The agency, through a program called Beauty Made in Italy, hosts pop-ups, coordinates with retailers, and facilitates programing to connect brands based in Italy with commercial opportunities and consumers here in the US.
During the 2019 holiday shopping season, Cosmetics Design dropped by a pop-up event at 10 Corso Como in Lower Manhattan to speak with Meredith Kerekes, head of the US Beauty Sector at the Italian Trade Agency, to see the agency’s work in action and learn more about Beauty Made in Italy.
How the ITA is reintroducing Beauty Made in Italy to US shoppers
The Beauty Made in Italy program is an initiative, launched in 2017, meant to remind and educate beauty consumers about the quality of cosmetics, fragrance, and personal care products that come from Italian brands but also from multinational brands that rely on beauty manufacturing facilities that country.
According to the Beauty Made in Italy website serves brands in, primarily, one of three ways: as a business incubator, as an accelerator, and as a council of industry leaders that shape the global conversation about what is Italian beauty.
As Kerekes tells Cosmetics Design editor Deanna Utroske, “We do that through educating Italian companies on the particularities of the US market, through creating promotional opportunities for Italian beauty brands and the industry as a whole here, as well as helping advocate for Italian beauty brands within the US.”
The government agency usually connects with brands via Cosmetica Italia, which Kerekes describes as “the national trade association for Italian Cosmetics,” through the Italian Trade Commission / Italian Trade Agency in Rome, as well as at prominent beauty industry tradeshows in Italy such as Cosmoprof Bologna, Pitti Fraganze in Florence, and Esxence in Milan.
And while Italy has an impressive history and reputation in the beauty industry, Kerekes recognizes that many “consumers [today] don’t understand that the majority of their cosmetics are already made in Italy.”
“Many of the international brands,” she emphasizes, “are manufacturing their products in Italy already,” because the country is so well revered for its heritage and craftsmanship as well as for its innovation and design.
To learn more about Beauty Made in Italy, watch the full video interview (at the top of the page) with Meredith Kerekes, head of the US Beauty Sector at the Italian Trade Agency.
Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of CosmeticsDesign.com, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders.