Fashion and beauty company L’Oréal brought together its 2,500-plus executives and associates from around the world to chart a path to a bolder future in a packed audience at the company’s annual summit in Paris. The CEO, François-Henri Pinault, told the crowd in his opening address that the company had a “clear vision of the future” and that they had two decades ahead to transform the company.
That future looked like something out of science fiction, it was bold in its attention to extreme logistics and imagery that has never before been put in a fashion metaphor. Those firms, where all resources are a click away, were given the efficient nod. That picture a woman wearing an artificial-intelligence (AI) mask that combines computer vision, sensor data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, and then her hair in a million, billion, trillion simulation is then used to make all the different textures and shades of a weave fit together in a way that she is totally unaware of.
There were smiles as Pinault’s opening theme: “The future we have created” got going, with the beauty company chief breaking up the keynote into an all-too-brief, granular phase that described, as he put it, “every ability our machines can give us” to reduce the risk of botching something that should work.
The talk was very lucid with its touches of science and technology, indeed inspired by Pablo Picasso and other painters of the last century who had also trained themselves to paint images, or form an image in the brain of a model or assistant.
Then Pinault illustrated a simple idea: to avoid queuing long queues at its Paris shops, L’Oréal asked its people what things in the world they liked to do, and who they would look to for help, and what questions they might pose. Now it knows how a real person answers those questions and how to amplify the results to create a channel of communication across all the staff.
That helped create a special store in Paris called Aide, or Way Out, for the luxury division, where customers could wait for two hours to buy face and body masks. These masks, which retail for around $70 and come from different countries in the world, and as varied as destinations such as China, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Turkey, and the U.S., are integrated into the natural skin care areas to reduce the risk of mixing make-up if more pores form.
The luxury division has opened over 160 stores, with technology integrated for the first time into its B&A stores. The jewel in the crown of these stores is an app where consumers can read reviews of products without going into store. Customers in store and in other stores around the world can use the app to click to the nearest store.
At the full meeting in Paris, across 90 minutes, Pinault gave precise, lucid numbers on the growth of L’Oréal’s business on six continents, and on progress on making the company fit for the future.
Read: L’Oréal Boss In New Vision On A Way To A Better Future
Pinault’s focus, as he has been for the last decade, was on the personal benefits that global brands provide, and around jobs, and the need to empower young people to make a more meaningful, entrepreneurial lifestyle.
He showed many ways of harnessing data, including a transparent anti-aging cream developed using the latest molecular analytical techniques. This had had a major impact on reduced the collagen in skin, resulting in wrinkles, and thus, the need for fillers.
And then he laid on the Arousa technology, which is made by L’Oréal’s Procter & Gamble to make a smellless no-calorie food and drink using extracts of flowers and spices from today’s fruit and vegetables. The active ingredient is extracted through the commercialization of traditional techniques. A former federal agent, one “chief negotiator,” and a security expert, Rokita, oversaw Arousa, creating a code of practice that will see HFCA-free food in supermarkets in Europe by 2020.
The scientists on stage connected big data with every aspect of a company to pinpoint what was needed–this was the future. Pinault likened that combination to Marie Curie using information systems and the magnetic resonance imaging methods of radiologists to see that nuclear bomb being built for the German Third Reich.
And now new use cases were possible.