Marketers need to ‘stop adapting overseas trends’ and ‘trampling creativity’ says Napoleon Perdis

Beauty retailers shouldn’t trample creativity and marketing managers need to stop mimicking overseas trends, Australian makeup artist and businessman, Napoleon Perdis has said.

Perdis, who with his daughter Lianna Perdis, was awarded the Prix de Marie Claire’s Readers Choice award for best make-up product (steal), said he was saddened creativity was being bogged down in Australia.

Perdis addresses the audience at Prix de Marie Claire

“Every time I come back to Australia there is something that saddens me. It’s just sad to see that the creative energy that is here in Australia is such a fresh continent, fresh country, fresh air, is sometimes stifled in logistics, mathematics or banking, or some sort of structure that controls you,” he said.

“My message is stay strong, I said this to Liana when she was developing Total Bae, do what you want and then we’ll kind of work it within our store structure.

“The retailers here need to realise you can’t trample creativity when it’s actually pure and amazing, because this country is brilliant with it,” he added.

“You’ve got to celebrate it and you can’t just celebrate it by giving it shelf space. You have to celebrate it by investing in it. And you’ve got to have staff that will sell it.

“For all the talent in the room, for all the marketing managers, stop adapting overseas trends, make it Australian, celebrate it, we’re fucking hot, it’s amazing, and that’s all that matters.”

Country Road’s managing director, Darren Todd, supported the comments.

“Just listening to what Napolean said earlier, I couldn’t agree more with him. We’re an Australian brand, we’ve been around 43 years, still going really strong in spite of the international competition, and it proves Australian brands can stand apart in the retail world,” Todd said.

Todd welcomed Perdis’ comments

The event, which was hosted by Marie Claire’s general manager Jackie Frank and editor Nicky Briger, also saw a major same-sex marriage push, with Perdis telling Australia to embrace everyone.

“For me tonight, I did want to take a moment to say, for everyone that is in the creative field, and selling product that needs to be commercialised, because we need to make money after we create something beautiful, that they should stand strong, and they should stand against all the wind that is trying to make everyone homogenised,” he said.

“We are a heterogeneous country that is diverse, different. At Napolean Perdis I tell the girls – because I was always the campy one, the gay one, the married one. You know what I say to them? Just accept people for whatever they are and celebrate them.

“We love transgender in our staffing, we love diversity, we love same-sex marriage, we love different cultures, we love different body types, we love different weight size, and it’s time that Australia embrace that because everyone can be an individual and what works for two people doesn’t have to work for anyone else. They can all get fucked.”

Marie Claire’s Frank added later on in the night: “These are challenging times for some of us, for all of us. Everywhere we look in the world there are people struggling to be heard.

“Tonight, we can help give them a voice and make a difference. At Marie Claire this is what we’ve always done, this what we will do, this is what we will continue to do everyday.”

“Fashion has always got behind causes and there is no stronger sentiment in our country at the moment than getting our country to actually listen to its people about marriage equality.”

She asked the audience to take a photo of a screen, which promoted marriage equality and to share it through social.

“Tonight we can raise the roof on marriage equality, direct the conversation to the right people. It’s those young people who are all following you and change the landscape,” she said.

“Let’s make our voices heard, let’s make a difference together tonight.”

Support for same-sex marriage from the industry has been growing, with a pledge launched by the creative industry, and independent publications refusing ‘No campaign’ advertising.

The comments come the same week as a new report commissioned by PR agency Hotwire, which indicated 52% of Australians bought brands based on their social and political opinions.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.