Beauty is big business


  • Focus
  • Monday, 01 Jun 2015

The 2015 OMC Asia Cup Open hairdressing competition was a crowd-pleaser.

The recently concluded International Beauty Expo 2015 brought together thousands of manufacturers, buyers and professionals, drew 26,000 visitors, and saw RM50mil changing hands in four days, reports ZIEMAN.

The International Beauty Expo (IBE 2015) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on May 16-19 lived up to its theme, “Impressive Beyond Expectations”, with approximately RM50mil changing hands over the four days as it drew more than 26,000 visitors.

The fair put up more than 300 booths, and hosted some 10,000 exhibitors and buyers who turned up to drum up sales and close dealership deals.

“It’s so inspiring to see the huge crowd that turned up, from homemakers to make-up artistes to beauty companies,” said Evon Young, PR director of Elite Expo, one of the partners behind this year’s event.

“We showcased the latest in skincare, body painting, beauty services, brands, trends, tools, technologies and other beauty-related stuff. It just gets more exciting every year, where you can find anything you want to know about beauty, all under one roof,” she added.

Body painting is the latest craze among youngsters and those who dare to be different.
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IBE has established itself as Malaysia’s preeminent beauty fair and an important business platform for beauty, hair, cosmetics, nail and spa professionals. If you’re in the beauty industry and would like to meet, network and make business deals, then there is no better place to do it than at the annual expo.

Held in five halls, this year’s fair featured for the first time a hairdressing competition, the 2015 OMC Asia Cup Open. There was also an exotic hair fashion show called The Art of Hair, which had models on the runway showing off the brilliant hairdos dreamed up by hairdressers from OMC Malaysia.

“We also introduced the largest ever Korea Pavilion in Malaysia and the first ever Indonesia Pavilion, with the Koreans alone taking up 46 booths,” Young said.

The Korean booths proved to be especially popular with the crowds, as might have been expected after years of Korean pop culture hitting our shores. And they did indeed have an extensive range of products to offer, from skincare to haircare, from nail products to cosmetics.

Among the notable Korean brands was MOSP, which boasts of products made in the pristine, mountaneous area of Gangwon-Do and the “revolutionary beauty secret” of using red wine as an ingredient.

“Korea’s explosive growth in beauty products has made them the centre of the beauty industry. There are so many Korean beauty brands that have created waves. All the buzz about Korean products just makes us feel they are better,” said Young.

“They are very aggressive in terms of their marketing and expanding their products,” she noted.

Young also observed that Indonesia’s profile was fast rising in terms of promoting their beauty products compared to recent years.

“The demand for Indonesian beauty and cosmetics products in Asian countries is rapidly growing. Major brands from Indonesia have jumped on the bandwagon and promoted their products during our recent expo. These brands, which focus on the use of herbal and natural ingredients, left an impact with their claims of being experts on Asian skin,” said Young.

Another trade programme that generated a lot of interest amongst trade professionals and business owners was the business matching service, which brought together manufacturers and trade buyers so that they could explore new business prospects.

One of the models at the Art of Hair show during the recent IBE 2015 at the KLCC.

“We have successfully arranged over 120 meetings for both exhibitors and buyers from all around the world this year.

“This tailor-made service received compliments from many trade visitors who had tight schedules but were eager to meet with targeted suppliers or manufacturers on site.

“Our Business Matching Program is aimed at highly specific exhibitor-buyer meets. It allows business owners and managerial level officers to identify and screen the right business partners, vendors or service providers, schedule meetings, and start business negotiations immediately,” said Young.

As it was in recent years, so it came to be in 2015: the most interesting itinerary during the expo was the hair show, the Art of Hair.

“Every year, we try to come up with something different. It gives me a lot of pride to see how the hair shows have evolved and attracted more people,” said Billy Lim, president of the Malaysian Hairdressing Association.

“Even hairdressers themselves became more inspired by the unique and outrageous creations. IBE is definitely a great platform for Asian hairdressers, makeup and nail artists to show off their talent. This is how they can develop new skills and gain the experience necessary to be on par with international standards.

“We also witnessed the birth of 2015’s top stylists and artists with this event,” said a pleased Lim.

According to him, the local hairdressing industry has a turnover of approximately RM10bil a year.

“This figure will shock many, but this RM10bil turnover comes from cuttin g and styling services (wash, colour and rebonding), equipment sales (hair dryer, iron and steamer), product sales (styling products and shampoo), event services (hair show competition and seminar), photo shoot services (modelling), education services (training programmes), as well as other activities that include setting up salons (renovation, interior design),” he added.

For Lim, hairdressing is a lucrative business because everybody needs a haircut on a regular basis.

“Despite the economic value, the hairdressing industry faces challenges in terms of financial support and the public perception of those in the profession.

“It is crucial for us to change this mindset. We have to educate people on the importance of hairdressing as a profession,” stressed Lim.

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