Milani Cosmetics is ready to play with the big guys.
Last month, the multicultural cosmetics brand staffed up for what is expected to be its biggest push since Milani was launched in 2002.
At that time, there were cosmetics brands tailored for black women, but only a few mass-market choices for women of all ethnicities. Milani chief executive officer Ralph Bijou and president Laurie Minc saw the market opportunity and unveiled the line of vivid colors designed for every skin tone.
Milani is the number-one multicultural brand at mass and the fifth-best-selling based on dollars per points of distribution, according to Nielsen.
This year, top retail executives gave buyers the edict to add brands for multicultural shoppers. With Milani hitting critical mass, the company hired a cadre of veteran executives with a goal to expand sales by adding to its 10,000 existing doors, as well as extending space in accounts already stocking Milani.
Stepping into the key role of chief marketing officer is industry veteran Mona Monaghan-Kelliher, who has held executive positions at Sally Hansen, Revlon and Estée Lauder. One of her first tasks was to commission much-needed research on shoppers of different ethnicities.
Armed with key learnings, Milani will unleash its first national advertising campaign next month, featuring four multicultural models who will also appear on in-store materials. Industry sources estimate spending will exceed $5 million. A social media campaign is also up and running.
The stepped-up efforts come as ethnic shoppers, a growing consumer base, continue to outspend Caucasians in beauty, even during recessionary periods, according to Nielsen.
Monaghan-Kelliher said research helped Milani identify the best way to merchandise its vibrant colors. “We learned women who buy Milani love rich, saturated color that is vibrant, color-true and long lasting,” she said. A small tweak in the merchandising display put eye shadow with eyeliner adjacent to mascara, and lipstick next to lip gloss. It resulted in a 6.6 percent jump in retail sales within the last year.
The company also rounded out its executive ranks by hiring a vice president of sales and business development, a vice president of product development, a chief financial officer and a vice president of regulatory. In addition to expanding its team, Milani has an arsenal of new items. Brilliant Shine, which will be featured in the ad campaign, is a new gloss that is described as shiny while also delivering hydration without a tacky feel. More is to come. Monaghan-Kelliher said, “We started out as a line for women of color and morphed into a line for women who love rich, vibrant color and are not afraid to experiment.”
Yesterday, the Parisian fashion house @azzaro_official cut the ribbon on a temeporary retrospective at the wing of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The exhibition, which shows the lasting influence of the brand’s founder Loris Azzaro, is titled “Azzaro, Fifty Sparkling Years” and presents 50 looks. In it’s ’70s heyday, fans of the brand included Jane Birkin, pictured here, Raquel Welch, Brigitte Bardot and more. See more photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@trinaturk and @macys Inc International Concepts line are linking up on a collection for summer — filled with accessories, swimwear and shoes. The collection will also include a Mr Turk men’s line, both of which are the designer’s first entry into a more accessibly priced area. “It’s very world-traveler, gypset-inspired,” said Turk. The Trina Turk x INC line will launch on May 15th. #wwdfashion
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge