Prior to about 1960 the beauty products industry essentially did not exist in Italy. Many Italian women wore little or no makeup; those who did choose to use cosmetics had to rely on imported products. Beginning in the early 1960s a number of beauty products companies were founded, building upon the international success of the Italian fashion industry. The pioneering companies in this movement made a point of supporting research and development of new and highly sophisticated products, giving Italian cosmetics a high reputation for quality and value. The high quality of Italian cosmetics quickly won international recognition, and Italy became the world’s largest exporter of beauty products in (CK year).
Almost 60 per cent of beauty products manufacturing is located in or near Milan. Industry leaders regard it as being especially important to work closely with the high-fashion apparel industry, which is largely located in Milan. Other important centers of cosmetics manufacturing are Florence (Tuscany), Perugia (Umbria), and Bergamo (Lombardy).
The trend is definitely to ecological awareness with the use of natural and organic materials. Consumers’ concerns for the environment extend to concern about ingredients, manufacturing processes, and packaging. The beauty products industry, and makeup in particular, is closely tied to trends in the apparel and accessories sectors. If as seems likely the trend towards classic black as the foundation of the fashionable look, along with “ecological” muted shades of tan, green, and grey, the cosmetic industry will respond with complementary colors and shades of nail polish, lipstick, foundation, etc.