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The Economy of Beauty

Beauty in the era of the purpose economy.

The Economy of Beauty is the result of a complex form of alchemy, created by that typically Italian mix between humanistic culture and material culture.

A place that extols Beauty also generates entrepreneurial and social value for generations to come. From supporting young artists to examining the Italian entrepreneurial community that creates value through beauty: a process of care and a study of Beauty in our country.

Consumers and companies have recently changed their approach to making choices with the same thought in mind, fully embracing the themes of social responsibility, inclusion, environmental sustainability and closeness to people and the community. Italian businesses have therefore made “Beauty” a distinctive factor of their identity and the value of their purpose a competitive advantage.

Rosalba Benedetto - Group Communication, Marketing, Public Affairs & Sustainability Director

Banca Ifis is working in the context of Venice Biennale ​for the second consecutive year. We are acting as partners in the Venice Pavilion during the ​59th International Art Exhibition, entitled “The Milk of Dreams”, ​and are supporting the competition “​​Artefici del Nostro Tempo” (Creators of Our Time).​ 

This initiative is for young artists under 35, working in 10 artistic disciplines. The top works in each category will be exhibited at the Venice Pavilion at the Giardini della Biennale​; while the remaining works will be on show in Pavilion 29 at Forte Marghera in Mestre from June to December 2022.

​The Artefici del nostro tempo​ project is being promoted by the City of Venice, in collaboration with the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Fondazione Forte Marghera, Venis Spa and Vela Spa.

In the second edition of the Market Watch Economy of Beauty, the aim was to examine the relationship between the production sector linked to Beauty and the purpose economy, in the belief that there is a set of common values between these two different forms of economy.​


In 2022, the Beauty Economy Observatory studied the convergence of two core elements in the Italian economy: enterprises focused on Italian-made Beauty and purpose-driven enterprises.

Beauty is therefore a constantly evolving concept, strongly influenced by social and environmental factors. In 2021, the Beauty Economy contributed 24.1% to Italy’s GDP.

The study of the experience of various companies has shown that the purpose-driven and Beauty economies can actually enhance each other. Both these worlds value the land, culture and expertise of Italy, and also focus on social needs and protection of the environment.

The world is changing, and with it the way we produce.


purpose-driven enterprises

billion €

annual revenue from purpose-driven enterprises


Last year, percentage of Italy’s GDP came from the Economy of Beauty, with crossover from the purpose-driven economy

The study

Beauty is a vital factor in the competitiveness of Italian companies, and the 2022 study shows how this has evolved and been enhanced by the purpose-driven economy.

Photos by Sanja Marušić

Born in 1991, Sanja Marušić is a Dutch Croatian photographer and Art Director.
She lives in Amsterdam but travels the world to photograph. She uses an experimental approach to colour, composition, materials to create dreamlike – cinematic and alienating scenes. Travelling, she finds settings and forms that play with the relationship with the subconscious, simplifying the bodies of his subjects with geometric shapes. The human form takes on dance-like movements. She often uses cold, bright colours, singular objects and accessories.

I want to photograph a person that can be seen as an abstract version of a company/entrepreneur. Someone that has courage, does something new, is building something up, has strength and energy.
The person is in the middle of something exciting, something new. Focusing on changing/ growing/ evolving in something bigger. The person sees things from a different perspective. I would also like to focus on community systemically way of working (in an abstract way).