Beauty’s relative resilience to economic instability and its more affordable nature continues to attract fashion players that wish to tap into rising disposable incomes in emerging markets and maintain growth in the developed world, where consumers remain cautious. Fragrances remain the portal into beauty for fashion brands, but colour cosmetics and skin care are gradually gaining traction. With more players in the scene, the competitive field is changing, raising barriers for entry and creating
Despite beauty sales equating to less than a third of the total apparel and footwear market, its higher affordability and resilience during the height of the recession (when growth dropped by only one percentage points) has attracted many fashion players into the industry. Beauty has been imperative for fashion brands looking to maintain growth in mature markets where consumer spending has been reduced but there is still an appetite for luxury brands.
As fashion brands continue to pursue a lifestyle status by branching out into other industries including jewellery and sunglasses, beauty is becoming an essential part of the expansion. Its relative affordability and greater accessibility can capture younger and/or lower income consumers and introduce them to a brand.
With nearly 80 of premium fragrances total value coming from fashion brands, it remains the most penetrated category by fashion brands, and the most compatible. However, fashion brands are struggling to establish a strong presence in the fast-growing MEA region, where local players dominate fragrances.
The US remains a key market for both industries, maintaining growth levels above Europe, and favours all three key beauty categories equally. Its fiercely competitive field and the strong presence of US-based multinationals like Estée Lauder and Elizabeth Arden raise the competitive barriers for fashion brands.
Asia’s predisposition for skin care bring the category to the forefront of fashion brands’ strategies, as the market is also a key expansion area for their apparel and accessories lines. High tech innovation and products that are created to suit local skin types can help fashion brands break into the market.
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