Beauty & Wellbeing

Interview: Arnaud Goullin, global general manager of [comfort zone]

The new appointee discusses his future with the Italian skincare brand

ITALY

By David Fagan

12 May 2022

world.comfortzoneskin.com/?uk
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Luxury spa and skincare brand [comfort zone] has named beauty industry veteran Arnaud Goullin as global general manager.

Goullin joins the brand with more than 20 years’ experience in the consumer beauty industry having held high-profile roles at luxury beauty leaders LVMH, Shiseido and The Estée Lauder Companies, working with brands such as MAC, Christian Dior, Clinique International and GlamGlow.

European Spa caught up with Goullin and Barbara Gavazzoli, [comfort zone]’s head of communications and education, to find out more.

You worked in consumer beauty for a long time what motivated the change?

Arnaud Goullin (AG): Enormous luck, I would say. I had the best possible time at Estée Lauder Companies and would have been grateful to stay forever. I was happy right up to my last minute there. And then I made a list of things that I wanted for myself and my career going forward, it was a great luxury for me to be able to do that, and I was incredibly lucky to come across [comfort zone]. It ticked all my boxes.

Arnaud Goullin, global general manager, [comfort zone]

What drew you to [comfort zone]?

AG: I’m a big believer that brands are built on communities and [comfort zone] is a community of “mad” people. Mad in that they’re incredibly passionate about what they do.

I’ve worked in fragrance, skincare and makeup, and it’s been a different community every time, but this community is very focused on passion and purpose. The company is very value-driven, very flexible, very open and gives us permission to play as long as we’re in pursuit of purpose. The purpose is our highest priority, it comes before everything.

Spa is completely new for you, what are your plans going forward?

AG: There’s a lot of ground to cover and I still have a lot to learn but spa is where we belong. Primarily our main focus is the depth of experience that we offer that consumer brands just can’t.

We’ve also had incredible traction in terms of sustainability, it’s a driving force at the moment and it’s really catching up in the spa industry. When it comes to trends, like sustainability, there is the ‘trend’ trend part of it and then there’s deeper trend. Part of it might be marketing, of course, but part of it is a huge opportunity to solve a real problem.

It all comes back to [comfort zone]’s authenticity, this is a company obsessed with its own sustainability and environmental impact and we do so much more than what we share. We only use renewable energy and have an advanced system to recycle our own water. This is obviously something that interests and affects spas, as one of their main environmental concerns is water consumption.

On top of that, we’re working on specific projects like the partnership with the Rodale Institute to support regenerative organic agriculture that we can talk about, but we’re working very hard also on other initiatives we cannot reveal yet that will help solve other specific problems in our industry and that could hopefully make a big difference.

“It’s very important nowadays to have proof of the good impact we can have through regenerative organic agriculture, because that is what’s going to change not just our mentalities but everyone’s mentality.“

Barbara Gavazzoli

Head of communications and education, [comfort zone]

Tell us more about the partnership with the Rodale Institute?

Barbara Gavazzoli: It’s an amazing opportunity because it combines two competencies – they’re very good at proper farming and regenerative agriculture. So the idea of this matching is that we will empower studies on this virtuous practice guided by Dario Fornara, the scientific director we have just hired to guide the first European Regenerative Organic Centre in the 15-acre field we have right by our Village in Parma. We’re starting to map out areas with different cultivations because we want to increase the studies and show the benefits that this practice brings.

When we tell the story [of] how the land is cultivated, how you alternate cultivations and you do minimum tillage to limit soil disturbance, everyone says ‘oh that’s an old practice, right?’ It is in a way but it’s very important nowadays to have scientific proof of the good impact we can have through regenerative organic agriculture, because that is what’s going to change not just our mentalities but everyone’s mentality.

This is where we’re going to work with other companies, probably food companies too, to spread this culture and support interdependence, which is part of our duty and commitment as a B Corps.

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