When fashion and star system fight for the premium beauty market

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto07 mars 2023

The announcement Estée Lauder’s former general manager Raffaella Cornaggia’s appointment as head of Kering group’s new beauty division caused a stir. Celebrity brands, such as Jennifer Aniston's, are making a strong entrance into the coveted premium beauty market. The cake is getting smaller and the appetite, bigger.

Fenty Beauty is a cosmetics brand by Rihanna, that was launched in 2017 and had the technical expertise and financial backing of the group LVMH (Fenty - LVMH)

$27.1 Bn

Sales generated by premium beauty products in the United States in 2022

€130 Bn

The weight of the premium cosmetics market, all countries and brands combined


Accelerated sales of 2022 L'Oréal premium products compared to 2021

Among the ten best-selling perfumes in France, eight are produced by fashion brands. Perfume is the summary of a brand’s style, colors, spirit. It is therefore often the first gateway to the world of luxury: relatively inexpensive, it can become a "must have" and a real marketing vehicle to attract a public usually far from the world of high fashion.

Chanel's legendary N°5 celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2021 (Shutterstock)

Within a single brand, the fashion, perfume and cosmetics departments are now closely linked. The packaging, design and style of perfumes and cosmetics must be consistent with the fashion collections of the moment. If for cosmetics, the new product and new formula pace must be consistent, perfume has the advantage of a true longevity. Chanel's legendary N°5 celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2021 and, since the date of its creation by Ernest Baux, it has symbolized the refinement of the brand and become its ambassador.

Large groups reap the benefits

Kering recently announced the appointment of Raffaella Cornaggia, former international general manager at Estée Lauder, to its new beauty division. Created to boost growth among the group's cosmetics brands, this business is becoming increasingly profitable and is of great interest. Her appointment aims to generate new profits linked to Kering's fashion brands such as Balenciaga, Alexander Mc Queen, or Bottega Veneta, among others.

The perfumes and cosmetics division of the LVMH group generated 7.7 billion euros, a fine performance (Damien Ropero - LVMH)

Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent on the other hand -considered as the heavyweights of the group- are managed separately for reasons related to licenses. Yves Saint Laurent beauty products are under L'Oréal, while Gucci fragrances and skincare as well as make-up products are managed by the American giant Coty.

If Kering, like other luxury groups, aims to ensure the growth of its premium beauty products, it is because the figures of the international market for high-end cosmetic lines are very promising: in the United States premium beauty products generated a turnover of $27.1 billion in 2022, a 15% jump compared to the results of this market the previous year.

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