AGRATE BRIANZA, Italy — Intercos SpA, the world’s premier cosmetics supplier, is going from strength to strength.
Last year, company sales grew almost 15 percent versus 2011. The uptick was driven by numerous factors, including Intercos having changed its business model following the most recent financial crisis, explained Dario Ferrari, the firm’s president.
Intercos has become more aggressive in growing its private-label activity, and increased its focus on pencils, skin care (a recent venture) and powder — the company’s number-one category.
The firm continues manufacturing treatment in a research-and-development facility in Switzerland and evolving its skin-care catalogue through a joint venture in Naples, Italy, called Vitalab that allows it to produce its own active ingredients.
Today, Intercos’ skin-care business annually generates about 50 million euros, or $64.1 million at current exchange, and the goal is for it to reach 100 million euros, or $128.2 million, by 2015, said Ferrari.
“The Chinese market is going to be fantastic — especially in the next three to five years,” he continued, adding skin care is already strong in that market where Intercos revenues gained 30 percent in 2012. “We still believe the United States is our biggest opportunity in terms of growth.”
With that among other factors in mind, Intercos has been reorganizing on a geographic basis. In the U.S., for instance, there will be a marketing group devoted to mass offerings, especially when it comes to delivery systems for items such as mascara and pencils.
“In the pencil category, we believe we have a lot of space for growth,” said Ferrari. “It was impossible for us to continue to grow [the mass-market business] from Italy.”
He explained there will be dedicated R&D in the U.S., as well. Intercos’ headquarters in that country is in Congers, N.Y., while it also has an office in New York City.
“We are going to staff the Congers group,” said Ferrari.
Meanwhile, Italy remains the center for design and high-end creative innovation.
In China — a country in which Intercos has four plants — the emphasis will mostly be on finished products.
“Now we add a pencil factory in Shanghai,” said Ferrari.
And on Monday, Intercos is set to start up production in Brazil, where the company will provide innovation locally and — at the same time — production capacity to multinational businesses.
Looking ahead, Ferrari expects Intercos to notch up 12 percent growth in 2013. But he said it’s key to monitor the market on a day-by-day basis. Whereas during the economic crisis in 2009 consumers still made purchases, allowing the world cosmetics business to gain 1 percent, Ferrari believes the situation could be worse these days.
“So you have to be able to be very aggressive with innovation, very aggressive from a cost and price [perspective] and of course, from a speed and cost [standpoint],” he said. “Today, we want to be innovative, but through being fast and cost-effective, and I think that is what customer needs are today.”
Ferrari’s philosophy was reflected in Intercos’ 2014-15 trend presentation, entitled Beauty Unlimited, which was staged starting in early March in the firm’s Agrate Brianza-based company headquarters. It was comprised of six main themes, including product collections, “dream” products, “star” products and raw materials. Altogether, there were 96 colors for the face, lips and eyes.
In a first, the company created in-house an 18-minute film that was meant to be inspirational and animate the trends.
Outlandish Metals, for all seasons, took a cue from metallic finishes and textures. Key colors here included chrome copper and metallic rose, and raw materials were reminiscent of liquid chrome and metallic iridescent pearls. An example was a metallic-foil effect using the company’s patented Prisma Shine technology.
For fall-winter, there were three different trends, including Beauty Hunt, with color schemes including pink and green. An emphasis was on reflections and camouflage — including a duo chrome “chameleon pearl” that can be dabbed on lips or cheeks for a multi-reflective effect.
Noire Lumiere in part gave a nod to mysterious lunar glows and earthly shadows. Its main hues were shades of black, lava red and white, and products were multi-textured. A raw material in this trend was gels with suspended red pigments, plus there were serums and powders billed to brighten and illuminate skin.
Queen for a Day had a modern Baroque take, with key colors like cobalt. Products were centered on velvets, gold detailing and jeweled effects. Among the star items was a solid fragrance with golden flecks.
A spring-summer trend was Delizioso, involving femininity, finishes and textures, and pairing vintage and modern elements. Tones here included bright pastels and stains, and a standout item was a three-in-one hair, brow and lash tint in bright, light colors.
Viva a Gata had a Brazilian vibe — with glitter, shine and gloss — and bright hues. It was meant to be about super-charged, succulent color, according to Intercos executives, who added the focus here was on bronzers. Some “inspirational products” included neon pigments.
Intercos also showcased an area called Revolution, which involved Prisma Shine technology for the face category, such as BB and CC products (whereas in the past it was primarily used in color cosmetics), for instance. And Gel-Metrics was comprised of elastomeric gels, said to memorize the shape of a person’s face and therefore conform to skin rather than sit on it.
Meanwhile, Intercos’ patented High Fidelity Pigment technology was in powders, foundations and concealers, purportedly for a seamless skin-tone match.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty