Mavala nails travel retail
2019 marks the 60th anniversary of Swiss brand Mavala. Traditionally known for nail and hand care, the brand has recently extended its portfolio to include a Swiss Skin Solution line. 2019 marked the brand’s initial premiere at the TFWA Asia Pacific exhibition in Singapore in a bid to elevate its exposure.
Asia Duty Free magazine spoke with Doris Maute Bobillier, Mavala S.A.’s CEO, to understand how this nail care brand has stood the test of time and evolved into a cosmetics dynasty. Listening to Doris enthuse about the brand, one can understand her passion for its potential.
Currently present on five continents and in over 110 countries, the Geneva-based brand offers 700 products, including care and beauty for nails, hands, eyes, complexion, lips, feet and, most recently, the addition of its skincare line.
“In Geneva, we are working with the airport for a wellness pop-up performing manicures and hand massages, and nail diagnosis, and we have the opportunity to sell in the store. As we are from Geneva, it made the most sense,” explains Bobillier. “We have worked in the past with airports in Italy and England and have also had a presence on Scandinavian, Uruguay and Buenos Aires cruise lines.” The brand exudes the feeling of a boutique family-owned business that is global and still has a local feel to it. It has fewer than 100 employees in the Geneva headquarters, of which 90% are women.
“Duty free is not our main business, although we have always been in duty free over the years, on cruises, in-flight, in some airports around the world, mainly in Europe,” shares Bobillier. Well established in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, partly in Africa and the Americas regions, Mavala’s presence at the Singapore trade fair signified its desire to conquer new horizons in Asia. The brand is available domestically in some Asian countries, so duty free is the next natural move.
The brand came to Singapore armed with a new skincare line, Swiss Skin Solution, into a region that is going through a skincare revolution. The line is based on Swiss botanicals and the most advanced active ingredients. “In skincare, people are looking for an immediate and long-term effect. We differ from Asia’s skincare as we don’t offer the multi-layering. We are a European company and have to offer something fast, easy and effective,” explains Bobillier.
Currently, Mavala is focusing on sustainable cosmetics. The brand is working to find alternative formulas that respect the environment and health and will offer the same effect. Says Bobillier: “You can no longer cheat the consumers, they are very aware. They are offered a lot of products, try and compare. You need to be honest and obtain their loyalty and, as a smaller company, we rely on word-of-mouth from consumers.”
Swiss Skin Solution is described as a naturally active and foolproof skincare line that offers targeted solutions for real-life problems. The idea is to focus on skin problems because women do not know their own skin type, but only identify their skin’s concerns or symptoms, Mavala has discovered. This created the need for the brand to offer the same concept it applies to nail care: “You have a problem, we have the solution”. “We wanted to focus on the Swissness of our brand and try to combine botanicals that have a targeted effect, plus combined with the most active ingredients that people know and recognize,” explains Bobillier.
The Swiss Skin Solution portfolio targets five skin issues: Anti-Age Pro, Aqua Plus, Skin Vitality, Pore Detox and Clean & Comfort. The range contains natural Swiss ingredients like the Swiss mallow flower and pure water from the Swiss Alps, in combination with other specific botanical ingredients for each skin concern.
SaysBobillier: “Mavala has always translated its products in more than 30 languages worldwide because we think the consumer has to understand what he buys. Our products always have very clear instructions on what they do and how to use. We have applied this same method to skincare. And for travel retail we have created smaller size product combinations.”
Although the skincare line was launched only four years ago, nail care continues to be Mavala’s hero product. “Nail care [as a category] has been affected by semi-permanent or gel nail finishes. However – and like in the past with artificial nails - everyone will come back to us, as natural nails are always in fashion,” enthuses Bobillier. “And all of these gimmick products damage the nails; they don’t allow the nail to breathe, acetone dries skin and nails, and too frequent buffing reduces the thickness of the nail, fragilizing it.” Perhaps this is the secret to the brand’s longevity, as healthy nails will always be on trend.