Irene Forte Skincare is coming Stateside.
The brand, which was founded by hotel scion Irene Forte in 2018, is entering the U.S. market via Nordstrom. The brand, which has thus far been available primarily at hotels and spas in Europe, including her family’s luxe properties, consists of 32 stock keeping units, which range in price from $50 to $233. Industry sources expect the brand to hit $2 million in retail sales in 2022, with the U.S. market making up one-third of revenue.
The antiaging line boasts natural formulations with clinical backing. “I grew up eating the Mediterranean diet, and I have a similar approach to skin care. It’s not about faddy trends or quick fixes, it’s about maintaining and balancing skin with ingredients we know it really needs,” she said.
Forte founded her vegan line with both experience and sustainability in mind. “It’s something I ingrained into the DNA of my business from the outset, because in my experience working for hotels, I saw how difficult it was to integrate sustainable practices into businesses that have a lot of stakeholders,” she said. “We’ve also clinically approved all of our products for sensitive skin.”
When the pandemic hit, Forte was forced to rethink her entire distribution strategy. “I launched as a spa brand, and I had a year where I lost all of my business — the bread and butter,” she said. “But, we signed 26 retailers over the past year, and now it’s all about d-to-c.” Forte’s line is also sold at Net-a-porter, Liberty London, LuisaViaRoma and Shen Beauty in New York.
Thus far, antiaging skus are emerging as the line’s bestsellers. “Everyone wants natural, but with science,” Forte said. “Therefore, my standout products are the ones in our regenerating range, and they’re the ones with actual clinical trials on. Hibiscus Night Cream and Prickly Pear Face Cream are standouts across Europe.”
Forte credits the brand’s distinctly Italian point of view for its resonance with consumers. “My skin care brand is 100 percent made in Italy, and the fact that I have an Italian name actually works very well in the U.S.,” she said. “Europeans maybe don’t love Italy as much as Americans do — our biggest following is in the U.S., without having really done anything there yet.”
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