The cosmetics company has already expanded into Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and plans on moving into Nigeria, Kenya and other Sub-Saharan African countries this year.
“We believe that to be beautiful is the birth right of every woman and that certainly applies to Africa as well,” Corne Nel, Elizabeth Arden Africa Managing Director told CNBC Africa.
The company has been in the South African market since the early 1950s and Nel believes that the brand is ready to enter the African market.
“On one side I think the brand is ready and the other side, I think the market is also ready. We’ve seen some large GDP growth in many of the countries, there’s urbanisation, more females entering the job market and all of those things are good news for us,” he said.
Twenty-eight-year-old Nigerian born Ariyo, will take over the duties of the Elizabeth Arden South African Ambassador Lerato Moloi whose reign cantered only in South Africa.
“As the brand ambassador, I will be featured in the new campaigns for the skin care ranges, the skin illuminating range, the visible difference range and the flawless finish perfect nude make up SPS15 range as well,” Ariyo explained.
According to Nel, choosing Ariyo was not an easy process as they wanted someone that had the same values as the company.
“Beauty is more than skin deep and its actually soul deep so for us, it’s too act as a role model to these young ladies and that’s one of the points that we want to help Adeola with. It’s one of her ambitions to say, how can I be a role model to younger models?” he added.
While infrastructure is often the biggest problem for international companies in Africa, Elizabeth Arden’s biggest challenge however is the supply chain and finding retail partners in the countries.
“We don’t run Elizabeth Arden stores that only sell our own products so we need to partner up with retailers in Africa. In South Africa, we are spoiled, you’ve got large retailers with a big footprint, but all over Africa it’s mainly an independent and fragmented industry. That is probably one of our biggest challenges,” he said.