Beauty

For the new caring consumer: Hiki and Arfa



Hiki body care sweat set

Pity any new brand launching right now.

I just received a box of Beauty Pie samples (there are new additions* to the Japanfusion line), extolling its new pop-up at Harvey Nichols, which obviously won’t be experienced now for a while.

But worse is Arfa, a US-based direct-to-consumer holding company, whose first brand is Hiki, a bold bodycare line for ‘everyday sweat needs’ (read: deodorant).

Three things of interest here. Acknowledging the mood of the moment, Hiki decided to give its products for free to hospital and medical workers (they just have to pay for part of the shipping), and to everyone else in exchange for a compassionate message on social to reinforce its brand value of ‘kindness’. It’s a way to make the best of a bad situation and bake that situation into its narrative of body care. (more…)



At LVMH, all hands on deck turning scent into sanitiser



LVMH hand sanitiser by Financial Times

I love this feelgood story on how LVMH (granted, France’s biggest company) leapt into action switching its perfume factory into a hand sanitiser production facility during the coronavirus crisis. In a couple of days, the hand sanitisers were available to start distributing to 39 hospitals in Paris (with more to come).

How? It’s all down to quick decision making at the top, plus common business sense. (more…)



Positive beauty: Forgo Essentials



Forgo hand wash

Bored of all the hand washing posts yet? Nah me neither. Aesop Reverence Aromatique* is my hand wash of choice, followed by Arket Geranium* and Bjork & Berries White Forest*. M&S Calm hand wash* also has vague Aesop-meets-Austin-Austin vibes, with its amber bottles and essential oils.

But Swedish brand Forgo has a much more modern idea. Its Kickstarter is launching a waterless concept that ships sachets of concentrated powder that you mix with water yourself. No plastic, no additives, and lovely minimalist branding for those who are (for better or worse) suckers for such things (more…)



A pop of optimism (and a timely red lip) at Hermes AW20



Hermes AW20

It feels like every show season I’ve covered for the last God knows how many years has referenced some sort of uncertain dystopian future. Economic, political, ecological and now major health pandemic. I’m bored of writing about protective armour-like layers and ominous colour palettes. Bring me the light! The joy! A glimmer of hope! Or maybe just these primary coloured pops of minimalism by Hermès.

For Hermès AW20, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski took unexpected inspiration from her design hero, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. (more…)