Fashion friends: L'Oréal announces Prada tie-up for 2021 luxury beauty line launch

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Prada is best-known for its luxury leather goods, footwear and apparel - the L'Oréal agreement marks its first move into beauty (Getty Images)
Prada is best-known for its luxury leather goods, footwear and apparel - the L'Oréal agreement marks its first move into beauty (Getty Images)

Related tags: L'oréal, Prada, Luxury, Luxury beauty, License

Global beauty major L'Oréal has signed a long-term license agreement with high-end Italian fashion house Prada to develop a luxury beauty line it says will be an ‘ideal complement’ to its Luxe brands.

Announced today, the long-term agreement will see the creation, development and distribution of luxury beauty products for the Prada brand.

Prada moving beyond ‘well-established fragrance identity’

Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of Prada, said L'Oréal was the “ideal partner”​ for such a project, given its leading position in the global beauty category.

Prada already had a “well-established fragrance identity”, ​Bertelli said, but this tie-up enabled the fashion house to develop its “full potential across a variety of new projects” ​and ultimately reach more audiences worldwide.

Primarily a luxury leather goods, footwear and apparel business, Prada also operated in fragrances under licensing agreements but this latest license agreement with L'Oréal marked Prada’s first move into beauty.

British fashion house founder Victoria Beckham also recently expanded into the beauty world​, announcing the launch of her self-titled luxury, clean and sustainable beauty line in September which she co-developed with ex-Estée Lauder executive Sarah Creal.

L'Oréal Luxe to benefit from ‘respected’ luxury tie-up

For L'Oréal, the president of its Luxe division Cyril Chapuy said the license provided the beauty major an “ideal complement to its portfolio of iconic brands”. ​L'Oréal Luxe already carried brands like Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté and Ralph Lauren.

“We are very pleased to have signed this license agreement with Prada. Prada is one of the most respected players in the global luxury industry,”​ Chapuy said. “A symbol of excellence and avant-garde, the Prada brand’s unique and unconventional philosophy appeals to consumers around the world.”

Luxury beauty had proven particularly strong for L'Oréal recently, with its Luxe division reporting dynamic growth for the third-quarter.​ L'Oréal Luxe generated €2.75bn of the group’s total €7.18bn sales for the quarter, up 13.8% on like-for-like terms and within the division, Lancôme’s new formula launch Génefique and the Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream by Kiehl’s performed particularly well.

In October this year, L'Oréal also announced its agreement to acquire Clarins Group’s entire fragrance division​, including iconic brands Mugler and Azzaro. Exclusive negotiations started in July with the deal set to close in the first quarter of 2020.

The rise of luxury beauty?

Europe remains the world’s largest luxury cosmetic and fragrance market, worth an estimated €3 billion. And recent research from Kantar Worldpanel indicated a particularly strong loyalty to luxury beauty in Spain​, with two in every ten euros of beauty spend invested in luxury brands.

Rosa Pilar López, individuals panel director at Kantar Worldpanel, previously told CosmeticsDesign-Europe Spain had a strong wave of “loyal luxury shoppers”,​ characterised by their brand fidelity, sophistication and being up-to-date on the latest trends.

In October, this year, Amsterdam-headquartered tech start-up Suburbia launched a program to track real-time sales of luxury cosmetics and fragrances​, enabling investors to predict brand performance. The system, it said, had been specifically built for investors who wanted “granular insights”​ into how luxury brands, categories and products were performing.

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