AGRATE BRIANZA, Italy — Dario Ferrari, president of Intercos, has become a speed demon.

"Speed is the new strategy; it's true around the world," he said, from his headquarters here. "We can have customers go to market in nine months maximum, when it used to take two to three years."

He said because of globalization and since launches are now so fast, formulas under the old time frame have become obsolete. So, Intercos, long considered the industry's leading color cosmetics supplier, is opening a new factory in China this month for the domestic market. The company is also replacing its duty free factory with a bigger, 543,000-square-foot one, set to be complete in the next three years.

"China represents speed," he said.

To supply the local market, Intercos executives interviewed 6,000 Chinese color cosmetics consumers to understand their beauty habits and wishes. "We're definitely developing a product portfolio dedicated to China," said Ferrari.

Intercos can now be subcontracted either to provide full service to its consumers or to provide packaging.

"We don't want to send our customers to the competition," explained Ferrari, who was talking the day before the opening of his company's trend presentation, which this year is called Passion.

This year's Intercos show highlights 130 innovative products that took inspiration from the works of artists Josef Albers and Sonia Delaunay. It was also created to put a much heavier focus on the end-use of product ideas — where beauty meets the ultimate customer. Intercos even randomly chose 20 final products and developed advertising campaigns for them.

"Our mission was to continue to be innovative, but also to be consumer-friendly and understandable with the end benefit of each product," said Rachel Bryan, a member of Intercos' trend team.

This year's session highlighted two diametrically opposed trends. One was called the Popular Movement, inspired by art, design and geometric shapes. Items shown here, such as a single-unit foundation and blusher, were in primary colors and made for someone living a fast lifestyle.

The other main trend is the Stellar Movement, housed in a room designed with a Galactic theme. Here, Intercos created products with abstract curves and details in a mélange of metallics. This collection was designed to be feminine and warm, with "weightless celestial shine" and layering. Some items are formulated with a patented raw material to give an added treatment, so there are water-based products billed to moisturize skin immediately.

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