Napoleon Perdis has celebrated the 25th birthday of his eponymously-named brand with a cake in the shape of his iconic Primer at the opening of his latest store.
The event, at the brand’s new store in Sydney’s Surry Hills, attracted a colourful collection of guests including Krissy Marsh and Nicole O’Neil from the Real Housewives of Sydney and “a Drag Queen, Drag King and Leatherman”.
Napoleon, whose beauty empire in Australia now includes 86 concept stores, 101 department store counters and over 875 stockists, recently attracted a lot of media attention at the Prix De Marie Claire Awards after he told the audience that those who didn’t support equality and same sex marriage could “all get f***ed”.
“At Napoleon Perdis I tell the girls from a young age, because I was always the camp one, the gay one, the this one, the married one… 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 body type, we love different weight size and its time that Australia embraced that because everyone can be individual and what works for two people doesn’t have to work for anyone else, they can all get f***ed.
“You just need to do it yourself, it’s really simple.”
Therefore after the birthday celebrations, Professional Beauty took the opportunity to ask Napoleon a few questions about his career success – and that speech.
What are the biggest changes you have seen in the beauty industry since you launched your brand?
The biggest changes I’ve seen in the beauty industry since launching Napoleon Perdis is the consumer is now completely in demand, there’s more competition than ever before and product needs to be true to its performance.
What do you think has been the key to your success?
I don’t really know. I don’t consider myself successful as such, I just like to work and I like to work hard. I love the beauty industry so it keeps me passionate and driven. So, you could say passion and drive are fundamental in being successful.
What have been your biggest business highlights?
My biggest business highlight is having realised my dream and opening my first flagship store in Oxford Street, Paddington in Sydney in August 1995 − followed closely by the launch of the Napoleon Perdis Makeup Academy which opened in August 1993.
What have been your biggest business lows?
One of my biggest business lows was when I wasn’t able to have the cash flow to achieve more product variety across every season. However, over the years it’s become easier and we’ve managed this as a business to ensure newness is constant.
What is the business’s plan for the next five years?
My business plan for the next five years is ultimately to have Napoleon Perdis available everywhere across the globe.
Why did you choose to publicly express your support for same-sex marriage at the Prix de Marie Claire awards?
I didn’t choose to publicly express my support at Prix de Marie Claire, it just came out naturally. As I was standing there surrounded by so many creative people in the one room, I felt the urge to want to celebrate the fact that everyone, no matter their gender or sexuality, should have the opportunity to be treated equally and feel the love.
Is the company planning to do any promotions linked to the ‘yes’ vote in the lead-up to the same-sex marriage postal vote?
No. The company supports equality within everyday life, whether it’s marriage, gender, or opportunity-based.