The recent legal disputes between Prince Lorenzo Borghese and Borghese Inc. has focused our attention on the history of a label that has served the beauty needs of millions of women for more than 50 years, and the rights of the Borghese family to use its name and history to promote their own lines of products. In 2010, the cosmetics company led by Georgette Mosbacher, introduced a lawsuit to block members of the family from using its name and history to promote products, including Prince Lorenzo Borghese’s Royal Treatment pet line.
Princess Marcella Borghese, Lorenzo’s grandmother, founded the cosmetics label in 1956 in partnership with Revlon Group. Princess Marcella— who had acquired the title through her 1937 marriage to Paolo Borghese, Duke of Bomarzo and Prince of Sant’ Angelo of San Paolo— made her beauty products using ingredients fount around her gardens in Rome’s Villa Borghese.
The Borghese have some very distinguished ancestors such as Pope Paul V and Cardinal Scipione Borghese, a great patron of the arts. They have had an enormous influence on the art and culture of the Eternal City, having contributed to the completion of St. Peter’s basilica in 1615. For those reasons, and more, the family crest is proudly displayed around Rome in streets, buildings, fountains and parks.
PRINCE LORENZO BORGHESE.
In 1991 Revlon successfully sold the company to a group of Saudi investors, who named Mosbacher, at the time owner of La Prairie, CEO of the renewed company. She has raised the profile of Borghese Inc. in the luxury cosmetics market, and claims the use of the surname by the Italian prince for his own products may confuse costumers.
Prince Lorenzo Borghese, born in Milan in 1972, moved to the United States at age 5 and currently lives in Manhattan. Known for his many appearances in television programs, the prince launched in 2002 a pet line named Royal Treatment, using his family history in marketing campaigns.
In 2008 Prince Lorenzo and his family created a new line: Prince Lorenzo Borghese´s La Dolce Vita. This action gave rise to subsequent disputes for the rights to the name Borghese. Borghese Inc. initiated lawsuits against several representatives of the Borghese family and television stations that advertised and sold their products.
The struggle over the use of the illustrious surname continues until today, and while Prince Lorenzo has declared that he will never give up or sell his family’s history, the courts will soon hear the arguments to determine who is legally entitled to use of the name Borghese. ■