Will AI models take over the beauty scene? Not a chance, says Shiseido creative boss

Will AI models take over the beauty scene? Not a chance, says Shiseido creative boss

The global beauty business, encompassing skincare, fragrance, make-up and haircare, is booming. In 2022, it generated around €400 billion in revenue, according to consultancy firm McKinsey & Company.

By 2027, it’s expected to grow to a whopping €540 billion, rising by six per cent each year.

“Women and men nowadays love beauty and it’s something that you can’t live without.

“Especially for the Asian market and Japan, everybody, even in the home, tends to care for themselves,” explained George Sugitomo, Chief Executive Officer of Shiseido Creative, for the Japanese beauty brand Shiseido.

Sugitomo highlights the sector’s growth is partly being driven by high-end skincare and interest from younger consumers.

The rise of the AI model

Earlier this year, the World AI Creator Awards introduced the world’s first-ever AI beauty pageant, Miss AI. Bringing together creators from across the globe to showcase their digital work, the thinking behind it was to demonstrate “a shift in how we perceive beauty and creativity within the realms of artificial intelligence.”

But for Shiseido, AI models are not something the company’s planning to deploy right now in the marketing and promotion of its products, instead preferring to remain human-centric.

“AI, it’s beyond important, I guess it’s becoming a tool and I think we have to be very clever on how we use it, but for the creative department, it’s a must,” said Sugitomo.

But he stressed that “even if there’s AI models, for Shiseido, it’s about skincare, body and mind, so that part will always be human.”

Ditching plastics to drive up sustainability

The beauty business is also under pressure to deliver on sustainability, with consumers increasingly looking to brands for evidence of responsibly and ethically sourced products.

Right now, Shiseido is focusing on cutting plastics and communicating on what goes into its product lines.

“Last year, through 31 brands and 740 products, we were able to amplify replaceable containers and we’re aiming for next year, 100 per cent replaceable plastic containers,” explained Sugitomo.

“Our consumers expect sustainability, ethicalness and the product itself, the substance, has to be very clear. We have a huge science lab in Yokohama, so they are all researching the sustainability of our products.”

Watch the video above to see more from the interview with Shiseido.

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