Saks Is Evolving To The New Way Customers Shop And Experience Beauty

2022-07-12 08:50:06 By : Mr. Polyshine sales

Xen Sams wears Blur primer, All hours stick foundation, Conture eyeshadow palette, Touché eclat ... [+] shimmer stick Conture brow Yves saint Laurent Rock’N shine lipstick -----Calvin Klein: off white dress)

Facing a disruptive and ever-changing world in 2020, women in top-management positions have to deal with face-to-face and virtual meetings. In fact, since the onset on COVID-19, professionals (in almost every discipline) have been thrust into uncharted territory. But when you are trapped in an environment you can’t control and it’s the government deciding what people, places and things you are permitted to be exposed to, beauty and style for the office can take on an entire new direction: your direction.

Saks Fifth Avenue New York Flagship

During these challenging times, trends in hair and makeup have turned to nature to help consumers solve the diverse challenges to cope with this level of uncertainty. In a word, good hair and makeup helps recreate one of nature’s most brilliant solutions for high visibility. In my honest and expert opinion I can assure you that it is even more important to present yourself with a polished look during these trying times. Sadly, I have taken part in countless Zoom meetings where I viewed many executives and staff members poorly dressed and bad hair and makeup - if any. If you ask me, I think this is a missed work opportunity. Furthermore, in today’s volatile economy, style and beauty matter matter more than ever in not only great performance but looking the part.


It is apparent that the online boom in sales for retailers has skyrocketed starting with the COVID pandemic. But SAKS Fifth Avenue and its extensive line of luxury products stands in a league of its own. With a current valuation of $6 Billion dollars, SAKS is seeking to IPO its e-commerce business in the early part of 2022.

To get some additional industry knowledge, I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Private Equity Expert and Serial Entrepreneur Ankit Kumar, who gave me some fascinating insights about SAKS Fifth Avenue and how they got to this point.

According to Mr. Kumar, Saks' parent company HBC was taken private by a group of investors in early 2020. Subsequently HBC split off Saks' e-commerce business into a separate entity and raised an investment in this business from venture capital firm Insight Partners. Mr. Kumar added "This IPO is a very logical next step in value creation for the investors in HBC and Saks' e-commerce unit. Saks has an iconic brand but really needed to reinvent itself to compete in the e-commerce business. Making that transition was easier outside of the public markets. Now that Saks has done the work to establish their e-commerce business which is growing at healthy rate, the public markets should like the business a lot. It is one of the only high-end e-commerce brands which should be a very sustainable moat."

Social Influencers have become even more popular as the workforce enters more and more into the digital space. In order to function well in a microhabitat space, you need to rethink how to present yourself. Many American women have turned to style influencers to learn the current trends in the beauty arena.

In today’s rapidly changing media world, the birth of the hybrid has arrived. One such hybrid influencer is Xen Sams. Xen is a New York based actress, mentor, news contributor and social media influencer. Today’s millennials seem to have so many titles that I can hardly say them in one breath. These days, as a brand ambassador, Ms. Sams is what the industry refers to as a hybrid actor/model. Overall, she is considered a media influencer. In a sense, she is a media  entrepreneur whose immense popularity has allowed her to achieve levels of power and control that were nearly unprecedented for a woman in the entertainment industry as little as 10 years ago.

Although she was raised between Montreal and Paris, by the time she was 18 years of age, world renowned model agent Monique Pillard signed her onto the prestigious Elite Model Management Agency. Soon thereafter, her career had gone from zero to sixty in only a matter of weeks. At that time, she highlighted the covers of editorial magazines and advertising campaigns. In addition, she appeared on TV commercials including Maybelline, Mercedes Benz and Guess Jeans.

“Change is the result of insurmountable market pressure. Social media allows big companies to act small again, it is about sociology and psychology more than technology. You can’t tiptoe into social media. You have to jump into the pool. People have a natural fear of it. But the scary part is not being there. Your customer is already there.” says Xen Sams.

At present, she appears live on Newsmax and BizTv’s Liquid Lunch bi-weekly. You can also tune-in and catch her on 77WABC under Frank Morano 

As the internet started to develop more and more, models and agencies alike were attempting to morph their images and agencies into the social media influencer world. At first, many models were gaining traction with followers simply due to the fact that they could post beautiful images dressed in the finest designer apparel and having their hair and beauty styled by the experts. But after some time, followers would move on unless the Instagram account had something more to offer. Given Xen Sams had been using her popularity for the social impact of women’s rights, her following continued to grow.

ESTEE LAUDER: Xen Sams wears foundation (buff),Double wear Instant fix concealer (2n light medium), ... [+] Love colorfully eyeshadow palette Little black liner,Sumptuous rebel mascara,Bronze goddess matte bronzer,Pure color envy sculpting blush (120 sensuous rose) Pure color envy Light sculpting lipstick (546 angel lips)

In pursuit of something more rewarding, Xen transitioned to film by building her brand and deciding to channel her energy toward performing. She is currently plays the role of Judith White in The Banker found on Apple TV. The film stars Samuel L.J Jackson, Anthony Mackie and Nia Long. She will soon be appearing alongisde Terrence Howard in GULLY as well as the film Last Looks , starring Mel Gibson.

As a leading shopping destination for the all-channel luxury experience, Saks Fifth Avenue is renowned for its coveted edit of American and international designer collections as well as its storied history of creating breakthrough, experiential environments. Now, more than ever, the beauty department at Saks had become the epicenter for professional women in America and across the globe. In short, its exemplary client service has made Saks a global authority in the category, a focus since the brand's inception in 1924. As part of the HBC brand portfolio, Saks operates in 40 stores across the U.S. and Canada, its online experience―, and its mobile experience―Saks App.

Saks Fifth Avenue New York's beauty department


On May 2018, Saks opened the 32,000-square-foot beauty space on the second floor of the New York Flagship. The space has more than 120 color cosmetics, skincare, fragrance and wellness brands. With a significant focus on experiences, the floor is approximately 40-percent larger and now includes 15 new spa rooms along with services such as medi-spa treatments, facials, massages, manicures, brow services, a flower shop and more. At first, many Saks customer’s were not too comfortable with the change but by moving the Beauty department to the second floor, Saks is evolving the way customers shop and experience beauty.

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Kate Oldham SVP/GMM of Beauty, Jewelry and Home at Saks Fifth Avenue about why looking polished, whether you’re in person or on a video conference, is important, how Saks has a strong focus on influencers that have been embracing hi-tech tools and sharing skincare regimens and why customers have been gravitating toward household names they know and love such as Chanel, Dior, and Estee Lauder displayed here by actress, model and influencer, Xen Sams.

Kate Oldham SVP/GMM of Beauty, Jewelry and Home at Saks Fifth Avenue

Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about what makes Saks' beauty department separate and unique from all other luxury beauty retailers and e-tailors?

Kate Oldham: What makes Saks unique is the connectivity between our clients and associates, no matter where they are. Our associates are utilizing Zoom, FaceTime, and text to help our customers navigate self care at home. Our expertise and product knowledge have always set us apart and that is becoming even more evident now.

Joseph DeAcetis: In your words, why is it important to have a solid beauty regimen with respect to dressing for corporate ascension? 

Kate Oldham: Looking polished, whether you’re in person or on a video conference, is important. We’re noticing that now, our customers’ top priority is skincare. People are spending entire workdays looking at themselves on video calls and wanting to achieve a healthy glow. Personally, when I’m working from home, I put makeup on to help delineate my days. That way, I’m able to feel good about myself and make a distinction between my work and home life.

CHANEL: Xen Sams wears Chanel Illuminating makeup base, Chanel ultra wear all day comfort Flawless ... [+] finish foundation (B40) Chanel long wear concealer Chanel Soleil tan bronze universal. Chanel Healthy glow illuminating powder. Chanel Sheer healthy glow highlighting fluid,Chanel powder blush (rose glacier),Chanel multi effect Quadra eyeshadow (308- Clair obscur) Chanel eyebrow pencil (deep brown),Chanel le volume de Chanel mascara,Chanel le liner de Chanel (512 - noir profond) Chanel rouge allure camelia lip colour

Joseph DeAcetis: How has influencer marketing enhanced beauty brands and what is the strategy for Saks moving forward? 

Kate Oldham: There is definitely a larger focus on beauty at home. Influencers have been embracing hi-tech tools in lieu of spa and dermatologist appointments and are sharing skincare regimens more than ever. There has also been an emphasis on minimalism with beauty routines, using five products or less. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve partnered with influencers and worked with them to develop custom content so that our followers can learn to look and feel best in the comfort of their own homes.

Tom Ford: Xen Sams wears illuminating primer, Shade and Illuminate soft radiance foundation ... [+] Translucent finishing powder Shade and illuminate face and I palette, Eye color Quad (double indemnity) Lip color sheer (04 Aphrodite)

Joseph DeAcetis: Name a few beauty/make-up/hair trends that consumers need to be aware of this fall 2020 season? 

Kate Oldham: The “no-makeup makeup” look that focuses on the quality of skincare; clarifying and brightening products; facial masks; “scalp to strand” hair care; eye-defining mascara and liner; and high performance tools such as microcurrent and microdermabrasion.

Joseph DeAcetis: Has COVID-19 had effects on the beauty industry overall? 

Kate Oldham: We’ve seen that color isn’t resonating with beauty as much as it once did and skincare, self care and masks are what customers are gravitating toward. Fragrance has also been a surprising top seller during the pandemic.

Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about the brands that celebrity and beauty influencer Xen Sams is wearing and how these brands translate to consumers?

Kate Oldham: Customers have been going back to basics, and gravitating toward household names they know and love (highlighted here on social media influencer Xen Sams) like Chanel, Dior, and Estee Lauder.

Dior: Xen Sams wears backstage airflash Radiance mist (001),Dior backstage face and body ... [+] foundation,Dior forever skin correct concealer (3w) Dior forever loose powder,Dior backstage glow face palette Dior backstage contour palette Dior backstage rosy glow blush (004 coral) Dior skin nude luminizer Dior backstage chrome eye palette (001 universal neutral)Dior show pump and volume HD mascara (090 black),Dior addict stellar gloss (354 diorsolight)

Talent Booked by: Victoria Talbot @vickypresspr

Photography: Melanie-Amber @melanie_social 

Makeup: Jennifer Danni @mua_jennifer