The morning before Coty announced that Sylvie Moreau, Wella’s Global Executive Vice President, would be the President of Coty Professional Beauty, Moreau did something very important. “I made a hair appointment,” she says with a laugh. “Getting your hair done builds confidence, it makes you walk taller. I wanted to sit in the chair and feel the magic hands of a hairdresser. That way I could start my day perfectly.” In truth, Moreau always starts her day connecting with hairdressers—but normally it’s more of a virtual connection. As she sits down at the breakfast table, she scrolls through hairdresser feeds, tapping into their online conversations and getting inspired by their beautiful creations. “It’s my way of staying in touch with the artists I admire so much. It feeds me with positive energy from the industry.”
As you talk with Moreau, it’s impossible not to feel the positive energy she’s absorbed. Her passion for the professional beauty industry is nothing short of infectious, and her admiration for hairdressers runs deep. “Most hairdressers see their job as a calling rather than just a profession. They have an incredible commitment to combining artistic talent with business-building expertise,” says Moreau. It’s that respect for the industry that’s propelled Moreau to the top. Currently, she’s leading the Wella family of over 4,000 people, and after becoming President of Coty Professional Beauty (effective with the Wella merger with Coty in October), she’ll be one of two female presidents in Coty’s divisions. As a woman, Moreau believes she’s bringing something special to the table. “Several studies have shown that having women in leadership positions is a smart business choice. Women are efficient and resourceful. Women are natural-born problem solvers, keeping things organized and moving forward. And, women are caregivers, making them skilled at building relationships. I can lead with the head and hands, but also with the heart.”
This desire to empower and relate to other women started long before her professional beauty career. If fact, it started in the womb. Moreau is a twin—her sister, Veronique, is a gynecologist in France. “Being a twin, I was socialized next to a girl even before I was born,” says Moreau. “Maybe this explains why I love being with women. I’m in a very feminine industry. I connect with many of my sisters who are hairdressers and working parents. I face the same struggles and joys that they have.” Moreau’s daughter, Pauline, 14, is quite a “beauty junkie” herself. “Having a daughter was really important for me. And now that I’ll be working with OPI in the future—a nail polish brand we both love—I’ll be even more popular with her.”
Leading OPI is just one of the many things Moreau is looking forward to once she’s President of Coty Professional Beauty. “I really love this iconic brand. I’ve been a loyal client of OPI for quite awhile. My favorite shade is Cajun Shrimp—which is the perfect spicy red-coral that makes me look tan, even when I’m not,” says Moreau. And, she sees a lot of similarities between OPI and Wella. “They’re both leaders in their field. They’re both fueled by innovation, education and creativity.”
On the forefront with Wella, Moreau is particularly excited about launching Kadus Professional hair color and hair care stateside. “It’s the biggest news for the Wella portfolio, bringing this European heritage brand to North America. Kadus Professional is a high-performance brand with just-right shades for the contemporary salon entrepreneur. And, we’ll be launching Kadus Professional styling products in the winter,” she says.
Aside from her business savvy, Moreau, a French native, is known for her impeccable fashion sense. How would she describe her style? “French chic with a twist,” she says. “I love to wear blazers with suits and dresses—always with high heels. And, I couldn’t live without little black dresses.” As for her favorite clothing lines, “They’re all French brands, with female designers.” But of course.