MILAN — Unipro, the association for Italian cosmetics industries, has released preliminary sales results for 2007 and recapped the history of the Italian beauty industry during the 40 years since the association was founded.
Italy’s beauty industry is on track to close this year with combined sales of 8.9 billion euros, or $13.06 billion at current exchange, a 2.5 percent increase from 2006. This year’s figure is a long stretch from the industry’s turnover in 1967, the year Unipro was founded, when sales were the equivalent of 110 million euros.
At a recent party marking Unipro’s 40th anniversary, Emma Bonino, the Italian government minister for international commerce, inaugurated the event with a speech that championed the importance of Italian beauty companies, regardless of their size.
“The Italian beauty sector has a grand future because it incorporates every aspect of Italian strength in business: technology, innovation and creativity,” said Bonino, adding the Italian beauty industry is considered one of five major Italian industries including fashion, food, automobile and home furnishings.
For 2008, Bonino outlined the importance of the Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian markets for the Italian beauty industry and said further sales growth was expected from key export markets like Europe, Japan, Russia and the U.S.
Unipro executives confirmed the Italian beauty industry would most likely top 9 billion euros, or $13.2 billion, in sales in 2008, despite a hike in raw materials prices.
Fabio Franchina, president of Unipro, said the association took its anniversary as an opportunity to look at the history of small, medium and multinational companies in the Italian beauty industry.
“We’re studying the companies’ dynamics over the years,” said Franchina, “and looking at them now in order to locate their principal sources of competitive advantages and equip them with useful tools to confront the future,” said Franchina.
In order to survive, said Franchina, Italian beauty firms must invest in research, innovation and internationalization. — Stephanie Epiro
Estée Lauder Sued by Nefeli
NEW YORK — Nefeli Corp., a company that markets skin care products incorporating traditional Chinese medicine concepts, sued the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. for $5 million in state court. The case was filed in July by Nefeli and its founder, Dr. Ping Zhang, but only recently came to light.According to legal documents, Nefeli alleged that it entered into a secrecy agreement with Estée Lauder in June 2005 to provide the company with confidential information, samples, technology and material used in the Nefeli skin care line. The agreement was later extended to include Origins, Nefeli said.
According to the legal documents, Nefeli alleged that Lauder analyzed and reverse engineered product samples after receiving products and information from Nefeli. The lawsuit contained allegations of breach of contract and fraud. Zhang also said Origins Youthtopia products, which use herbal Rhodiola to fight aging, falsely claim to be a new approach. Nefeli said it has used Rhodiola for some time.
Lauder said it declines to comment on pending litigation, but in court documents filed in answer to the complaint denied the allegations. Board Moves at L’Oréal
PARIS — L’Oréal announced Friday that Franck Riboud has decided to end his tenure as a director of the company’s board, a position he has held since 2002. The French beauty giant’s board has co-opted Charles-Henri Filippi, chairman of the board of HSBC France. That appointment is pending approval at L’Oréal’s next shareholder meeting.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast