MILAN — Beauty firms took advantage of Milan’s recent Salone Internazionale del Mobile, or furniture fair, to host their own lineup of off-site events and exhibitions, which put the focus on the aesthetics of beauty.

This story first appeared in the May 29, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Leading the beauty pack during the annual design week, which took place April 22 through April 27, was cosmetics firm Deborah Milano. The beauty brand held an exhibition, called Anemoni, located in the hotbed of Milan’s design district on Via Tortona, where it showcased 15 examples of its new product packaging, designed by architect Mario Trimarchi.

Inspired by sea life and pebbles, Trimarchi’s wavy-tube mascaras, lip glosses, powder compacts and makeup kits with undulating forms were positioned in front of films of an underwater world created by Trimarchi’s Milan-based studio, Fragile. In the visuals, eye shadow compacts appear as fish swimming in schools and compacts softly float to the ocean’s floor.

Deborah Milano first enlisted Trimarchi five years ago to overhaul packaging design on the nearly 50-year-old beauty brand. This week, Deborah Milano also launched a Web site dedicated to its product design and to communicate its passion for Italian design and beauty to consumers, said Sofia Bonetti, art director for the Deborah Group.

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“It’s really important to us to be a part of this week, as we as a firm want to push the distinctive aspect of Italian excellence in design in our product,” said Bonetti.

Meanwhile, L’Occitane en Provence brought its design week event in-house to its cozy flagship located in Brera, Milan’s art district. The French brand teamed up with Tuscan stone firm Salvatori to position a travertine marble sink and shower stall in the middle of the store, where customers were offered hand massages.

“Stone is really sensual material and it makes a particularly soft setting for our hand massage and products,” said Silvia Azzali, country manager for L’Occitane en Provence in Italy. Azzali said the travertine stone would also be used to outfit L’Occitane en Provence’s first flagship spa in Italy, which the brand expects to open in Milan or Rome by 2010.

Over at Salone Internazionale del Mobile’s fairgrounds in Rho, Italian beauty brand Collistar displayed several of its body and well-being lines and products in a satellite stand.

The Milan-based firm handed out small sizes of its aromatic body spray Profumo Bennessere to the fair’s visitors.