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Chairman and CEO, Puig
Following its acquisition of Charlotte Tilbury in 2020, Spanish fragrance, beauty and fashion company Puig continued to expand its global roster of beauty brands this year, with Marc Puig heading the push further into makeup and emerging markets.
After weeks of speculation as to which company would be acquiring the highly sought-after fragrance, makeup and lifestyle brand Byredo, Puig emerged triumphant with its announcement of the acquisition in March. The company also set its sights on multiple global growth markets for beauty this year, taking majority stakes in Colombian natural cosmetics brand Loto del Sur in July and India-based Ayurvedic beauty and wellness brand Kama Ayurveda in September.
Its move into makeup began when it took on the licensing for Christain Louboutin’s makeup line featuring the brand’s signature red hue in 2016. And Puig’s beauty brand offerings have expanded within its owned fashion brands, as Carolina Herrera launched makeup in January and Dries Van Noten introduced its own fragrance and makeup line in August.
For its fashion lineup, the company’s appointment of Julien Dossena as Paco Rabanne’s creative director in 2014 is paying off more than ever, as the brand’s iconic chainlink dresses could be seen on “it” girls and celebrities everywhere this year.
Which brands and categories have been the strongest sources of global growth this year?
“We’ve had a very good run this year, with all brands experiencing above-average growth. We do expect a certain slowdown of the dynamism in the market in the coming months. As inflation grows and the economy decelerates, consumers will see their disposable income decrease. But, to counterbalance this reality, the post-Covid mood benefits most of the categories in which we participate, particularly high fashion, makeup and fragrances. People want to compensate for the confinement limitations they’ve suffered by increasing their willingness to interact with others.”
What aspects of Byredo made it attractive for acquisition, and what are the plans for scaling it?
“[Founder] Ben Gorham and [former owner] Manzanita Capital have been able to build this highly desirable brand, and we see tremendous potential in this world where luxury brands answer people’s need to differentiate and find unique ways to express their singularities. We want to carefully continue the development of this brand and support its expansion.”
What are the biggest trends shaping luxury fragrance this year?
“There are two main post-Covid moods: people willing to socialize, and the need for self-indulgence. Both have given the fragrance category a growth we have not seen in years. It’s still a question as to whether this new level of consumption is here to stay or just a temporary circumstance. What is clear to us is the continuous increase in the penetration of luxury fragrance in the overall fragrance pie. It’s been years since luxury fragrance has grown faster than the overall fragrance category, and we see no reason for this trend not to continue. Among other reasons, it’s because this is the segment of the market that is attracting the most attention of China’s young generation. Although the category is not yet part of the daily Chinese consumer routine, as it is in other Western cultures, new, young participants are leaning toward luxury fragrances more than [young generations] in other parts of the world.”
Following the Charlotte Tilbury acquisition in 2020, the Puig makeup roster has continued to expand this year with the Byredo acquisition and Dries Van Noten makeup launch. What is the growth potential for the category?
“Our presence in the makeup category is very recent, with Christian Louboutin Beauty, Byredo, Dries Van Noten and Carolina Herrera, and clearly through our association with Charlotte Tilbury. So, for our brands, we only see growth possibilities.”
In fashion, Paco Rabanne has staged a major comeback in recent years. What were the main drivers of this?
“The vision of Julien Dossena since he took over nearly a decade ago has brought a new dynamism to the brand. We have translated this renewed energy in all categories associated with it and have recently seen continuous development with great acceleration.”
Following the investments in Loto del Sur and Kama Ayurveda, how big of a priority are Latin America and India for the company’s future growth?
“Both brands fall under what we call the wellness category and have proven their concept at retail in their respective markets. We plan to now continue developing their potential in their original territory and bring their proposition to other regions of the world. Latin America has always been a key market for us. But nowadays, we are a global company operating in 150 countries, and we have a portfolio of 17 brands coming from 10 different countries. Every region is strategic to keep on growing.”
Out of fashion, fragrance and makeup, what do you predict will be the strongest category next year?
“I believe the post-Covid mood will continue to prevail and, despite economic adversities, consumers will sacrifice other expenses to protect these three categories mentioned, given that they are associated with the willingness to socialize. We believe they will continue growing at a faster pace than the economy, even in this scenario of a more troubled economy. We also predict that skin care — the most resilient category during the pandemic — will remain [strong].”
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