Redefining Retail for the Digital Generation. Louis Desazars is Chief Executive Officer of NARS Cosmetics, Jo Horgan of Mecca Maxima, and Wendy Leibmann, WSL/Strategic Retail explore how beauty firms are looking online to drive offline sales."
Louis Desazars is Chief Executive Officer of NARS Cosmetics. Since joining the company in 2008, he has spurred growth and innovation to make Nars a top beauty brand in North America and in other major markets around the world. Under his leadership, along with FranÃ§ois Nars,
Founder and Creative Director, NARS has undertaken such initiatives as as 15X15, the Bento Box and a flagship boutique on Bleecker Street in New York.
Mr. Desazars began his career at Louis Vuitton Moet-Hennessy with Parfums Christian Dior, holding various executive positions in the international divisions.
He joined Shiseido International Corporation (SIC) in 1996 as the group's Vice President overseeing the European market for Paris-based fragrance company Beaute Prestige International (BPI). After eight years of growth and expansion under his leadership, he was promoted to President of the BPI U.S. affiliate, at which time he moved to the United States.
Mr. Desazars holds degrees from Science Po, University Paris Dauphine. and Harvard Business School, and is married with four children.
Born in London, Jo Horgan spent most of her childhood in the UK before moving to Australia and settling in Perth. After receiving a B.A. in English literature from the University of Western Australia, Ms. Horgan pursued a master's degree in mass communications at Boston University. In 1992, she left the U.S. for a Product Manager position in the marketing division at L'Oreal UK and two years later returned to Australia for another position within the company.
By 1997, Ms. Horgan had identified a disconnect in the Australian market between what was available to consumers and what they were purchasing internationally. After witnessing the surge in sales of niche cosmetics in London, Paris and throughout the U.S., Ms. Horgan realized Australian consumers' need for instant access to coveted products. That idea, coupled with a dedicated customer service model, inspired the launch of her beauty retail business, Today, Mecca Cosmetica offers 40 brands exclusively in the Australian market, counts 31 stores throughout Australia and New Zealand, operates an online store and will open four locations this year.
Following the success of Mecca Cosmetica, Ms. Horgan launched a second unique beauty concept in 2005. Kit Cosmetics, a beauty lifestyle store offering 30 brands exclusively in the Australian market, now counts 10 stores throughout Australia.
In October 2010, Ms. Horgan launched Mecca Maxima, an evolution of Mecca Cosmetica that brings an edited mix of prestige beauty brands together into one retail environment featuring more than 4,000 beauty products across 100 brands.
Wendy Liebmann is recognized as one of the innovators of shopper insights. In 1986, she founded WSL/Strategic Retail to “get marketers out of their ivory towers to meet their shoppers on the selling floor,” whether that floor is real or virtual.
Ms. Liebmann and WSL/Strategic Retail are recognized for their ability to help clients build innovative retail strategies by understanding what influences how people shop in the United States and around the world—and how to utilize that understanding to drive innovation at retail.
Since 1989, WSL/Strategic Retail has published How America Shops, an ongoing nationwide survey that tracks shoppers’ mood, mindset, and behavior to predict evolving shopper behaviors and where retail is headed.
Ms. Liebmann is frequently called upon by the media to
provide insight into the state of retail and shopping.
She is a recognized speaker, regularly addressing business and educational organizations around the world.
Ms. Liebmann holds a degree in business and psychology from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.