LONDON, UK., July 14, 2023. Irene Forte Skincare, a Certified B-Corp and pioneer in high-performance natural skincare, has secured a minority investment from L Catterton, a leading global consumer-focused investment firm, to support the brand's global expansion. The investment positions the company for continued growth in Europe and the U.S. as the brand expands its presence among luxury retailers and online partners.
Founded by Irene Forte in 2018, the eponymous skincare line is at the forefront of the ‘Natural Science’ movement having been developed for use by spa professionals in the five-star Rocco Forte Hotels to meet the demand for products that are both natural and backed by science. Based on 35 years of research by the brand’s Scientific Director, Dr. Francesca Ferri, a pioneer in the medical use of plant extracts to treat skin conditions, Irene has introduced novel ingredients and advanced actives, which have shown profound results in independent clinical and consumer trials. Driven by a deep sense of environmental responsibility, the entire line is sustainably produced in small batches, with the core ingredients lovingly sourced from the Forte family’s organic farm in Sicily. The products have been dermatologically tested and clinically approved for sensitive skin, as well as being certified vegan.
Four years after inception, Irene Forte Skincare is currently available in selected stockists worldwide, including iconic specialty retailers and department stores, such as Bluemercury, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Liberty London, Ludwig Beck, and Le Bon Marche, as well as boutique shops and premium, curated online channels including Farfetch and Amazon Luxury. The brand has experienced 100% growth, year over year, with a 50% customer retention rate amongst e-commerce shoppers.
The partnership with L Catterton will focus its strategy on scaling the business and expanding the team in both the U.S. and across Europe. Given its excellent existing distribution, the Irene Forte Skincare team will prioritize investing in and growing with loyal partners, while strategically expanding into additional valuable brick-and-mortar doors. Significant investment in D2C will underpin retailer growth.
“This is the beginning of a new and exciting journey, and is the culmination of a voyage of discovery that began whilst working in my family's hotel business and fruitlessly looking for a skin care collection that was natural, but rooted in science,” said Irene Forte, Founder and CEO. “Just four years later, we are already a global brand, thanks to product results that speak for themselves. L Catterton’s support is instrumental in enabling us to compete with the superbrands in our space, while influencing the industry’s standards and impact.”
“Irene Forte Skincare is a highly distinctive brand that has quickly established a reputation for trailblazing sustainability in the beauty industry, while harnessing the power of natural ingredients and the highest standards of scientific research,” says Michael Farello, a Managing Partner in L Catterton’s Growth Fund. " We look forward to working with Irene and the team on long-term growth and carrying on their track record of fast-paced, industry-leading innovation.”
L Catterton has significant experience investing globally in the beauty and personal care category. Current and past investments include TULA, Merit, Oddity, Bliss, Function of Beauty, The Honest Company, Elemis, Nutrafol, Intercos, Marubi, and many others.
About L Catterton
L Catterton is a market-leading consumer-focused investment firm, managing approximately $33 billion of equity capital across three multi-product platforms: private equity, credit, and real estate. Leveraging deep category insight, operational excellence, and a broad network of strategic relationships, L Catterton's team of more than 200 investment and operating professionals across 17 offices partners with management teams to drive differentiated value creation across its portfolio. Founded in 1989, the firm has made over 250 investments in some of the world's most iconic consumer brands. For more information about L Catterton, please visit www.lcatterton.com.
About Irene Forte
Irene Forte Skincare is the Italian skincare brand at the forefront of the ‘Natural Science’ movement. The range achieves outstanding results with natural ingredients in formulations shaped by 35 years of skincare research and development. Based on the research of Scientific Director Dr. Francesca Ferri, a pioneer in the medical use of plant extracts to treat skin conditions, Irene has introduced novel ingredients in products which have shown profound results in independent clinical and user trials. The core ingredients are harvested at the founder’s organic farm in Sicily, and all products are certified vegan. In recognition of high ethical standards, Irene Forte Skincare has achieved B-Corp status. Irene Forte Skincare is located in over 100 stockists around the world as well as www.ireneforteskincare.com.