MILAN — Miranda Priestly, Carmen Miranda, Miranda Hobbes, Mirandolina of Carlo Goldoni’s “The Mistress of the Inn” opera — there were a lot of different Mirandas in the minds of Diamante Rossetti and Gioia Fiorani when they decided to launch a beauty on-demand digital platform in 2017.
“We wanted a name that would include all kinds of women,” said Rossetti. “Miranda represents the woman who wants to be seen, which is perfectly in sync with the touch of vanity offered by our services.”
Madame Miranda can be considered the Italian answer to Glamsquad — scaled down to fit the size of this market. It has engaged Milanese women thanks to its concept of offering a wide range of hair and beauty services wherever they wanted and its Instagram-driven, fun communication.
Being easy to use, fast, digital, social-friendly and, most of all, providing the industry’s current Holy Grail that is experience, Madame Miranda was quickly crowned as the new cool kid in (beauty) town.
Since the launch, the platform extended its reach from Milan to Rome — where it debuted last December — with Florence launching next fall and the cofounders already eyeing international expansion. It counts over 10,000 clients registered on its web site and has enrolled 50 beauty professionals. It has partnered with fashion labels for events, debuted a physical pop-up in a Sardinian resort and introduced its first line of branded cosmetic products.
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But it all started from a personal need.
“As all women, we were perpetually fighting against time, squeezed between the long hours at work and the wish — and necessity — to be always [presentable],” said Fiorani. “But the schedules and distances weren’t always compatible with what we really needed, which were ease, proximity and flexibility,” continued the cofounder, underscoring how Madame Miranda differs from brick-and-mortar beauty salons as it guarantees services anywhere and every day, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“So we wanted to make it easier for women to take care of themselves, because we know that beauty [routines] are not just frivolous moments but expressions of self-love and self-care,” added Fiorani, underscoring that the ultimate goal is to combine high-quality offline service with the efficiency of the digital world. Offering a service that travels to clients, moving the experience into their homes or offices, is also in sync with the market’s current customization trend and with the overall direction many beauty brands and retailers are pursuing to obtain greater access and more intimacy with customers.
Rossetti and Fiorani met at Yoox Net-a-porter Group, where they helmed the global public relations and communication and the global brand marketing and communication projects divisions, respectively. “We met there, we worked closely and it has been such an intense experience. We started as colleagues, became business partners and now we are also friends,” recalled Rossetti, who exited YNAP in 2015, as did Fiorani.
“From YNAP we learned the entrepreneurial vision, to think out of the box and the importance of meticulous planning,” continued Rossetti. Previously, she worked in the press offices of Valextra and Hermès, “where I understood that the real uniqueness of a brand is given by its coherence and by never leaving anything to chance.”
Madame Miranda offers around 30 beauty experiences across makeup, hair, nails, depilation and massages, with prices ranging from 25 euros for the 45-minute Perfect Mani manicure to 70 euros for the No Puffiness 75-minute massage, with peaks in the price tag for packages for special night or bridal occasions, in which three dedicated beauty specialists carry out makeup, hair and nail sessions in an hour for 175 euros.
The service provider already has partnerships with Dior, Nars and Shiseido for makeup, R+Co and May 11 for hair care, Dyson and Hot Tools Professional for blowdryers and OPI for nails.
“Initially, nails and blowouts were the most requested, but now women engage for a service and then they like to try other ones like the Diva Makeup and Special Hairstyle for a night out or the No Puffiness body massage,” noted Rossetti, highlighting there are still many areas they are working on to integrate and complete the offer, which so far is restricted to women.
Madame Miranda’s most loyal clients are aged 25 to 45, who appreciate the chance to book a service the same day — only two hours’ notice is required — the punctuality, the quality and the speed of the experiences offered.
“On average, customers are working women who have limited time availability, students getting ready for a night out and mothers who consider not leaving their homes as a big organizational advantage,” said Rossetti.
The customer-centric approach favored the company as word of mouth proved to be the most efficient promotional tool for Madame Miranda.
“The most important part of our job is to guarantee a high quality for each service, therefore it’s all about the scouting of our beauty specialists,” said Rossetti.
During the selections, the cofounders test both the technical and communication skills of professionals as “soft skills are the most difficult to find on the market.” Those who eventually join the network embark on a training period established by the company to guarantee all operators reach a homogeneous standard of service and learn the best ways to connect and empathize with customers.
Appealing Instagram content and a bold, ironic image dominated by Millennial pink hues do the rest of the promotional work. “We had very clear ideas on what we wanted to be and what we didn’t since the very beginning, and we worked carefully to build an aspirational yet inclusive branding,” said Fiorani, adding that the goal was to inject “a new language into the world of beauty services in Italy, one that could wink to the international scene and to fashion with irony.”
The mission was accomplished, as the fashion industry quickly started to note the platform and ask to collaborate for events, including ones staged by Hermès, Stella McCartney, Moncler and Pomellato during Milan Fashion and Design Weeks. “That’s the most fun part for us, we can really customize a beauty experience for each client according to its demands,” said Rossetti, hinting at new collaborations set for Milan Fashion Week in September.
Madame Miranda’s signature identity also helped the cofounders to easily translate its digital world into a physical pop-up. This summer, the service provider opened its first MM Beauty Club in the exclusive Sardinian sea resort Porto Cervo. Running through Sept. 30, the unit is part of Promenade du Port, a seafront luxury retail complex managed by Milanese entrepreneur Andrea Brugnoni, who had the idea of bringing the concept to the island.
“We had always thought that the summer seasons of Madame Miranda would have been itinerant,” said Rossetti. “This context was perfect for our unconventional identity and the timing was perfect to introduce our experience to a new audience and enable our customers to benefit from our services even when they are on vacation.” The move also aims to increase the company’s visibility among an international clientele and experiment with a new format that combines in-club and on-demand services.
Conceived by Italian design studio Atelier Biagetti, the space re-creates an Instagram-friendly girls’ tennis club. A pink locker room dominated by an inflatable sofa shaped like a tennis ball serves as waiting room, where iPads and Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H8i headphones are offered to watch a series on Netflix or listen to a summer playlist while waiting for the services. These take place in two other rooms furnished with pink elements and mirrors shaped like tennis rackets, while customized Fila tennis outfits sported by the beauty professionals complete the tennis club theme.
Services in the unit range from 20-minute manicures and makeup sessions to hair treatments and 30-minute blowouts, all of which can also be delivered at customers’ hotels, villas and boats.
To mark the first pop-up, Madame Miranda debuted a limited-edition collection of cosmetic products, dubbed MM Magic 4 and retailing exclusively at the Porto Cervo club and on the company’s newly launched e-shop.
Manufactured by a local laboratory, the products feature vegan formulations — based on ingredients including argan and almond oil, shea butter, chamomile and pomegranate — all in different shades of pink and with catchy names.
Aiming to offer the essential survival kit for the summer season, the line includes the Pimp My Booty scrub, Kissing Me Softly lip balm, Do It Everywhere oil for body and hair and The Day After (Sun) cream. Prices range from 14 euros for the lip balm to 44 euros for the oil, while the whole collection is available in a special pack retailing for 80 euros.
Asked if there’s a permanent collection in the pipeline, Fiorani said they would rather keep the limited-edition format, “with agile production processes that would enable us to answer to the market’s demands quickly.”
Currently counting a team of 10 people, Madame Miranda’s revenues are generated from the beauty services, the special events hosted for fashion brands and influencers, beauty consultancy and now from the sales of products.