Interview with Prada Beauty International General Manager Yann Andrea

Prada Beauty International General Manager Yann Andrea

Prada Beauty International General Manager Yann Andrea talks about how he plans to develop the brand, which officially joined the L’Oréal stable in January 2021.

L’Oréal is gearing up to make a major push for the Prada Beauty brand. The group officially took over the fragrance and beauty license in January 2021 (the license was previously held by Spanish company Puig), and is now targeting to double the brand’s market share and catapult it into the top-10 beauty brand ranking. To do this, the company will launch a major new women’s fragrance this year, open new markets, develop China and accelerate its digital business.

In addition to pushing its fragrance business, the brand is expected to make a move into other beauty categories. While L’Oréal declined to give any details on potential category expansion, analysts say that a color line for the fashion brand could make sense; however, the launch of skincare is likely to come first, and such a move would help the brand build its business in China. Skincare would not be a completely new venture for the Prada brand. Back in 2000, Prada launched a skincare range based on a single-dose concept (The line was discontinued.)

However, given investment from L’Oréal and the growth of the skincare-led Asian market, Prada may now be better positioned to become what the French group calls a fully fledged global beauty brand.

L’Oreal took over the Prada license in January 2021. What initiatives have you put in place over the past year and what are your priorities for building the brand?

Since taking over the Prada Beauty license in January last year, our strategy was to capitalize and reactivate Prada’s fragrance business. We inherited a very rich and balanced portfolio, addressing all fragrance categoriesfeminine and masculine, selective and nichewhich is now back to solid growth.

For Prada Candy, we developed a new innovative and disruptive campaign which we launched at the end of 2021 and continued to explore during the first half of this year during Saint Valentine’s and again during the Mother’s Day period. With this campaign we enhanced Candy’s meaningfulness as well as its consistency with the brand’s philosophy.

[We launched] Prada Luna Rossa Ocean, our masculine pillar last summer, which we supported with engaging activations. For example, we carried out advertising on all media touchpoints, as well as influence and sampling campaigns and we reinvented the online and offline experience to offer a more engaging and holistic journey to consumers with new functional, educational and storytelling content and tools. We are very pleased with the results of the franchise, which reached the top-five ranking in the US and the top-10 ranking in several key European markets at launch.

In 2022 we will continue to support Prada Luna Rossa Ocean and also accelerate and strengthen our feminine fragrance business, as well as reactivate Les Infusions de Prada, by offering a new way to experiment with fragrances.

Finally, last year, we also started rolling out a new retail identity, capitalizing on the brand’s codes.

Your aim is to double your market share in fragrance. When and how will you look to achieve this objective?

To take Prada to the top-10 beauty brands, our top priority in 2022 is to conquer the women’s market. One of the first steps will be to enrich our fragrance portfolio in the coming months with the launch of a new women’s fragrance.

This will be supported by the launch of our dedicated social platforms and e-boutiquewhich will consequently extend our distribution network. We will also open new markets in many regions.

“To take Prada to the top-10 beauty brands, our top priority in 2022 is to conquer the women’s market. One of the first steps will be to enrich our fragrance portfolio in the coming months with the launch of a new women’s fragrance”

Prada Beauty International General Manager Yann Andrea

What are your priority markets for the brand?

Today we have two strong legs with the US and Europe, as well as other markets, including the Middle East, Australia and Canada. The next frontier for the brand will be to conquer Asia later this year.

Our long-term ambition with Prada is to build a global business, with strong positions across all regions. Prada fragrances have historically been strong in the Western world, both in local markets, such as the US and in Europe and travel retail. We reactivated the Prada fragrances in those markets in 2021, with strong trade and media investments, particularly on our Luna Rossa Ocean men’s launch.

China is seeing strong growth in fragrance currently. How will you build the brand in this market? Will you look at focusing on the Les Infusions de Prada line for China?

We have very big ambitions in China, where we will fully reactivate our fragrance portfolio at the end of the year. Prada is among the most desirable and well-known fashion brands in China today and this is definitely a strong asset that we will capitalize on.

Inspired by the unique and disruptive Prada fashion campaigns, we will build brand statements through our activations to emerge on all touchpoints, both online and offline. Les Infusions de Prada will of course be a part of our reactivation strategy in China, which is a very dynamic high-end fragrance market, and also because Les Infusions de Prada perfectly resonate with the new Chinese consumers’ needs for a more intimate relationship with their fragrances.

How do you see your distribution split evolving among perfumeries, online and department stores?

We want to build a very balanced business and develop our visibility and enhance our expression in different channels. Each has a different role to play for Prada. As I mentioned, we are lucky to have a rich and balanced fragrance portfolio, with premium lines and collections that allow us to cater to the aspirations of the consumers of each of these channels.

To further emerge and conquer new locations for the brand, we have designed a new retail identity, inspired by the highly recognizable Prada codes that we will roll-out in brick & mortar. And we also have lots of new assets for our e-commerce platforms. Our objective is to build a very consistent ecosystem, offering our consumers the best experience no matter where they shop.

How can you convey a luxury experience when selling online?

At Prada we see online as a key playground for experiences, innovation and services. Launching our DTC in the coming months will enable us to create a direct connection between our products and our consumers. We see it as a pre-requisite to make it an entertaining, seamless and immersive experience. [We will do this] through the services we provide on e­-commerce, such as engraving, dedicated art of gifting and an open door to our upcoming exclusive CRM program.

“Our ambition is to build a global beauty brand, so as you can imagine this means going beyond fragrances”

Prada Beauty International General Manager Yann Andrea

Prada Candy recently introduced a virtual spokesperson. What will be your approach to the metaverse?

Candy [the virtual spokesperson that the brand created] is intrinsically linked to Prada’s DNA of curiosity, avant-garde and eccentricity. Our idea with Candy was to offer a new vision of fragrance, and we are thrilled to be the first brand to dare to create a fragrance communication starring a virtual muse, and this perfectly echoes the avant-garde spirit of the brand.

Will you extend the brand into skincare and make-up?

Our ambition is to build a global beauty brand, so as you can imagine this means going beyond fragrances. However, I cannot say more at this stage.