Follow us twitter facebook
Edition: Global
Click here to subscribe toour free weekly newsletter click here
Stéphanie Morou

Black Beauty Fair, Abidjan, Ivory Coast: a look back on the first edition

As the whole world sees Africa as the land promising new horizons to our mature cosmetics markets, the first edition of the Black Beauty Fair was held in Abidjan, on September 11-13, 2015. Here is an update.

Wedding hair stayling demos at  Black Beauty Fair 2015

Wedding hair stayling demos at Black Beauty Fair 2015

This first edition gathered almost 850 visitors, despite the low presence of local brands. The aim was to highlight local brands and initiatives throughout the three days of the show, but the event was also punctuated with conferences on entrepreneurship in the cosmetics industry in West Africa, on the African identity in a highly competitive sector, on the scourge that represents voluntary depigmentation, and on the return of the natural movement, a godsend.

Need for professionalization

It is quite clear and symptomatic that trades related to aestheticism, just like those related to fashion, are underrated in West Africa: they are usually left out to those that have no diploma. The lack of training programmes for cosmetologists, dermatologists, and beauticians explains the low level of professionalization in this field. As a result, many become cosmetics retailers and position themselves on the mass market without the right skills, and few venture into design and manufacturing with sufficient knowledge of the supply chain.

Wedding hair stayling demos at  Black Beauty Fair 2015

Wedding hair stayling demos at Black Beauty Fair 2015

The lack of figures and visibility on this sector slows down the arrival of foreign brands, which both prevents the premiumization of the market and the development of the complexity of the demand… although with 35 shades of black and 1 billion people, the business potential is tremendous.

GLAM, a brand discovered at the show, is dedicated to makeup for dark skins and displays very attractive visuals with its icon, Awa Sanoko, a model that drew a lot of attention at the last African fashion shows. GLAM has clearly understood the challenge of this huge market, which goes from Africa to the edge of the world, as brown skins can be found everywhere.

Complex markets

Africa counts 54 States, but the very structure of its market is unfavourable to African brands. The low presence of local, ‘made in Africa’ brands shows the sector has been monopolized for years by Indian or Lebanese brands, which literally blend into the landscape through the numerous beauty and hair salons.

This actually turns the market into a dichotomy:

  • On the one hand, it mostly takes the form of an informal economy, on market stalls and other hardly controlled channels – like street beauticians who adapt their prices depending on whether they like the looks of their customers –, where a wide variety of products melt together with the overwhelming heat: homemade, natural cosmetics side by side with poor quality, adulterated products, imitations, and in particular brightening products that highlight oriental and Indian women’s clear complexion.
  • On the other hand, it takes the less common form of a formal economy, with high-end to luxury French and American brands supported by well-established, multi-brand stores, wholly-owned stores in shopping malls, and supermarket offerings with fixed, labelled prices.

See latest market reports by Metis Insight in our e-shop: Black & Multi-Hued Beauty Trends

about Stéphanie Morou
Stéphanie Morou

Manager and founder of the Metis Insights agency. Prospective trends and marketing manager. Expert in creativity management and multicultural projects.

Website:
www.metis-insights.com

Focus
MakeUp in newYork hosted more than 3800 visitors, with a growth of 12% of international guests.

MakeUp in New York moves to Javits Center to continue growing

The latest edition of MakeUp in NewYork was a huge success, announced the organisers. Held at the Center415 on 5th Avenue, in Manhattan, on September 11&12, 2019, the two-day B2B event dedicated to the makeup and skincare supply chain welcomed more than 3800 visitors, with a growth of 12% of international guests. Brazil, Canada, (...)

read more
job opportunities
Experts’ views
Victoria's Secret or the failure of a conservative positioning?

Laurence Bacilieri
Victoria’s Secret or the failure of a conservative positioning?

When the Victoria’s Secret show was cancelled it didn’t come as a surprise. In May, it was reported by The New York Times that the show would no longer be broadcast on network television. “We must evolve and change to grow. With that in mind, we have decided to re-think the traditional Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show". From 2001 to 2018, (...)

read more
Webinars
E-shop - latest publications
MARKET REPORT : Black & Multi-Hued Beauty Trends
4000.00 € excl. tax
Handbook. Cosmetics laws & regulations in the USA
100.00 € excl. tax
Regulations on the registration of cosmetic products in China (part2)
95.00 € excl. tax
Go to top ↑

Features

We use cookies to give you a better browsing experience. By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. Read more and set cookies
close