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Estetica's Exclusive Interview: Wella's Sylvie Moreau

Monday, 21 December 2015 19:18

The Estetica Network Team was delighted to have the opportunity to interview Sylvie Moreau, President of the future Coty Professional Beauty Division, at this year's International Trend Vision Finals in Berlin.

How useful will your experience in P&G Salon Division be to you in your new role?
"Extremely useful, if only for the sense of continuity that my appointment provides. My mission will consist of continuing to promote both Wella and the hairdressing industry; I think the biggest challenge will be the successful merger with OPI and my role will be to contribute to the growth of Coty. Everything I have learned at P&G will be useful: all the teams I have worked with at Wella will also be part of this journey."

What are the objectives of your new role?
"It's too early to tell. Only when the merger has actually taken place we will think about a strategy for the new division. At the moment, I'm concentrating on continuing to lead the Wella team with the current business strategy we have in place and that is helping to make us very successful in the world. When I am officially president in around 9-12 months' time, we will meet again and talk about the new strategy!"

OPI: how will you develop services in order to better support the growth of the salon business?
"Here again it's too early to say, we need to meet the people that make up the the OPI teams to better understand their business, their opportunities, and the challenges they face. The Coty Professional Beauty Division is a sign that we want to maximise the quality for professionals in the broadest sense: they are inherent in salons and in nail art. Our team is delighted with the opportunities that will immediately arise, in terms of complementary roles. We do not currently have nail art as part of our portfolio, despite it being present in salon. Only when the merger is complete we will have a great opportunity to further push OPI on its journey."

In some countries, salons can be more like day spas, so most suppliers tend to be general. With this in mind, will Coty expand its brand portfolio within the professional salon environment?
"Again I think it's early to say, because we are not a single entity but two different companies. I think we can still say that Coty chooses to be a leader in the competitive beauty industry with 3 divisions: one in the professional business space, one in the luxury sector, including perfumes and skincare and another in consumer beauty. The idea is to really satisfy both the consumer and the professional in the most holistic manner possible. For now, there are Wella and OPI, but when the right time comes we'll talk about more ambitious plans..."

How do you feel about your new role, being as you are woman with more than 20 years' experience in leading positions?
"I feel very honored, I'm very happy. This is a purely professional sector made up of around 80% of women, from whom I was particularly impressed to have received such a positive reaction to my appointment. I think it's a great sign for hairdressing, which I believe is really supportive of successful women. Among other things, one of my passions is diversity in its general sense: differences in style, nationality and even gender. This is probably rooted in my childhood, when I always thought everything was possible for me and my siblings. I never felt limited, I always felt like I had wings and today it's no different. I love the fact that my appointment at Coty has given out a very strong signal to the hairdressing sisterhood...!"

What advice would you give to female stylists and managers?
"Do not hold back! Believe in yourself, trust in your skills: we are all equal as human beings. I want to promote the concept of equality in the broadest sense. Sometimes because of culture or education, we women tend to shy away from opportunity: the reality is that we can do anything – so if you have a dream, go for it!"

You're very active on social media and digital. What is your view of the subject; what does it offer to hairdressers in terms of training, growth and development?
"It is a very important issue for us all – the world today revolves around digital. I think it's a huge opportunity, especially in an industry as fragmented as ours, where individuals have a desire to be connected, to feel part of a tribe or a family. The great potential of digital is that by connecting people it's creating a community out of them. I see www.wella.com as the focus of all our digital solutions: we have a lot of online training content, alongside trends and business solutions such as mymarketing, through which every Wella salon can download our visuals to create appointment and thank-you cards. They are resources that we provide for free all Wella salons, even the little ones, accompanied by useful business advice (such as how to create an e-mail blast to customers or give exposure to a great promotional offer), because we want to improve their expertise on the subject. Also EsteticaNetwork –like us– is a point of reference for the sector in terms of digital. We both have the desire to be great salon partners and I think in that sense we have a great deal in common. We certainly have the same vision: to use the digital world to grow the industry and create quality products for salons."

One of the secrets of your success is that thanks to your being always connected, you are able to stay very close to the hairstylists, managers and subsidiaries worldwide...
"Thank you, the truth is that I have always mixed my professional and personal life. Since I joined P&G, 21 years ago, I have always been an open book. In my private life and at work I see myself as the same person. With the advent of social media it seemed only natural for me to use it as a means of communication. Digital has turned out to be really a very powerful tool for connection between individuals, especially in a business such as ours where relationships count for so much. Digital has given me the opportunity to continue doing something I've always done and multiply my presence without actually being forced to move! It's also great fun – I'm currently challenging my daughter over who has the most friends on Facebook! Thanks to this connectivity, the Wella family continues to expand on social media – something I feel is very important. To those who criticise it by saying that virtual relationships are not real relationships, my answer is that for me it is a fantastic new reality – one which did not exist before and gives me the opportunity to keep in touch with everything and everyone, including with the press!"

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