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AR Mirrors Illuminate Dolce & Gabbana Beauty's Path Forward

Published May 7, 2024
Published May 7, 2024
Dolce & Gabbana Beauty

Two years after bringing its beauty brand in-house, Dolce & Gabbana Beauty is stepping into the future and firmly establishing its presence in the luxury cosmetics space. Dolce & Gabbana Beauty held a launch party in New York City in collaboration with Saks, celebrating its latest makeup collection. Guests had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the new collection using augmented reality (AR) mirrors. The interactive experience came preloaded with five different makeup looks designed by Dolce & Gabbana Beauty makeup artists, and guests were able to virtually try on all five looks with a wave of their hands. After trying on the looks virtually, guests could visit the makeup station to have their favorite look applied in real life.

Dolce & Gabbana Beauty worked with FFFACE.ME, a London-based studio specializing in AR and extended reality (XR), to bring the brand’s makeup looks to life within the AR mirrors. FFFACE.ME has previously partnered with Mugler, Maybelline, and Prada Beauty on AR installations to promote new products and engage with customers in both the digital and physical worlds.

“Similarly to normal mirrors, AR Mirrors instantly reflect the person who stands in front of them, but the key difference is that the reflection appears with the added augmented reality layer,” Dmytro Kornilov, CEO and founder of FFFACE.ME tells BeautyMatter. “In terms of realism, the capabilities of technology are very different depending on the use case: while the clothing try-on works relatively rough, makeup and beauty product try-ons look almost indistinguishable from reality.”

A recent survey by the e-commerce platform Obsess showed that more than half of US brands plan to invest in immersive experiences in the next three years. This category has been especially enticing for the beauty industry due to the virtual try-on capability, which eliminates the guesswork of trying to figure out which shade works best. Beauty is a visual experience, and AR helps consumers bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds, particularly when it comes to online and offline shopping. Brands and retailers are seeing incredible engagement with these virtual tools, and consumers appreciate them, too.

“Consumers can seamlessly create content with original makeup and beauty products without actually owning them and, as a result, receive attention from their audience,” says Kornilov. “Offline, unlike uninteresting standard advertising screens, interactive AR Mirrors attract consumer attention because they allow receiving realistic personalized experiences and look unusual.”

Ever since Dolce & Gabbana Beauty acquired its beauty license back from Japanese beauty conglomerate Shiseido near the end of 2021, the brand has embarked on an ambitious effort to elevate its beauty line to match the caliber of the other categories it oversees within the fashion house. It’s a big swing, and the competition is fierce. Prada also recently relaunched its makeup line with great success, and LVMH recently reported a strong performance driven by its perfumes and cosmetics division, which includes Dior. Hermès launched its makeup in the spring of 2020 and expanded the range in 2023 after the category contributed to record revenues, including over 20% growth in 2022 and the first half of 2023.

One of Dolce & Gabbana Beauty’s main strategic goals is to reach the younger generations. The makeup range includes an eyeshadow palette with a DG-shaped case that CEO Gianluca Toniolo says was designed for Gen Z and Gen Alpha. Dolce & Gabbana Beauty's commitment to innovation and adoption of interactive technology also helps them connect with this demographic.

Dolce & Gabbana Beauty marks a new chapter in the brand's evolution, which seems to be paying off. Toniolo told Glossy that the brand earned $100 million in product sell-out in 2022 and plans to reach $300 million in product sell-out in 2024. The relaunch included 80 SKUs, with 180 planned through the end of the year and 350 by the end of 2025. The brand also hopes to enter the skincare category by the first quarter of 2025.

In 2022, makeup accounted for approximately 5% of the brand’s overall sales, but Toniolo hopes to grow that to 30% in the next three to five years. Outside of Dolce & Gabbana’s site and stores, Dolce & Gabbana Beauty is available on and in select Saks Fifth Avenue stores. Toniolo told Vogue Business that the makeup line “combines the point of differences of the indie brand together with the strong assets belonging to a luxury brand,” which gives the new brand an edge over its competition.

By embracing immersive experiences like AR mirrors, Dolce & Gabbana Beauty can deliver a more meaningful, engaging, and personalized shopping experience that ultimately leads to customer acquisition, loyalty, and long-term growth. With ambitions to become a €4 billion ($4.3 billion) business in the next four years, the brand is actively harnessing every available technology to connect with its customers and elevate its makeup line to the highest level.


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