Pure Beauty

How Kiko Milano has gone from make-up underdog to beauty titan

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 1-Jul-2024

The Italian company has undergone a big transformation to become a key make-up player. What's next?

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Kiko Milano is disrupting the make-up scene with a level of dynamism that has been greatly underestimated – until now.

Thanks to a refocus on brand strengthening via an enhanced loyalty scheme, product assortment elevation, and increased distribution via online marketplaces and physical stores, the Italian cosmetics company reported a net revenue of €800m last year.

This is a 20% year-over-year growth, securing the brand the title of the number four make-up player in Europe, owning a 4.5% total market share, according to analyst Euromonitor. 

Kiko Milano’s key product franchises have soared in popularity too, with hero product 3D Hydra Lipgloss now selling every two seconds globally.

The brand has also tapped into the cultural zeitgeist via its make-up collaboration with Netflix TV show Bridgerton this year, with the collection “performing brilliantly in stores,” says Kiko MIlano CEO Simone Dominici to Cosmetics Business

This will help with our ongoing continuous brand strengthening and brand elevation, which will take Kiko Milano to the next level

Following this stellar growth, private equity fund L Catterton has since acquired a majority stake in the company to help elevate it to the number three player in Europe.

The firm will also aid in accelerating Kiko Milano’s geographical footprint further, with desires to become a major make-up player in the US and India. 

The overall aim is to become “the first global Italian beauty brand,” explains Dominici.  

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“We have been growing much faster than the overall [make-up] market over the past two years, and in the first quarter of 2024 we have grown faster again.

“We have transformed from a mass make-up retailer into a global premium brand, and in that we focused on elevating our brand identity and creating iconic products at the centre of strong franchises.

“While also expanding our community with brand activations on different platforms – digital, social and even TV, as in some countries like France and Spain it is still a very relevant medium in gaining market penetration.”

Kiko Milano's customer base is split 45% Gen Z and millennial, and the rest Gen X

Kiko Milano's customer base is split 45% Gen Z and millennial, and the rest Gen X

Growing demand

Expanding the Italian brand’s geographical footprint both online and via bricks-and-mortar stores has been crucial to reaching new audiences, and will continue to

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