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Retail Trends 2007: Beauty, Fashion... China

by Patricia Pao  |  
November 7, 2006

As consumers take more control over all aspects of their harried lives, 2007 will bring major shifts in beauty, especially organics, and fashion. Expect growth to come from non-traditional sources. For beauty, spas continue as the hotbed of innovation, while fashion growth will continue for those "fast follow" shops that help women take control over how they look.

Finally, Americans will continue their fascination with China. In the next 10 years, as many Americans will be visiting China as traveling to Europe. And, just as they did 20 years ago when they brought back a taste for things French and Italian from their travels, they are likely to embrace Asian themes.

Do-It-Yourself Spas

More and more people want to "spa" on their own. The desire for privacy and their own space encourages them to learn how to incorporate the spa experience into their everyday lives.

Viceroy Palm Springs Resort & Estrella Spa, Palm Springs, CA, offers an "Ice House Treatment"; the guest is provided with all of the necessary supplies and expected to perform the protocol herself. And a new brand, Akhassa, has recently launched with the mission of bringing the Asian spa experience to the American home.

Feeling the Need for Speed: Disruption in Fashion

It no longer takes 9-12 months to "fast follow" runway trends. H&M, Zara, Topshop boast of being able to translate and merchandise runway trends for a mass audience with production times under 30 days. Wal-Mart hosted "Rock the Runway" in September as part of New York City Fashion Week offered clothing that was highly reminiscent of lines shown by Proenza Schoueler and Roland Mouret.

Material Gains—Going Green and Bright

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Patricia Pao is CEO of Pao Principle, New York City, and a graduate of the Harvard Business School, with 20 years of experience in the luxury goods, beauty, and retail industries. Reach her at (212) 828-8835.

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