This year’s 70th Anniversary of Estetica coincides with another milestone: 25 years since the launch of Estetica UK, our first edition dedicated specifically to a national readership outside of Italy.
The Story so far!
As the 1980s drew to a close and digital networking as we know it today was not even in its infancy, the printed magazine was still the only source of communication available to a creative industry like ours. Graphic design and high-quality print reproduction were fast becoming pivotal factors in a magazine’s success – discerning hair experts and salon professionals who subscribed to hair magazines at that time were getting a bit tired of seeing grainy, lo-res imagery which barely, did justice to the skill and artistry of hairdressers, if at all.
Over in Italy, Estetica Magazine had been publishing beautiful, perfect bound periodicals for decades. Their high-end, glossy feel and the graphic photo reproduction they contained meant that Italian hairdressers were already seeing hair imagery at its absolute best. Publisher, Roby Pissimiglia, takes up the story: “As early as 1977, we had published an Italian/English bilingual edition of Estetica Magazine. This was basically a core edition of Estetica Italia translated into English. Then, in 1990, we launched our very first World edition, completely in English. Having Estetica in a more universally understood language, meant that we were able to begin internationalizing our brand in order to become more recognised on a global platform. One way we did this was to start attending more trade fairs around the world – the reaction was quite extraordinary. Our friends and associates abroad immediately acknowledged the huge potential of Estetica and we knew we had an obligation to fulfil their demands for more localised editions. The UK was an obvious choice of where to begin, being a global hub for hairdressing talent with an unrivalled passion for all things ‘hair’!”
First Steps to Success
A couple of chance meetings at Salon International in 1989 set the ball rolling – Roby discussed the concept of a UK edition of Estetica with John Paterson, who subsequently went on to found the highly successful Catalyst PR. Levels of optimism for the project soared even higher when PR guru and future director of Gorgeous PR, Julie Bellinger-Gibb, also came on board with the idea. “I could see straight away that there was a definite niche in the UK for a high-quality magazine with a more international perspective on hairdressing,” explains Julie. “The passion and enthusiasm of the team from Estetica was obvious to me from the very start; as well as that, they were already building up rather a formidable following of devotees in the UK, thanks to the English translations of the stunning art books and technical albums they had been producing for the Italian market.”
The very first edition of Estetica UK was published in March 1991 and enjoyed a very positive reaction indeed. As well as hair professionals working in salons, product manufacturers also immediately recognised Estetica UK as the perfect vehicle through which to emphasise the quality of their products.
The Global Journey Continues
Estetica UK may have been the first edition of the magazine dedicated entirely to the hairdressers of a country outside Italy, but the journey didn’t end there – the UK edition was soon followed by Germany (92), France and USA (93) and Spain (98). The dawn of the new Millennium saw Estetica’s sphere of influence spread even further afield, as editions were launched in such faraway continents as Asia, South America and Australasia, until the present day when there are 22 editions worldwide with a phenomenal global circulation of 296,500 copies + iPad downloads.
The Digital Age of Discovery
Estetica UK’s next great moment of re-invention came in the mid-noughties, when the world went mad for all things on-line. “The explosion of interest in digital media was already evident by the turn of the 21st century,” comments Luca Pissimiglia, EsteticaNetwork’s Global Director for Digital. “For publishers working in a creative, image-driven industry like hairdressing, the race was already on to ensure that magazines that had always relied on print, would also have a credible, on-line platform through which to communicate with their readership. By 2010 we’d already launched our Estetica International website and then, a few months later, one dedicated specifically to the UK market – www.esteticamagazine.co.uk – one of no fewer than 15 Estetica websites that now exist globally.”
That decade of digital discovery also saw EsteticaNetwork buy into what was a boom period for the use of social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as the convenience of Apps on smartphones and tablets. Digital and social media are now a huge and integral part of EsteticaNetwork’s means of communication, in a way that would have been both unbelievable and inconceivable when the UK journey began 25 years ago.
The way that people receive and convey news now evolves at such a pace that it makes every new year almost like a quest into the unknown. Today, under the leadership of Gary Kelly, Estetica UK is a vital cog in the machinery of EsteticaNetwork’s on-going global success story!