Kwon Geum-Joo, President, Etude House – Interview
Korean beauty brand Etude House is synonymous with Asian ideals of beauty, which has taken the makeup industry with the storm all around the world. With 229 stores globally Etude House is set to take over the Middle East in early 2018 by partnering with Alshaya with the launch of their first store in The Dubai Mall.
Etude House is known for its innovative, trend-setting approach. The brand’s philosophy is that every woman was born a dignified and beautiful being that deserves to be valued, and its stores aim to create a culture of ‘makeup play’ in its stores, with feminine and playful products.
As part of the much-awaited launch of the Etude House in the Middles East, the brand organized an evening full of fun and frolic with Etude House innovative beauty products, social media worthy moments to be captured within the most idyllic setting of the Bvlgari Resort Jumeirah Island, Dubai. The President of Etude House Kwon Geum-Joo was also present to celebrate the launch with makeup enthusiasts, media, and bloggers. We had a chance to talk to Kwon Geum-Joo about the launch, the brand and the whole craze behind Korean beauty products.
Q: Please tell a little bit about the brand Etude, and coming to the UAE market what is your strategy and where have you been all these years?
Kwon Geum-Joo: We have been concentrating on Asia before, but the Middle East is our second market now. Starting with Dubai we are soon going to have products launch. We are delighted to partner with M.H. Alshaya Co., a pioneering force in the retail franchise sector, to introduce Etude House to the Middle East. With our quality products, whimsical and trendy packaging design and reasonable prices, Etude House aims to give every woman the chance to discover and enhance her own beauty. It is admired as the No.1 Korean beauty makeup brand, leading to new trends and innovations not only in Korea but throughout the world and we are excited to replicate the same in the Middle-East.
Q: Do you have regions specific products for UAE?
Kwon Geum-Joo: Dubai and the Middle East is a big market for make-up, so I thought it would be a good opportunity for us to tap into the market. Two years ago we started our research and investigation on the market and we have developed more variety of skincare products that are region specified and we also created different shades for color make-up especially for the Middle Eastern market.
Q: What is the Etude House brand philosophy?
Kwon Geum-Joo: The philosophy of the brand is that you have to actually enjoy the make-up itself. We believe that every woman is born a dignified and beautiful being that deserves to be valued, and our stores aim to create a culture of ‘makeup play’ with feminine and playful products. We have three core values, lovely, trendy and playful. We have developed a lot of different products around these values and we have around 800 to 900 SKU of different lines of products. As a brand, we concentrate on providing quality products the at the same time affordable price so everyone can enjoy the brand. We also call it pretty price or sweet price.We always develop new creative and innovative products for customers.
Q: Does Etude House also have a skincare range?
Kwon Geum-Joo: We are essentially a make-up brand but in Korea, as many people think that it is really important to have moisturized skin before you put on make-up, so we have a really good skin care line as well. Make-up is actually connected with skin care. Mainly we have make-up products but at the same time, we’ve got a really good skin care line that includes mask sheets which are really famous in Korea and around the world.
Q: How long has Etude House been in the market?
Kwon Geum-Joo: It’s been 20 years since we actually started in Korea and 10 years that they have launched the brand Etude House in Korea.
Q: How would you be selling the products?
Kwon Geum-Joo: So in Korea, our stores are like little houses called sweet dreams. We are planning to have the same stores as well as the cosmetic products in Middle Eastern. We have partnered with M.H. Alshaya Co. and will open our first Middle Eastern store in Dubai in March 2018 followed by the next opening in Kuwait, at The Avenues.
Q: What is the age group you are targetting?
Kwon Geum-Joo: Our target market is mainly women in their 20ties and 30ties.
Q: K-POP, Korean culture is huge, and there’s this craze for Korean idols, so are you planning to have an Etude House brand ambassador?
Kwon Geum-Joo: Possibly Yes! Our products are used by well known Korean/ Kpop celebrities, and through them, you can actually follow the Korean make-up trend. So we think it would be a great opportunity if people can actually express Korean make-up trends through Etude House.
Q: Any last few words for our readers here in the UAE?
Kwon Geum-Joo: Just like our philosophy, “life is sweet”, we really want the Middle Eastern women to enjoy make-up itself. It’s not something that you have to put on when you go out on special occasions but you should really enjoy it on daily basis and can have fun with make- up everytime you put it on. So we want to give joy to the Middle Eastern women.