MILAN — Italian makeup label Wycon launched a new limited-edition capsule collection on Wednesday. Named Wyconic Amani, the collection is part of the brand’s Wyconic program, which is dedicated to special partnerships. In this case, the label collaborated with Amani El Nasif, a Syrian woman raised in Italy and author of the autobiography “Siria Mon Amour.”
“I’ve read her book and watched her on television, telling her story,” said Fabio Formisano, Wycon’s marketing and communication director. Formisano explained how El Nasif’s striking story and simplicity were among the reasons that lead to the collaboration and how her social message and commitment align with the brand’s goal of promoting real, unconventional role models instead of stereotyped beauty.
In the book, El Nasif narrates how at the age of 16 she rose up against her family, who deceived her and took her back to Syria to have her marry a cousin. El Nasif stayed in Syria 399 days, during which she rebelled against a series of impositions, including wearing a veil and the ban on wearing makeup, in addition to the marriage. After 13 months of constraints and both psychological and physical violence, her father’s cousin negotiated with El Nasif’s parents and helped her to return to Italy.
“The first thing I did once I returned from Syria was to wear red lipstick,” said El Nasif, who defined the collaboration with Wycon as a sort of “payback.”
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Regardless of her own experience, El Nasif remembers the country for its beauty and decided to celebrate her roots by naming the makeup products with Arabic words.
“Syria inevitably remains in your heart,” said El Nasif. “It’s not only the violent side I lived in those months,” she added, underscoring how her memories focus solely on the good parts she saw, including the natural landscape composed of cotton and poppy fields.
Inspired by the concept of Middle Eastern beauty, the capsule collection includes a black kajal pencil named Hayati, which means “my life” in Arabic, and the shiny black mascara Nur Ayuni, or “light of my eyes.” A palette of eight eye shadows, each named after minerals, comes in warm matte and metal tones, while the Stardust blush in three color options has shiny finishes. The Matte Mon Amour range of long-lasting lipsticks in nude, pink and red tones complete the line, which is showcased in a black and gold packaging embellished with geometric motifs.
The capsule collection will hit Wycon stores globally and the brand’s e-commerce site on May 30 and will be available to purchase for three months. Prices range from 4.90 euros for the Hayati kajal to 23.90 euros for the Siria eye palette, or from $5.50 to $26.60 at current exchange.
Wycon currently has 172 doors worldwide, including the newest one opening in the Middle East. “We’ve recently opened in Beirut, Lebanon, and the reaction is incredible, we’re performing really well there,” said Formisano, underscoring how the wide use of makeup combined with Wycon’s accessible prices and Made in Italy products are driving the sales in the country.
Formisano revealed the brand will open a store in Iran by the end of July, in addition to strengthening its presence in Moscow, as Russia is one of the brand’s best-performing markets along with Italy. “Our goal is to reach 240 doors in 2017,” he said, stressing the importance of European countries such as Spain, France and the U.K. in the expansion strategy.
Founded in 2009 by Raffaella Pagano and Gianfranco Satta, Wycon registered revenues for 60 million euros, or $67 million, in 2016, with sales climbing 88 percent compared to the previous year. “We want to replicate such an increase in 2017 too, even if it’s not easy,” said Formisano. In 2015 sales grew 49 percent compared to 2014.
Sales via e-commerce also boomed last year, with Formisano acknowledging the ever-growing importance of such a platform, which enables the brand to reach countries where it doesn’t have a retail presence, such as the U.S. The company has now set eyes on that market, although Formisano acknowledged the tough competition there, as there is a concentration of “worldwide leading players of the makeup industry,” in addition to logistic issues. “We’re developing contacts with interesting partners, we hope to expand in the U.S. within the next three years,” he concluded.
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