Dolce&Gabbana has become the first Italian fashion house to bring its beauty division in-house, a move that the CEO said Tuesday would strengthen the link between beauty and fashion and help build inroads with younger consumers.
CEO Alfonso Dolce said developing products with a new team at the Milan headquarters will allow more creative tie-ins with runway collections, “creating a more global, transversal experience,’’ that he said would bring the brand “closer not only to our loyal customers but also new Gen-Z clients.”
The Milan fashion powerhouse made the move after its licensing deal with Shiseido was terminated last year, the latest in a series of licensing agreements that Dolce&Gabbana had entered since launching fragrances 30 years ago.
Luxury fashion brands have long had beauty segments, while only a few, namely Chanel and Dior, handling the manufacturing and distribution in-house. While fragrance has long been the beauty standard-bearer for many fashion houses, cosmetics are increasingly becoming a way to reach younger customers, with brands such as Gucci and Hermes offering their runway color palettes in elegantly bottled nail polishes.
Dolce&Gabbana aims to grow cosmetics from 2% to 15% of its beauty business within five years of the 2023 launch, said Gianluca Toniolo, the new operating chief executive of Dolce&Gabbana Beauty, and former managing director of LVMH global travel retail fragrance and cosmetics.
Beauty currently generates 1 billion euros in annual retail revenues.
The new division will comprise fragrances, the bulk of current business, along with cosmetics and skin care. The first new fragrances are set to launch next year, with cosmetics soon to follow.
“The first strategic goal of the beauty category at Dolce&Gabbana is to create a strong connection with fashion,” Toniolo said. “Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are involved in the same way as in fashion, and this will allow us to speak in the same language to transmit the stylistic canons evident in fashion also in the beauty. “
The new strategy will allow the brand to reposition its beauty products with select retail partners who already sell their fashion, but also expand geographically, for example into the United States, where Dolce&Gabbana cosmetics are not currently sold.
Dolce&Gabbana’s beauty expansion plans coincide with other areas of diversification, including home design, which will be further unveiled at the next Milan Furniture Fair in June, as well as food and beverage products through an array of partnerships.
Alfonso Dolce said the new businesses provide “an opportunity for the brand to dialogue with customers” in a new way.