CEO Gianluca Toniolo reveals Dolce & Gabbana Beauty’s growth strategy
After closing the license agreement with Shiseido at the end of 2021, the Italian label by designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana picked Gianluca Toniolo to manage its beauty business via the Dolce & Gabbana Beauty Srl company, set up in February 2022. Speaking at the seventh Pambianco Beauty Summit in Milan, Toniolo has unveiled the company's growth strategies.
“The decision to manage the beauty business in-house stemmed from the heart, because Dolce & Gabbana have always wanted to run the business directly, and was a strategic choice too, since the label is increasingly becoming a fully fledged lifestyle brand, active in jewellery, watches, eyewear and home decoration, besides fashion,” said Toniolo. “When I joined in September 2021, the main challenge, besides setting up a production organisation, was to build a team with a skillset that differed from that involved in managing a license and a global distribution network,” he added.
Some 130 people are currently working at D&G Beauty’s headquarters in Milan, out of 200 employed by the company. They “come from 25 countries and between them speak 18 different languages, which I believe is crucial for a brand that wants to have a global reach,” said Toniolo. D&G Beauty has 70 distribution partners worldwide, selling its products in 150 countries, and has subsidiaries in key markets like North America, Spain, Singapore and Dubai.
With regards to business development, Toniolo outlined a highly aggressive new products plan, bolstered by significant investment.
“We officially began to manage the business directly on January 1 2023. By Valentine’s Day, we made the new era’s first launch, and we’re currently on air with a new ad campaign. In September we’ll have another launch, intimately linked to the brand’s codes. In 2024, we’ll completely re-design the make-up line, with a new approach and high-performing products. Finally, in 2025, we’re planning to debut into skincare.”
In the meantime, Dolce & Gabbana Beauty, which last year generated a wholesale revenue of €450 million, recorded a revenue of €160 million in Q1 2023.
“We reckon we’re exploiting between 50% and 60% of our potential. Previously, the license was managed with a commercial rather than brand-building approach. We now want to elevate the brand's perception in some markets, and consolidate or accelerate the business in others,” said Toniolo. “We believe we can achieve results three to five times better than we currently do. In a few years, the [label’s] cosmetics business could be worth more than the fashion one,” he concluded.
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