Known internationally for its masstige approach to makeup products, the fast-fashion beauty brand unveils a portfolio of over than 1,200 items, mostly manufactured in Europe. In an exclusive interview with Premium Beauty News, Kiko Milano’s brand director in Brazil, Isabel de Almeida, talks about the brand’s plans and the operational challenges it has faced to establish itself in such a vast and diverse country.

Premium Beauty News - What is Kiko Milano’s total investment in Brazil and what is the strategic importance of the country to fuel the brand’s global expansion?

Isabel de Almeida - Kiko Milano will invest a total of € 5 million in the opening of the seven stores in São Paulo. Brazil has been the brand’s target since its founding two decades ago, when CEO Stefano Percassi was charmed by the country. As part of our global expansion, we have entered strategic markets, such as the UAE, India, Qatar and Russia. Brazil is the largest economy in Latin America and, therefore, is of critical importance in the development of the brand.

Premium Beauty News - What were the challenges in establishing the company in Brazil?

Isabel de Almeida - Our original plan was to launch in Brazil in 2016, but we had some legal setbacks during the import process, which eventually delayed the project by a year. At the moment, our greatest challenge is to develop the brand in such a vast country with so many unique features. This has urged the company to reorganize itself locally in order to reach its goals.

Premium Beauty News - How does the brand plan to deal with Brazil’s huge diversity? Will the stores follow the same style and layout?

Isabel de Almeida – The brand’s global concept and vision will remain consistent, but we will need to adapt the layout of the stores to the local processes and inventory. We decided to use São Paulo as a starting point so we can accommodate to local market demands before we move on to other states.

Premium Beauty News - Who is Kiko Milano’s target audience in Brazil?

Isabel de Almeida - The brand caters to all age groups, but there is greater demand from women aged 15 to 35. Generally speaking, our target consumers are urban, fashion-oriented and on top of the latest trends.

Premium Beauty News - Will the Brazilian operation have its own marketing and communication strategies? Does Kiko have plans to launch an eCommerce platform in Brazil in the near future?

Isabel de Almeida - Our strategy will be adapted to the local reality without compromising the global identity. This differentiation will become more evident in the medium term as the Brazilian market evolves and presents specific demands.

The online channel will not be launched immediately, but it is in our future plans.

Premium Beauty News - What competitive advantages does Kiko Milano offer to tackle competition from other Brazilian players?

Isabel de Almeida - We are releasing most of our existing product ranges in Brazil, including 35 different shades of foundation. We expect to launch seven collections per year and introduce new products monthly.

Premium Beauty News - What global makeup trends are likely to have a good response from Brazilian consumers?

Isabel de Almeida - Dark lipstick shades, including blue and black, are a worldwide trend and are also popular in Brazil. Brazilian shoppers keep up with the latest trends, do their research before buying and are open to product recommendations.

Premium Beauty News - Kiko has a list of ingredients that are no longer used in its formulations. Are there any other raw materials that will be banned in Brazil?

Isabel de Almeida – All Kiko products adhere to the strictest security protocols both in the short and long run. In addition, we have created a list of ingredients that are prohibited for use in our formulations. Despite being permitted by local regulations in some countries, they are not considered acceptable by the brand. As an example, our products have been formulated without the use of parabens since 2014.

Premium Beauty News - Kiko is known for its affordable prices. What allows you to offer and maintain the current price point?

Isabel de Almeida - Some product ranges are very price-competitive, but most products will be positioned as medium-priced as they are subject to import duties. Although the margins applied are lower than those in Europe, the tax burden will have an impact on pricing.