Multicultural beauty looks set to become bigger than ever

February 18th 2015 / Ayesha Muttucumaru Google+ Multicultural beauty looks set to become bigger than ever



Multicultural beauty is not only the fastest growing, but is on the cusp of becoming the largest market for cosmetics companies

Despite recent disappointing financial results for the global beauty market, there’s one sector that looks set to rise - that of multicultural beauty.

According to a new article from the Business Of Fashion, although last quarter findings showed drops in revenue and sales, one of the most exciting areas for growth was shown to be that for multicultural beauty products - those aimed at multi-ethnic consumers in the West and in emerging economies. A market which hasn’t quite realised its potential insofar as the current range of shades and products available in the UK are concerned, its landscape looks on the cusp of receiving a long-awaited makeover.

Speaking to Business Of Fashion, Susan Akkad, senior vice president of local and cultural platforms and corporate innovation for The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. commented, “There’s this incredible increase in the middle class, very often driven by higher women’s education in a lot of these markets, that is fuelling and increasing the consumption class — and also the flat world of communications following global fashion and beauty trends.”

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With demand rising, the multicultural demographic vastly expanding due to the growth of interracial couples and this group’s spending power growing at a faster pace than the average in the US, beauty brands are stepping to the plate to capitalise on the opportunity.

In February, L’Oréal’s CEO Jean-Paul Agon outlined the company’s plan to attract 1 billion new customers by 2020, including those from Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. They’ve also acquired a bevy of specialised beauty brands that have loyal multicultural followings, including hair care brands Soft Sheen and Carol’s Daughter. In addition to this, following its acquisition of Niely Cosméticos, the largest independent hair product company in Brazil, the brand will be building a new headquarters and research and innovation centre in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Estée Lauder continues to build on the reputation of its brands such as MAC to offer inclusive makeup and cosmetics to a wide range of ethnicities. “Our brands are inclusive brands. We don’t have brands targeted at a particular ethnicity,” said Akkad. “For us, it’s about having the breadth of both the offering and the understanding to deliver the offering in a really wonderful experience for the consumer.”

She added, “With rising tourism from different markets, intermarriages and the creation of completely new skin tones and skin behaviours it means there’s constant excitement when you’re talking about meeting the needs of all skins and cultures. Nothing stays the same.”

With three-quarters of the world’s population now not being white, the days of limited shade ranges and ‘niche’ hair product lines could fast-become a thing of the past.

For the best in beauty for women of colour, check out our Not Fair column to find out more about the latest news, trends and launches.


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