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BOLOGNA, Italy — This country is a beauty factory, and the brand development engine has been firing on all cylinders this year.
Here are the highlights, culled from interviews in Milan and Bologna:
• Estée Lauder Italy continues to build its connection with consumers by putting cosmeticians in pharmacies, perfumeries and other points of sale and adding some in-store animation for some of its brands. The company is also aggressively promoting MAC Cosmetics in Italy, with plans to open a flagship in Rome in September, according to Orna Nofarber, managing director of Estée Lauder Italy. In addition to its prominent new counter at La Rinascente, MAC is also available at Coin and various freestanding stores in Italy.
• Ferragamo Parfums threw a party on the evening of March 20 in New York’s West Village in Palazzo Ciupi as part of its global, staged rollout for its Signorina women’s fragrance. The Moscow launch was in October and the fete in Dubai was held early this month. The last stop will be Beijing in July or September, said Luciano Bertinelli, chief executive officer of Ferragamo Parfums.
He declined to discuss numbers, but industry sources calculate that Ferragamo’s global retail target could run upward of 35 million euros to 40 million euros, or $46.3 million to $52.8 million, during the fragrance’s first year. Bertinelli did say he expects Signorina to be the house’s strongest fragrance and that, for the first time, Ferragamo is investing in print advertising in the U.S.
• ICR-ITF’s Blumarine will be launching the Innamorata women’s eau de parfum starting in spring in Italy. While ICR-ITF president Roberto Martone would not divulge numbers, industry sources estimate the company registered a sales increase of approximately 16 percent, to 148 million euros, or $195.6 million at average exchange for the period, in 2011. Martone expects ICR-ITF to post gains again in 2012, thanks to brands such as Trussardi, Blumarine and DSquared2.
• Euroitalia continues to roll out Yellow Diamonds around the world. The company is also preparing to add an eau de toilette to its Versace Vanitas brand, with new outer packaging. Its distribution is to be broader and 10 percent to 15 percent less expensive than its edp counterpart. Prices will be approximately $52 for 1 oz., $70 for 1.7 oz. and $91 for 3.4 oz. Euroitalia is also working on a new Moschino fragrance. The product is designed for a younger customer, and executives hope it will be a hit in Asia.
• La Perla is currently launching a companion scent to its classic 1987 eponymous women’s fragrance. The new fragrance is an eau de toilette called La Perla In Rosa. It is designed to attract a younger consumer — aged 18 to 25 — than the original, and will be promoted with advertisements featuring model Alazne Bilbao. The juice includes notes of pear, raspberry, Turkish rose and patchouli.
In April, new packaging is coming out for the original La Perla eau de parfum, which will still use the bottle design by Pierre Dinand. An eau de toilette version could be in the cards for 2013, but is not yet confirmed.
• Davines returned to Cosmoprof with another impressive high-tech, eco-friendly booth designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and the mission of showing off its new pipeline of projects, beginning with A New Color line. The brand’s product formulas are billed to be ammonia-free. The new Natural Tech hair treatment collection was also on show. Hair treatment generates about one quarter of Davines’ revenues, which in 2011 were 55 million euros, or $72.7 million, at wholesale, up 12 percent on-year, according to Davide Bollati, the company’s president and chairman. “This year it should be more than 60 million euros [or $79.3 million at current exchange],” he said. In another pavilion, the company was showing a new skin care offering under its Comfort Zone banner, which will be launched in October. Bollati described it as “food for the skin.”
• Nail enamel marketer OPI was lining up the European launch of Gel Color, its semipermanent nail product, which was introduced in the U.S. in October 2011. Bill Halfacre, OPI’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, said the launch increased the company’s salon professional products business — which makes up about 30 percent of the firm’s total revenues — by 35 percent.
• Ibd, a professional nail brand that’s distributed in Italy by Ladybird House, was introducing another gel product, called Just Gel.
• Jeff Pink, president and ceo of Orly, said he was busy cultivating his current distributors while keeping an eye out for new agents in other markets. Pink insisted that his brand, Gel FX, differs from other gels on the market in that it is not a hybrid mixed with lacquer.
• Xanifarma, meanwhile, was showing its private label collection of semipermanent gels billed not to be hybrids, either. “It looks like a nail polish and feels like a gel,” said Carmen Cudini, nail reconstruction instructor for the Xanifarma cosmetics division of Pesaro, Italy-based Xanitalia.
• Within Cosmoprof’s nail pavilion, numerous brands hosted retail spaces. Peggy Sage, for instance, had a location measuring about 5,555 square feet. The brand opened stores in Lille and Lyon, France, last year, marking the first time it was selling products outside the professional channel.
• Intelligent Nutrients, which was making its debut at Cosmoprof this session, highlighted its Pure Neroli Essence, due out in May. Company founder Horst Rechelbacher is said to call it “liquid sun.” Outside of the U.S., Intelligent Nutrients is also available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the U.K. Tyler Heiden Jones was just signed on as president of the firm. “We’re taking it to an eco-luxe positioning, looking at deploying the brand where there is high awareness of the retailer,” said Jones, adding the brand would take a multichannel approach in the future.
• Collistar has just introduced a spring-summer makeup collection called Capri, with a Sixties inspiration and vibrant colors. A one-shot summer makeup collection called Doppio Gioco will hit stores here in April.
• Organic and natural beauty company Harbor, based in Ozzano Emilia, outside of Bologna, is looking to expand its distribution in the U.S. and to possibly open a subsidiary there, according to Stefano Manfrinato, an associate of Harbor brands Intra and Phytorelax who also heads up the marketing and commercial division.
• Gaya, a brand based both in Israel and the U.K. and which manufactures in Italy, markets mineral cosmetics. Some of the products from the year-old firm are made to be mixed together, according to Yaniv Malka, Gaya sales manager.
• Also looking to expand its distribution was Vani-T, an Australian natural and organic tanning brand with four lines and 200 stockkeeping units. Its retail prices range from about 12 pounds to 45 pounds, or $19 to $71. The company today distributes its products in Australia and the U.K. It has just opened two stores in Israel and is preparing to debut its first U.S. location, in Las Vegas, on May 15.
• Laboratoires Cadentia, a fragrance maker based in Aubagne, France, hopes to broaden its distribution in zones such as the Americas and Southeast Asia, according to Stephanie Dargent Venier, general manager. Its seven brands are already in 26 countries, and all of the scents it produces contain ingredients culled from Provence, France.
• Weleda was showcasing its new line of body lotions.
• At a presentation in Milan, Thea Green, founder and managing director of London-based Nails Inc., celebrated the introduction of her line of fashion-forward nail polish in Italy, exclusively at Sephora. She highlighted magnetic polish and “crackle” special effects as hot trends in the nail category.
• Yes to Carrots displayed a new line of lotions and body washes, such as the Yes to Tomatoes Exfoliating Cleanser and the Yes to Carrots Exfoliating Body Wash with mango and shea butter extracts, also available in Italy at Sephora.