Beaute Prestige International USA has named Nicholas Munafo as president, succeeding Louis Desazars, who left to head Nars Cosmetics on Feb. 15.

Munafo, who has been executive vice president of sales and marketing at Procter & Gamble Prestige Products Inc. since 2005, will report to Eric Henry, chief operating officer of BPI’s French parent. Both Nars and BPI are owned by Shiseido Cosmetics.

Munafo, who will assume his new duties on March 25, has worked both in retailing and manufacturing. He began his career in 1991 at McKesson Drug Co. in Detroit as a promotional account manager. Munafo then moved to New York for one-year stints in cosmetics buying jobs at Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York before joining Parfums Boucheron in 1994 as marketing manager. At that time, Boucheron was the U.S. distributor for BPI and its Issey Miyake and Jean Paul Gaultier fragrance brands. Two years later in 1996, Munafo moved to Federated Department Stores as first merchandising manager of fragrances and then as marketing manager of private label brands. He joined P&G in 1998 as marketing director and subsequently moved up through the organization to his present position.

Reached in Paris, Henry described Munafo’s retailing background as a big plus that will help the company understand the mind-set of American consumers. That is a potent tool in executing fragrance launches at retail. “He knows the objectives and priorities,” Henry said, adding that Munafo’s understanding of European brands will also equip him to work with BPI’s marketers in Paris. “He has the right caliber and the right credentials to talk to our marketing department,” Henry noted.

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