Napoleon launched a small makeup studio in the Sydney suburb of Leichhardt in 1992. In 1993, he opened the Napoleon Perdis Makeup Academy, which currently has eight campuses across Australia and New Zealand and one on Hollywood Boulevard in California. Two years later he debuted his first concept store on Sydney’s Oxford Street, boasting a full cosmetics collection, including foundations, eye shadows, lipsticks and accessories. Vivid, vivacious colour soon became a Napoleon Perdis trademark. Innovative designs, amazing products, freshness and energy, as well as staff training and education also contributed to the success of the brand. “A product must speak to the consumer,” he says. “He must be consistent with its claims”.

Today Napoleon Perdis has 59 stand-alone concept stores and over 800 point-of-sale locations in Australia and New Zealand. In the United States, the brand has four Napoleon Perdis concept stores, including the vibrant flagship on Hollywood Boulevard, and is stocked at over 300 Ulta stores across the country, as well as at select independent retailers nationwide.

When Target’s executives approached Napoleon to launch a second cosmetics line in the mass-market channel, he did not hesitate a while. The resulting collection, NP Set, was launched in 2008 and is now available at over 1600 Target stores in the US as well as at 300 Target Australia stores. The collection is 98% paraben-free and boasts organic benefits.

Napoleon is now looking at several foreign markets where to extend its young and successful empire. South America comes first in the list, Brazil in particular, which is “the fourth world’s largest market for cosmetics and toiletries”, then Mexico and South East Asia. “Europe is not a priority so far, it will come next but there’s no hurry”.

According to Napoleon, being an Australian brand is neither a strength nor a weakness. “I was born in Australia from Greek parents. This mix of European classicism and Australian nature is likely to have helped developping my own creativity. But I am not selling Australia, I’m selling Napoleon Perdris”.