A brainchild of the national association of beauty companies Cosmetica Italia in collaboration with the Cosmoprof and Esxence trade shows, the Milano Beauty Week event is slated to run its inaugural edition from May 3 to 8, right after Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna closes its five-day show on May 2.
Unveiled in the presence of local institutions on Thursday, this consumer-facing initiative aims to promote the values of the Italian cosmetic industry and create awareness around both the social and economic roles it plays in the country.
“Positioning cosmetics among the recognized excellences of the Italian manufacturing is the ambitious goal that, for several years now, we have promised ourselves to achieve with targeted initiatives and daily dialogue with institutions and media,” said the association’s president Renato Ancorotti, who has urged institutions to acknowledge the industry since the beginning of its mandate in 2018.
“The ambition is to enter the calendar of the Milanese weeks, alongside fashion, design, wine and the many other standout industries of our country,” he continued, adding that the event will show the public the behind the scenes of “a sector that represents a jewel in the crown of Made in Italy.”
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According to preliminary data released by Cosmetica Italia, total sales of the local beauty industry grew 10.2 percent to 11.7 billion euros in 2021, and are projected to reach 12.5 billion euros at the end of this year, surpassing sales reported in 2019.
The industry plays a key role also on the occupational front — directly employing more than 36,000 people — as well as for its scientific impact, since local beauty companies invest an average of 6 percent in innovation, double the investment made by other manufacturing industries in the country.
Italy is the fourth economic force in cosmetics in Europe, after Germany, France and the U.K. but it has a prime role when it comes to supplying cosmetics, as 67 percent of the makeup in the continent — or 55 percent on a global scale — is manufactured by Italian companies, most of which are located in the Lombardy region.
Last year, exports grew 13 percent to 4.7 billion euros compared to the previous year, while projections show a 7 percent growth for 2022. Incidentally, as the war in Ukraine was top-of-mind for all speakers on Thursday both for its social and economic implications, Ancorotti also addressed that Russia represents 3 percent of exports.
So far, more than 100 companies have been confirmed to actively take part to Milano Beauty Week, whose events will be all open to public and free.
The core of the initiative will be concentrated in the city’s central Palazzo Giureconsulti, which will be turned into a Beauty Village hosting panels, workshops, laboratories and charity events related to the cosmetic world.
The location will be divided into different thematic areas, including Beauty Corner, which will offer cosmetic experiences by brands such as Max Factor, Dermalogica, Comfort Zone, Alfaparf Milano and Herbatint, among others.
Other sections will encompass the Beauty Tech zone, enabling visitors to explore and test the latest tech innovations in cosmetics; the ABC Cosmetici area, aimed at spreading correct information about products and their formulations, dispelling false myths related to this world; a corner dedicated to sustainability and floral laboratories to train visitors on the importance and maintenance of these raw materials for cosmetics, among others.
At the venue, the Italian association of fragrance companies Accademia del Profumo will also stage talks and workshops, as well as an immersive installation that will match six iconic Italian films to an olfactory experience.
While this will be the beating heart of the initiative, other locations and stores scattered around the city — including Sephora, Marionnaud, L’Erbolario and Jus Box — will hold events, replicating the FuoriSalone format that has sealed the success of Milan Design Week over the years.
In an attempt to further engage the public and enhance the promotion of the city, guided tours will be offered to discover secret courtyards and architectural landmarks in Milan, therefore extending the definition of beauty beyond cosmetic products.
In sync with this approach, Milano Beauty Week will count on the support not only of a range of local institutions but also of Italy’s fashion chamber.
“I think this is the first seed of a growing collaboration with Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana because the values of our industry include quality and safety but also creativity, and when it comes to creativity these two sectors need to dialogue more and walk side by side,” Ancorotti said.
The event was initially teased in September at the special edition of Cosmoprof in Bologna and originally scheduled to run this week, but it was postponed as Cosmoprof rescheduled its dates due to the surge of the Omicron variant earlier this year.
The idea was to create a unique momentum for beauty in the country, with a succession of the Bologna trade show, the events in Milan and the Esxence show dedicated to niche perfumery.
Yet the different postponements disrupted the idea, since Esxence has been rescheduled to run June 15 to 18, instead. The 12th edition of the show will also switch locations, moving from The Mall to the MiCo-Milano Convention Centre venue.
Maurizio Cavezzali, cofounder of Esxence, said the trade show will be open to the public in its last two days to get people closer to the world of artistic perfumery and the olfactory culture. The show’s last edition in 2019 counted 221 exhibitors and attracted almost 8,000 visitors from 77 countries.