Acqua di Parma boosts men’s grooming line, adds more barber services
In the heart of Rome, Piazza di Spagna is a magnet for tourists, who love strolling up and down the renowned Spanish Steps linking the square to the Trinità dei Monti church. It is also where the Roman store of Italian fragrance brand Acqua di Parma is nestled.
Inside this white marble showcase, presenting the array of eaux de cologne which have made Acqua di Parma's name, a woman is deftly assembling by hand a brush from the brand’s shaving line. She usually works at Acqua di Parma’s Tuscan workshop, but has temporarily been seconded with her boss to Rome to demonstrate their expertise and answer the questions of a handful of French journalists invited by Acqua di Parma last February, for the presentation of the label's new men's grooming line called Barbiere (Italian for ‘barber’).
The Barbiere men’s grooming line was originally launched in 2006 with six products, and now features double the number, including a beard wash lotion, a beard serum and a beard styling cream (priced from €34 to €44).
“The demand for men's grooming products is rising. For this reason, we boosted and added to the Barbiere product line,” said Laura Burdese, CEO of Acqua di Parma. To better fit with the brand’s heritage, the line has shed its brown colouring and adopted a new livery in yellow, Acqua di Parma’s signature colour. The formulations are scented with the Colonia fragrance, the brand’s iconic best-selling perfume, first created in Parma in 1916.
Last year, Acqua di Parma discreetly discontinued its Italian Resort women's skincare line, and currently generates 55% of its worldwide sales through its men’s range. The brand is keen to capitalise on the men’s cosmetics market, which is forecast to be worth $60.7 billion (€51.4 billion) in 2020, three times as much as it was worth in 2015.
To pamper this men's clientèle, Acqua di Parma is boosting its range of services: in the brand’s Rome store, as in those in Dubai, Miami, Milan and, from April, Paris (in partnership with the La Barbière de Paris salon), Acqua di Parma is offering specialist barbering services by appointment.
Acqua di Parma was sold to the LVMH group in 1993 by a trio of Italian entrepreneurs made up of Diego della Valle (Tod's), Luca di Montezemolo (then president of Ferrari) and Paolo Borgomanero (La Perla), and is now part of the French luxury group's Perfumes & Cosmetics division. The latter, including among others Guerlain, Parfums Christian Dior and Make Up Forever, generated a revenue of over €6 billion in 2018. While LVMH did not provide details on its brands’ individual performances, Acqua di Parma has reportedly been growing in double figures for several years.
Besides operating the stores in Milan, Rome, Paris, Miami, Dubai and the Barber Shop at Selfridges in London, Acqua di Parma is present in over 2,000 stores worldwide. The brand currently generates nearly 65% of its revenue in Europe and the Middle East, and is planning to expand in China to accelerate its growth. “We already have two stores [in China], and we are planning to inaugurate another four this year,” said Burdese.
Acqua di Parma is also looking to open more stores in Europe and elsewhere in the world, with a new retail concept designed to encourage customers to enjoy the brand’s “Italian style.”
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