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MEET THE MILLENNIALS, A GROUP THAT LOOKS SET TO CHANGE THE FACE OF BEAUTY AS WE KNOW IT. BY JENNY B. FINE / PHOTOGRAPHED BY JASON KIM
he Me Generation has given way to the All About Me Generation. Consider the case of Kate Spade Saturday, which launched in March as a lower-priced, more casual alternative to its 20-year-old sister brand Kate Spade New York. Key attributes of the brandâ€”which was created exclusively with Millennials in mindâ€”include pop-up stores where merchandise can be ordered electronically and delivered within the hour, an active social-media presence across multiple platforms and products like the best-selling Weekender bag that can be personalized by shoppers in gazillions of ways. Sales have soared, and already, company executives are predicting that Kate Spade Saturdayâ€™s store count could soon exceed that of the original. For marketers, it seems, Baby Boomers are quickly becoming ancient history, their worries about who will replace beautyâ€™s most important generation being allayed by the emergence of a Hair by Romina Manenti for Bumble & bumble at See Management. Makeup by Justine Purdue for DiorShow at Tim Howard Management. Manicure by Honey at Exposure New York. Styled by Clare Byrne. Casting by Edward Kim at The Edit Desk.
Down time is not a concept that resonates with Zuzanna Bijoch. The in-demand 19-year-old is a favorite of photographers like David Sims and Craig McDean, and also stars as the face of Tom Ford Beauty. This summer, though, she also took on an internship in the finance department of Tom Ford. â€œMy dream is to work on Wall Street,â€? says Bijoch, who started modeling at 16 and relishes the predictability of her corporate gig. â€œItâ€™s a great opportunity to learn something different, and the hours are set,â€? she says. â€œI know what to expect the next day, which isnâ€™t something in my daily life.â€? Thatâ€™s not to say Bijoch doesnâ€™t enjoy her day job, either, though. â€œI love the moment when youâ€™re getting into character and being someone youâ€™re not,â€? she enthuses. And for Bijoch, character defines beauty. â€œItâ€™s a sensation, not a thing,â€? she says. â€œItâ€™s a mix of charm, class, uniqueness.â€?
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For Bree Smith, true beauty comes from the power of positive thinking. â€œItâ€™s about how a person cares for herself,â€? says the 19-year-old, â€œlike a good spirit or a happy person.â€? Smith has a lot to be happy about lately. Since graduating from high school and moving to New York last year, the Indiana native has been photographed by superstars like Daniel Jackson, Pamela Hanson and Santiago & Mauricio and appeared in magazines such as Lucky, Interview and Teen Vogue. She relishes the excitement of the fashion industryâ€”â€œI donâ€™t have a set schedule. Iâ€™ll get a call to go somewhere right awayâ€?â€”and she is eager to embark on her first Fashion Week. â€œIâ€™m going in with an open mind,â€? she says. â€œIâ€™ll be happy with anything. Iâ€™m just excited to do it.â€?
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percent are Hispanic, 14 percent are Black and 5 percent are Asian; for adults group that shows a budding affinity for the category. â€œThey are the future,â€? says Julie Bornstein, executive vice president and chief 30 and older, the figures are 70 percent Caucasian, 13 percent Hispanic, 11 percent Black and 5 percent Asian. marketing and digital officer of Sephora. â€œThey are our present and our future.â€? Globally, the Millennial generation is growing even faster in two of beautyâ€™s key Millennials, the generation broadly defined as those born from 1980 to 2000, are gaining increasing importance as a consumer force to be reckoned with, a trend ex- emerging markets: Latin America and Asia. According to The NPD Groupâ€™s vice pected to accelerate dramatically in the next decade. An overview of the numbers president and global industry analyst Karen Grant, by 2033, the number of people quickly shows why. According to a report issued by Jefferies and Alix Partners, by under 30 will be the same size as the group of those 50 and above in North Ameri2020, Millennials will double in importance regarding the spend they control in the ca. But in Asia and Latin America, those under 30 will form the largest age group. But savvy marketers arenâ€™t waiting for tomorrow to target Millennials. MAC, one U.S. The number of Baby Boomers under 60 is expected to decrease to 17.6 million people in 2020, versus 59.8 million in 2010. Conversely, by 2020, Millennials over of the most popular makeup brands with younger shoppers, is readying a youthoriented store format that is scheduled to the age of 25 will be 19 percent of the population, open at Orlandoâ€™s The Florida Mall in Noabout 64.1 million people, up from 5 percent, or vember. This September, Shiseido launched 17.1 million people, in 2010. The report notes Ibuki, its first new skin-care range in eight that just following a personâ€™s 25th birthday, meyears, aimed squarely at Millennials, particudian income historically jumps 60 percent. larly those between 25 and 34 years old. â€œThey â€œBy 2020, there will be 78 million Millennials,â€? are already spending $250 billion annually says Mark Brooks, senior vice president of conand their spending power is expected to sursumer and market intelligence at Lâ€™OrĂŠal USA. WWD Beauty Inc tapped a team of rising stars to create pass the spending power of Boomers by 2017,â€? â€œIt is the next big generation. Itâ€™s not an easy tarthe visuals for this story, giving them free rein to create says Heidi Manheimer, chief executive officer get, but it is something that is absolutely critical.â€? pictures that represent their collective vision of beauty for of Shiseido Cosmetics America, who jokingly The numbers, again, point to the challenges a new generation. â€”JAYME CYK adds, â€œI thought we were the big shoppers! that Brooks references in his remarks. The What happened?â€? demographic characteristics of Millennials PHOTOGRAPHER: JASON KIM Millennials may already have demonstratClean, sharp, unexpected and young is how 22-year-old photographer are as broad as their numbers. â€œItâ€™s not a oneJason Kim describes his work. â€œI love combining different ideas like ed their affinity for shopping, but the means size-fits-all group,â€? says Brooks. â€œA third of Hare Krishna and Club Kids,â€? says Kim. â€œItâ€™s all about the balance in which they like to do so differs markedly them have lower incomes, a third are middle between technicality and the artistic side, of being commercially from other generations. David Garfield, a viable and super editorial.â€? Raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Kim was income and a third are upper income. Some given an assignment way back in middle school to pick a career path. managing director of Alix Partners and lead are still very dependent on their parents, even He chose fashion photographer and hasnâ€™t looked back since. Success writer of the report, â€œTrouble in Aisle 5,â€? which when theyâ€™re starting to earn, caught between came early, as well. Thus far, Kim has shot for magazines including V, presents an in-depth look at how Millennials VMan, M, Elle, French Glamour and Nylon. â€œI went to [college] for two the difficulty of getting a mortgage, the job years and at the same time, I started booking jobs,â€? he recalls. â€œIt was will impact food retail, conducted a deep dive market and student loans. difficult to balance school and work, so I left [school] and started into how the group spends its money. â€œThey â€œMost of themâ€”38 percentâ€”donâ€™t have going on set with photographers a bit. [Then] I began doing everything are different,â€? he says. â€œIf they behaved just kids,â€? Brooks continues, noting Lâ€™OrĂŠal segon my own.â€? Kimâ€™s favorite photographers include Hiroshi Sugimoto, Viviane Sassen and David Sims, but his self-assurance and vision on like other segments, it wouldnâ€™t be as big a ments Millennials into about six groups, â€œbut set are very much his own. â€œIâ€™m very much a product of the digital age,â€? deal, but their shopping behavior, purchasing almost half have young families. There are a he says, â€œwhere these days youâ€™re able to figure things out yourself.â€? criteria and brand preferences are different. lot of nontraditional families, some live with STYLIST: CLARE BYRNE Marketers have to adapt.â€? parents, some with friends and roommates, Clare Byrne grew up on a farm in Australiaâ€™s Hunter Valley, where her The biggest influencer in what differentisome have children with no spouses. Itâ€™s a very father bred racehorses, an upbringing that remains a key influence in ates Millennials from older generations is diverse group of people.â€? the 27-year-oldâ€™s work. â€œMy styling is sporty at times,â€? says Byrne. â€œI like CĂŠline and Calvin Klein. That design reflects an element of my taste.â€? their affinity for all things digital. â€œThey are â€œItâ€™s hard to talk about them in one big Byrne, who moved to New York in 2011 to pursue a career in styling, the earliest adopters,â€? says Carlotta Jacobson, lump,â€? agrees Wendy Liebmann, chief execuaims to enhance the uniqueness of her subjects, particularly for beauty president of Cosmetics Executive Women. tive officer of WSL Strategic Retail. â€œYouâ€™ve got shoots. â€œI like an element of realness,â€? she says. â€œItâ€™s important, even if thereâ€™s a heavy eye or bold lip, to always keep one natural element.â€? â€œThey are the ones who will push companies so many life stages and different things that to merge the digital into a critical part of the have happened over that 20-year period. The MAKEUP ARTIST: JUSTINE PURDUE business. They connect with people in a difyounger end of the segment are the ones whoâ€™ve For 35-year-old Justine Purdue, when it comes to makeup, less is more. That aesthetic has appealed to the likes of photographers ferent way.â€? grown up in the post 9/11 and global financial Sebastian Faena and Cedric Bouchet, with whom Purdue has worked Research from Pew shows that Millennicrisis world with technology at their fingertips, regularly since moving to New York City from her native Australia als are, literally, always connected. More than and that has had a huge impact. The older ones about 12 months ago. â€œBeauty is individuality,â€? says Purdue, who is inspired by various cultures in her work. â€œItâ€™s embracing our own eight in 10â€”83 percentâ€”report sleeping with have been influenced by that, but less so.â€? uniqueness, and celebrating our differences.â€? But everyday life is also their cell phone next to their bed, versus the a key influence â€œI always base my work on something real and give average of 57 percent across all age groups. it authenticity. I donâ€™t like to look at past work from other makeup artists. I want to have my own vision.â€? Seventy-five percent report having a profile ulticulturalism is on a social networking site, versus an average another defining HAIR STYLIST: ROMINA MANENTI of 41 percent. characteristic. AcHair stylist Romina Manenti started out as a fashion stylist, but quickly changed gears to realize her true passion. â€œI love to work with texture,â€? Sephoraâ€™s Bornstein says that while cording to Pew Resays the 33-year-old. â€œItâ€™s so tangible and you can change it in a halfsome marketers theorize Facebook is past search, Millennials hour to another aesthetic.â€? The Italian native recently relocated from its prime, the reality is that it remains the are more ethnically Paris, where she worked with photographers like Ellen Von Unwerth and Serge Leblon, to New York. Stylistically, Manenti is looking to communications channel of choice for this and racially diverse make a statement. â€œAesthetically and visually, I want to make an generation. YouTube, as well, is incredibly than older adults. In the U.S., of those ages impact and attract attention,â€? she says. â€œBut at the same time, I want powerful, as a learning tool but also as a 18 to 29, about 61 percent are Caucasian, 19 to give a shape that evokes emotion.â€?
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starting point for shopping. Figures from MAC crystallize the point. According to the brand, of its six million Facebook followers, five million are Millennials. On YouTube, where MAC generated 7 million views for the last fiscal year, 56 percent of the U.S. views on the global channels are Millennials. On Tumblr, where 67 percent of the users are under 35, MAC has more than 153,000 followers, while on Twitter, where 55 percent of the users are Millennials, MAC has 425,000. When the brand launched its RiRiâ€”as in Rihannaâ€”Hearts MAC collection exclusively online, 35,000 units sold out in less than three hours. â€œThey were born with a smartphone in their hands,â€? says Karen Buglisi, global brand president of MAC Cosmetics. â€œSocial media is how they communicate with us, engage with us. Itâ€™s how they express themselves.â€? One of MACâ€™s most popular recent programs is MAC By Request, a platform where consumers can vote to bring back products that have been discontinued. Buglisi says in two weeks, the program racked up 1.6 million votes. â€œThey like having a voice,â€? she explains. â€œControl is very important to them.â€? And if there is one thing that is especially important for this group, it is to make their voice part of a brand experience. This is not a group that wants to be dictated to in a top-down communication style, a fact which Kyle Andrew, senior vice president and brand director of Kate Spade Saturday, has kept top of mind during the development of the label. â€œMillennials want to be part of the experience. You canâ€™t just put stuff out there and expect her to engage,â€? she says. â€œShe likes to feel she is in the know. She wants to go deeper and feel like she is part of the process.â€? As an example, Andrew explains the brandâ€™s approach towards shooting an ad campaign. In the past, print ads would debut in select magazines on specific dates. Now, the entire process is posted on the brandâ€™s social-media siteâ€”in real time. â€œWeâ€™ll show her what weâ€™re shooting for fall way ahead of the launch date and then read the comments,â€? says Andrew. â€œWe love when she says, â€˜I love that skirt.â€™ If enough people say it, we may make more. Itâ€™s a great way to get insight into what youâ€™re doing that may allow you to course-correct as you go along.â€? For the launch of Ibuki, Shiseido created a special microsite with product details, education and a rich social experience that allows users to read about the life experiences of like-minded people as well as share their own. â€œThey want a seamless experience between offline and online,â€? says Manheimer. Anything less than a completely seamless experience is unacceptable to Millennials, Andrew has found. â€œWhen we havenâ€™t had a product in stores that has been on the Web, she gets mad. She does a lot of research online and comes into the store to try on merchandise. You canâ€™t make it hard for herâ€”it has to be easy.â€? â€œThey are very unforgiving if you are not allowing them to shop anywhere, anytime, anyhow,â€? agrees Liebmann. â€œIf you create barriers for them, they will go elsewhere.â€? Innovation and newnessâ€”both in terms of product and shopping experienceâ€”are also key drivers. Liebmann singles out the Japanese fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo as a company that understands this and executes against it better than most. â€œUniqlo offers a tremendous value proposition, but they are constantly innovating around product,â€? she says, citing products such as its Airism collection of innerwear, which absorbs moisture to keep the body dry, releases body heat quickly and imparts a cooling sensation. It also has anti-odor technology. A T-shirt costs about $13. â€œUniqlo also has a massive in-store experience, which is dazzling, but at the same time, the product is very affordable,â€? Liebmann points out. â€œTheyâ€™re not saying because weâ€™re inexpensive we donâ€™t innovate or we are not creating a highly emotive physical retail experience. They do all of that, and thatâ€™s why they are very relevant to this audience.â€? For its part, Kate Spade Saturdayâ€™s stores feature iPad signage rather than the traditional variety, and during the pop-up phase of the brand launch, Kate Spade partnered with eBayâ€™s Now program to give shoppers local delivery of products in an afternoon. â€œItâ€™s important to stay ahead of this customer to keep her interested,â€? says Andrew. â€œThere is so much noise out there. The pop-up stores were hard to executeâ€”it took a lot of time, money and resourcesâ€”but we got her attention. Which is hard. Super hard. But you have to.â€?
Even their expectations for a relatively quotidian retail experience are high. â€œOf course it has to be lively and engaging,â€? ticks off Grant. â€œMillennials like to have help when they need it. They want to be able to price-compare. They want to engage with their mobile device, so they can check the price. They want an environment that will nurture them and make them feel secure when asking for advice and they like to shop with their friends.â€? The concept of brand or channel loyalty, however, is largely nonexistent. â€œMillennials are more willing to jump from one channel or store format to another, whereas Boomers tend to buy the same types of products from the same retail channels,â€? says Garfield. â€œMillennials tend to be more adventuresome shoppers, and are open to discovering new products and brands.â€? Such an attribute is both a positive and a negative, points out Garfield. Brands with a hot new product can generate trial quickly, whereas those who donâ€™t lose consumers quickly. Says Garfield, â€œIt gives you the opportunity to attract and earn new consumers. It is also a threat to established businesses because it means a greater risk of churn.â€?
illennials are also more frugal than the youth generations of earlier days. According to a survey WSL Strategic Retail conducted in June across all generations on saving and spending, 22 percent of Millennials said theyâ€™re putting more in savings in the last 12 months, five points higher than Gen X, eight points higher than Boomers and 9 points higher than Seniors. â€œIt used to be you were young and you had money and it was all disposable,â€? says Liebmann. â€œBut Millennials have the saver mind-set. Theyâ€™re looking for deals, like shopping online or flash sales. Itâ€™s not about saving for a rainy day. Itâ€™s about being smart.â€? The same study showed that 41 percent of Millennials use their mobile phones to compare prices while theyâ€™re shopping, 38 percent to take pictures of what they want to buy, 30 percent to find coupons and 29 percent to read reviews. For Boomers, the stats are 26 percent, 31, 15 and 17, respectively. In terms of beauty categories, Millennials are extremely engaged with makeup. In a recent study on the Millennial makeup market by the market research firm Lab 42, 65 percent of respondents said they wear makeup every day, and 58 percent said they purchase different products for the summer and winter. (Lip gloss is their number-one item.) But Bornstein says she has also noticed that Millennials are also very engaged in skin care despite their tender years, which she says actually points to a larger desire among the group. â€œThis generation is more attuned to skin care and aging at an earlier age. And while theyâ€™re definitely playing with nail and lip, they are moving from lip gloss to lipstick, which makes them feel more grown up.â€? To that end, Sephoraâ€™s most popular brands with Millennials are Nars, Benefit and Laura Mercier. â€œThese brands are accessible and understandable, but feel like the next level up in terms of taking care of yourself,â€? explains Bornstein. â€œIn talking with consumers of this generation, we keep hearing that beauty is not just on the surface. It is how you feel, carry yourself and how you look. They want to take care of themselves.â€? Q
Meet the Millennials: 5 Key Points Know the Numbers: By 2020, the Millennials will double in importance in terms of the spending they control in the U.S. Plugged In: Eight in 10 Millennials sleep with their mobile phone. Enough said. Innovate, Innovate, Innovate: Whether with products or in-store experience, Millennials expect to be dazzled. Can You Hear Me Now?: This generation is eager to engage in conversation with her favorite brands. Listening and reflecting back her opinion is essential. Make It Count: Millennials are value-conscious, savvy shoppers who are as apt to deposit disposable income in a savings account as they are to treat themselves.
The Me Generation has given way to the All About Me Generation.