Daily Express

Avon calling with new line in ‘fashionabl­e face masks’

- By Holly Williams

CUSTOMERS of Avon across Europe will be able to buy fashionabl­e coronaviru­s face masks alongside their lipstick and hand cream as the global beauty giant looks to adapt its business to a new socially distanced world.

The group’s global chief executive Angela Cretu, who took the post in January, revealed the group is working on plans to launch Avon face masks across a number of European countries in response to customer demand.

She said fashion statement face masks are expected to become the “must-have accessory” as the world emerges from lockdown to a new socially distanced way of living.

The group, which employs five million representa­tives around the world, is hoping to have its first face masks available for order from June 1, with plans for a larger collection later in the year.

Avon aims to launch across several countries in mainland Europe, with the UK likely to follow at a later date.

Some fashion experts believe face masks could overtake the trainer as the best-selling accessory in the mass market, but it is a line that firms will need to tread carefully.

Online fashion firm Boohoo was forced to swiftly withdraw its £5 fabric masks with the slogans “Eat, sleep, isolate, repeat” and “If you can read this, you’re too close” after suffering widespread backlash.

Ms Cretu said Avon was being mindful of the strict regulation­s and that first and foremost a mask should be functional, but added: “On top of this we are looking at ways to make them beautiful.”

The face masks form part of Avon’s global response to the Covid-19 pandemic, alongside switching its manufactur­ing lines to prioritise essential hygiene products for healthcare and frontline workers, including moisturisi­ng hand gel, as well as its Isolated Not Alone campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence in the crisis.

Ms Cretu – who heads the business outside Latin America and oversees the brand globally – said the group has had to transform its business in a matter of weeks as it comes to terms with being a “hightouch company in a no-touch environmen­t”.

She said: “We’ve been through two world wars... but coronaviru­s for all of us is an unpreceden­ted situation.”

The group has been giving reps the tools to operate over the internet or phone, while its supply chain stepped in to deliver products to customers amid lockdown restrictio­ns.

‘On top of this we are looking at ways to make them beautiful’

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