BOLOGNA, Italy — This is the moment of truth for Italy and its beauty industry. Each is counting on a renewed Made in Italy campaign to ward off competition and restore vitality.
“All companies in Italy must invest more in the development of exports,” said Fabio Rossello, president of Unipro, the Italian association of cosmetics companies.
The troubles of the Italian economy run parallel to the challenges facing the Cosmoprof trade show, which has been losing cachet through the exodus of major international brands.
The Cosmoprof fair and its Cosmopack sibling ran from March 7 to March 11 here.
Rossello was responding to mixed figures that were unveiled by Unipro at Cosmoprof, on March 8. Domestic consumption of beauty products dropped 1.8 percent in 2012 for the first time in at least five years, while exports jumped 7 percent.
This year promises to bring more of the same. Unipro forecasts there will be a further decline in domestic consumption and that the sector’s revenues will remain bolstered by business abroad.
In an interview, Rossello asserted that the Italian cosmetics industry invests more in research and development than other industries (6 percent to 8 percent of sales, versus 4 percent for the Italian average). And he further declared that the country boasts a trade surplus of 1.24 billion euros, or $1.59 billion at current exchange.
Currently, 31.6 percent of Italy’s beauty revenues — 2.86 billion euros, or $3.66 billion — come from abroad. Domestic consumption last year was 9.6 billion euros, or $12.67 billion at average exchange for the period.
“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