Organised by the Italian Beauty Council, a virtual panel of experts analysed men’s grooming trends with a special focus on the impact of Italian Brands in the USA.
Italian Beauty Council Virtual Panel Discussion explored what Italian beauty brands and its most highly respected industry experts envision for the future of companies and retailers amidst a surge in men’s grooming.
Moderated by Garrett Munce, Grooming Editor for Esquire & Men’s Health, the meeting has been opened by Antonino Laspina, Trade Commissioner & Executive Director of the USA, Italian Trade Agency.
The Panelists came from Italian brands that are well known and widely distributed in the USA market: Fabio Franchina, President of Framesi SpA; Mayte Landeros, Vice President of Acca Kappa USA; Daina Nadler, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Bigelow Trading (Proraso USA) and Bruce Pask, Men’s Fashion Director, Bergdorf Goodman & Neiman Marcus
Often overlooked in the past, men’s grooming is now universally accepted and being in a growth phase, with forecasters suggesting unprecedented growth within the sector. This conversation presented a spirited dialogue surrounding this shift in men’s grooming, as well as its profound effects in both Italy and the United States.
Among the topics covered, the panellists examined the differences between American and Italian men, underlining that in Italy grooming is a deeply-rooted ritual for men, while Americans are only now learning to appreciate the culture of barbering.
“Italians are more used to taking care of themselves going to Barber Salon” – said Fabio Franchina – “and this explains the difference in consumption between the two countries: in Italy, the man consumption of cosmetics is around 30% of the total, while in the USA is only 15%. That means in the USA there is still a lot of room to cover and if we exclude the major cities influenced by fashion and the habit to check new trends, in other areas like the vast American provinces men still have to learn how to feel ok about spending money about their own beauty”.
Most panellists agreed that while more mature men prefer barbers to take care of their hair and beard in the best possible way, younger men prefer a more casual approach, looking for something easy to wear and that can be easily maintained. Everybody wants to have a kind of hair that makes them look at their best – not just at the moment when they leave the salon. In order to achieve that, brands need to provide great service and high-quality products.
Another important topic raised was the gender differences related to products. In the USA, where the public is more sensitive to the definition of gender, it might sound even unethical to call some products “For Men”. This is not necessarily the case, providing there are no limitation on how the product can be used, or by whom. Some products belonging to a grooming series might be highly suitable for some women and women do buy them!
The requirement to be successful in the USA market seems to depend on the ability of a brand to provide not only good products, but also outstanding education – especially if you work in the professional hair business; brands who want to perform need to offer a combination of services that can make haircare an affordable luxury.
About Beauty Made in Italy
Launched in 2017, Beauty Made in Italy is a joint program of the Italian Trade Commission and Cosmetica Italia, that aims to promote the excellence, awareness, and availability of Italian beauty products and brands to the US market and consumer.
This goal is realized by educating participating companies on the particularities of the US market, by hosting promotional events and initiatives, and by creating a shared, cohesive brand and message of Italian beauty to the American market.
Beauty Made in Italy serves as a launchpad for Italian brands entering the United States and is divided into three different tracks for companies based on their experience in the US market: a Business Incubator for companies who are not yet distributed in the US, designed to educate early-stage companies Brand Accelerator to guide larger, high-potential brands with existing US distribution and, an Italian Beauty Council made up of beauty industry leaders and heritage brands who want to help guide the conversation and narrative on Italian beauty.
Through these divisions, the Beauty Made in Italy program provides participating Italian companies with various platforms and support to learn the unique aspects required to enter and navigate the US market.