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.”
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)