“The Korean market now seems to be attracting global attention as a beacon of inspiration,” author Curt Altmann (Yonwoo/PKG) wrote in Global Cosmetic Industry in 2015. He added that the Korean beauty consumer is “ravenous for product,” and therefore has little brand loyalty. (Read "5 K-beauty Brands You Need to Know" below.)
Often treated as a monolithic category, South Korea churns out more than 100,000 unique products* that span the spectrum of novelty offerings (maple tree sap, fermented extracts, etc.) and proven solutions (quality naturals).
"We're launching our own branded Peach & Lily products this year (stay tuned)..."
“I think K-beauty—and how it’s being defined right now—will fade away,” Alicia Yoon, founder of K-beauty mecca Peach & Lily, recently explained. “However, the conversation around K-beauty will evolve and focus on the brands that truly wow, and these brands will have staying power like the beloved brands Stateside (and beyond).”
GCI: How does the new California Peach & Lily shop differ from the NY location?
"I think K-beauty and how it’s being defined right now will fade away..."
In the California Peach & Lily store, given the sunny climate, SPF, hyperpigmentation and dehydrated skin are big skincare issues; so we have broader product selection to address these concerns.
Also, the California Peach & Lily store has a more diverse demographic—from an older shopper seeking luxury goods to high schoolers who are swinging by the mall to grab lunch. To cater to a broader set of consumers, we have a different Korean beauty assortment and a more colorful layout with bright Lucite sheet mask stands, but still an overall elevated look and feel to keep in line with our brand identity.
"We have learned so much about our customers’ preferences by having a physical store."
GCI: How has the product mix been adjusted for California?
Yoon: There is a deeper assortment of sheet masks and those Korean skin care products for all things sun-related.
GCI: What has the consumer response been to the online and physical stores?
And, of course, the kind of back-and-forth question and answer is so much more dynamic in person. We have learned so much about our customers’ preferences by having a physical store, which gives us the ability to better serve our customers both online and in-stores.
GCI: What do you see ahead for K-beauty?
And, definitionally, trends ultimately evolve or fade away. I think K-beauty and how it’s being defined right now will fade away; however, I think the conversation around K-beauty will evolve and focus on the brands that truly wow, and these brands will have staying power as beloved brands Stateside (and beyond), whether the K-beauty trend is going strong or fading away.
GCI: What’s next for Peach & Lily?
Yoon: We're launching our own branded Peach & Lily products this year (stay tuned), which we’ve been working on for the last 18 months. We’re also launching an independent content platform that will be focused on Korean beauty and, more broadly, lifestyle. There will be a huge emphasis on skin care education.
5 K-beauty Brands You Need to Know
Alicia Yoon, founder of K-beauty mecca Peach & Lily, provided Global Cosmetic Industry with her curated list of some of the most exciting K-beauty players, spanning both novel and established brands.
2. Be the Skin
4. May Coop
BONUS: Rose By Dr. Dream
BONUS: TwentyFour Seven
*According to figures gathered by the organizers of CosmoBeauty Seoul