashions shows. Additionally, the report found that NYFW in September and February generated nearly $900 million in annual economic impact including $547 million in collective visitor spending.
Within the truck, visitors could receive a skin-care consultation from an on-site brand expert, use a UV lightbox to see underlying skin issues such as sun damage, book a treatment for a light chemical peel on the face or hands, and receive samples of SkinCeuticals’ hero product C E Ferulic serum. During the three-day event, the truck received over 3,600 visitors, distributed 4,500 samples, and performed 700 on-site skin consultations and more than 120 treatments. Furthermore, over 100 future appointments were booked at SkinCeuticals’ Upper East Side SkinLab location.
Sally Beauty is also using a three-day mobile truck. The retailer’s Hair Repair Station truck’s destinations between Tuesday and Thursday include Chelsea, SoHo and the Seaport district. Unlike the SkinCeuticals vehicle, visitors do not enter the Sally Beauty truck but can instead retrieve a sample in the back after reading the branded education content and pushing a button for dispense. Those who sign up for Sally Beauty rewards can receive a travel-size Bondbar kit. Carolyne Guss, group vp of marketing at Sally Beauty, declined to say how many samples Sally Beauty was looking to give out during the activation but said the retailer expects to interact with “thousands” of people. Sally Beauty worked with 20 influencers to promote the Bondbar truck via TikToks, YouTube videos and Instagram posts.
“There was a strong fit [with NYFW] because we’re extending our very successful Bondbar product line into color and many people during this time experience hair damage,” said Guss. “People are coming out of the summer, and then into fashion week and fall and changing their looks.”
Bondbar first launched in Oct. 2022 and is now introducing a color line in September. It’s among the retailer’s biggest launches of the year and is expected to be a sizeable sales business over the long term, according to remarks made by Denise Paulonis, CEO of Sally Beauty, during the company’s third-quarter earnings call in early August. In the third quarter, owned brands’ penetration within Sally business was 34%, up 1.5% year-over-year. And 20% of Bondbar purchasers are new to Sally Beauty, showing the hair-care products are bringing in an entirely new customer base.
This year has marked a full return to physical shopping and in-person experiences. Data from ICSC, formerly International Council of Shopping Centers, showed that 74% of 2022 holiday consumers visited a shopping center compared to 70% in 2021. And Capital One Shopping data shows that brick-and-mortar sales growth outpaced e-commerce sales growth in 2022 by 6.52%. Reimagining the post-Covid-19 experiential side of things has emphasized the role of consumers, with brands focused on creating in-person moments for their customer community. Half of the attendees to fashion brand Tibi’s NYFW show were “favorite” customers, rather than influencers or press, according to recent Glossy reporting.
“Unsurprisingly, we’re seeing the interest from consumers in having a physical experience,” said Guss. “[NYFW] was the opportunity to interact with a large group of consumers in a beauty-focused environment.”
Inside our coverage:
Laura Mercier pops up at NYFW.
Why Hotel Lobby Candle is selling in hotel minibars.
Indie luxury brands are looking for e-tailer partners.
What we’re reading:
Why Mark Cuban is investing in beauty.
NYX founder Toni Ko is back to mentor other founders.