By  on March 26, 2010

MILAN — The Cosmoprof beauty show has added a new space to this year’s lineup devoted entirely to natural and bio-organic cosmetics dubbed Cosmoprof Nature.

The four-day event, which opens its doors on April 15 at the Bologna fairgrounds, will play host to a flurry of prestigious brands returning to the show’s folds along with key product launches. Luxury fashion house Ferragamo is set to unveil its latest fragrance with a private dinner on April 15, Italian brand Diesel will add to its existing fragrance line, Only the Brave, with a new men’s limited edition scent dubbed Iron Man at a party for 2,000 guests on April 17, and Intelligent Nutrients, the plant-based beauty line developed by Aveda founder Horst Rechelbacher, will make its European debut. Rechelbacher will attend the event as an ambassador for the fair’s new green space.

“We worked with NaTrue — the International Natural & Organic Cosmetics Association — to identify exhibitors for our new green space, 70 percent of which are from outside Italy,” said Aureliana De Sanctis, chief executive officer of Sogecos, the trade show’s organizer. The green pavilion will occupy 4,305 square feet in hall 25 adjoining the Perfumery & Cosmetics pavilion and feature 90 exhibitors, including French company Naturalia Beauté and Italian brand Naturasi.

Interaction and the final consumer are key buzzwords for Cosmoprof’s 43rd edition as the fair strives to dull the effects of the economic crisis. Although last year’s figures released during the press conference by UniPro, the Italian association of cosmetics companies, reveal a 0.3 percent growth in the domestic cosmetics industry to 9.1 billion euros, or $12.1 billion, exports dropped 9.8 percent to 2.1 billion euros, or $2.8 billion, last year. Key markets such as France and the U.S. decreased substantially by 24.7 percent and 21.8 percent, respectively.

“We decided to upgrade Cosmoprof’s image this season. It’s important the final consumer speaks about us,” said De Sanctis on the fair’s new initiatives, including extended opening times until midnight on April 17 in hall 36 to celebrate Beauty Day — a nationwide campaign to support the industry — inviting the public as well as press to various social events and the fair’s new glossy advertising campaign dubbed Made in Beauty.

A new talent scouting program, Discover Beauty — dedicated to developing distribution for new brands — will make its debut in Bologna. Located in hall 36, the concept was launched in 2007 at Cosmoprof North America. “Companies such as Procter & Gamble asked us to work on a project where they highlight a focus such as technology and we try to put them in contact with relevant brands,” said De Sanctis.

Following a successful launch this year, The Next Talent, a new online initiative targeting creativity in the hairdressing world, will be repeated across the Cosmoprof worldwide platform in Asia and North America. Applicants can upload videos onto Cosmoprof’s YouTube channel evaluated by industry experts, giving successful applicants the opportunity to work in front of industry experts during the fair.

At the On Hair section, new workshops and seminars on topics such as the use of color will be hosted by experts including Carlo Bay, Tim Hatley, Brooks & Brooks and Alexandre de Paris, in the hair studio A/B located close to the hair pavilions.

A Vanity Fair pavilion hosted by the Condé Nast publication will launch within the Selective Perfumery area in hall 36. (Condé Nast also owns WWD.) Occupying a 4,305-square-foot space, the area will offer celebrities the opportunity to test products from Cosmoprof returnees including Coty Prestige with Lancaster sun products, Revlon and Shiseido with Carita.

The Academia Del Profumo is also back. After a trial run in Milan last year, the society is back in Bologna to host its annual fragrance awards on April 16 in the city’s renovated Gallery of Modern Art.

This year, the fair opens its doors two weeks later than in 2009 and occupies more than a 1 million-square-foot space to include 2,254 exhibitors, a slight 0.26 percent increase compared with 2009.

Cosmopack will open the show on April 15 and close a day earlier on April 18. The sectors of the fair, Perfumery & Cosmetics, Hair, Beauty and Packaging, remain largely the same. A spokesman confirmed Cosmoprof’s 2011 edition will be held earlier, on March 16 to 21, following exhibitor requests for a longer period prior to the summer season.

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