By  on March 2, 2005

MILAN — With a brand new face and more space, this year’s edition of Cosmoprof also will say goodbye to some big names and its most well-known meeting ground.

Gone is famous pavilion 36 — once home to the world’s biggest beauty brands toting their latest launches. In its place will be pavilions 16 and 18, which will be spread out over two levels that the organizers have dubbed “The Beauty Landscape.” It will feature beauty, gift and accessories companies.

Also gone are some of Cosmoprof and the beauty industry’s key names: Estée Lauder, Euroitalia and Diego Dalla Palma are among those that chose not to have a presence this year. Reports are circulating that Christian Dior also is pulling out, but an executive could not be reached for comment. This follows a move made years ago by L’Oréal, when the French beauty giant pulled many of its prestige brands out of the fair, while remaining present at the show with its hair businesses.

Some industry executives were quick to blame the missing exhibitors as a sign of the struggling times for the beauty industry, as well as a lack of international focus of the fair. Others maintained that the decision to pull out was purely based on company strategy.

Laura Zaccagnini, general director of Sogecos, which organizes Cosmoprof, said when the company was planning Cosmoprof’s new layout last April it was already aware that some companies would not be present in the 2005 edition, which will take place April 1 to 4.

“We are not concerned that some of the big brands won’t be joining us in April,” said Zaccagnini. “We know that some companies are looking at different strategies. It’s just reflecting what is going on in the market.”

Euroitalia, once a big exhibitor in pavilion 36, will be staying at its home offices in Milan next month to work on organizing its infrastructure.

“At this moment, we have to remain focused on the management and organization of our company — we have just acquired another license [Versace Profumi],” said a spokeswoman for Euroitalia. “The reason we will not be present is absolutely not because Cosmoprof has changed — that is just nasty industry gossip. And that doesn’t mean to say we won’t be exhibiting there in 2006,” she added.

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