Deborah: a hundred years of innovation

Deborah is truly a company of its own in the world of make-up brands. A century-old company that has managed to stay at the forefront of innovation by mastering all design stages. Overview with Gianluca Bonetti CEO of the Deborah Group.

Gianluca Bonetti AD Deborah Group

Gianluca Bonetti

MakeUp In…™: Could you recall the position of your company in the world of make-up brands.

Dott. Gianluca Bonetti: The Deborah Group is a leading company and a benchmark in Italy in the make-up industry. We are the leading player in the IRI/Drug niche with the Deborah Milano and Debby brands. Our consolidated turnover exceeded € 108 million (Source: WWD), and 60% of our sales are concentrated on the domestic market and 40% abroad. We employ directly more than 200 employees. Currently our Make-up and Skincare brands (Deborah Milano, Debby, Rouge Baiser Paris, Dermolab, Bioetyc and Hi-tech Cosmetics) are available in the main modern distribution chains (department stores, perfumeries, pharmacies, single-brand stores, shop-in-shop, etc.) in more than 55 countries across a broad network of skilled and professional, “exclusive distribution partners”, a direct subsidiary in Spain and three joint ventures in Turkey, India and the UK.


MakeUp In…™:  What is your opinion on the main “make-up” trends today and what are the strong points of the products you offer?

Dott. Gianluca Bonetti: On the side of trends there is a very interesting and relatively recent phenomenon happening and in which paradoxically, consumers are the protagonists. With the development of the internet and the phenomenon of bloggers who have changed the way information is disseminated, we are dealing with always more informed consumers and users, real “proconsumers” who are the spokespersons of trends, and enable a wide audience to discover and use often highly technical products. For a brand, it’s a real opportunity, and this allows us to make the best choice among both macro trends (coming from research centres, from the most technologically advanced suppliers) and women’s desires. Concepts such as contouring and natural products fell on fertile grounds with consumers.


MakeUp In…™: The make-up industry is very demanding in innovation. How do you cope with this issue in everyday life?

Dott. Gianluca Bonetti: This is why, the support of an integrated R&D laboratory, with over 100 years of history and expertise is a cutting edge advantage. All development-related processes are supervised by our R&D team, made up of people with significant experience and who are fully dedicated to innovation, quality and safety, every day.


MakeUp In…™: Regarding your suppliers policy, what is the trend? In other words do you entrust them more and more with the entire development of your products? Or are you still involved in the development process?

Dott. Gianluca Bonetti: Backed up by the hundred-years of history of our laboratory, we can guarantee performing cosmetic products and safe formulas. For this reason many of our projects are and will continue to be developed in-house. Similarly we have established along the years important partnerships with our suppliers, with whom we constantly confront our ideas and work in an integrated manner; we frequently rely on them for projects requiring specific raw materials, innovation and next generation applicators.


MakeUp In…™: Have you launched new products recently and what are their strong points?

Dott. Gianluca Bonetti: From an innovation perspective, there are mostly two major themes that we want to develop: They concern “products” innovation but also application systems. In the first case we have developed the first 2 in 1 kajal gel pencils and eyeliners that will go on sale soon, as well as the Divine Volume & Curves Mascara with an innovative texture and formula. Mascara that envelops eyelashes while preserving their suppleness, the whole of it combined with a brush that enables to reach difficult areas.

Furthermore, we are developing a series of so-called “Smart” products, designed to make the lives of women easier: for example, a new lipstick that guarantees a perfect hold and an unparalleled comfort, a big hit last year, and the new lipstick Milano Red Shine dedicated to women “who do not like lipstick”… an apparent contradiction, which enabled us however to win over a market segment consisting of “true women” who wanted a product that met their needs. In this, the support of our laboratories was fundamental, with the help of our Make Up artist, who developed together a high impact chromatic range and designed a particularly original and efficient lipstick “tip”.