L’Oréal’s k-beauty acquisition: the latest big player to act

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

L’Oréal’s k-beauty acquisition: the latest big player to act
L’Oréal has confirmed the successful acquisition of 100% of Korean beauty and fashion company Nanda.

It’s the latest move from a major player to buy into the Asian demand for k-beauty, following Unilever’s acquisition of Carver Korea​ at the end of last year, and is a sign that global appetite for the Korean beauty is there.

Stylenanda began as a fashion business and is now spearheaded by its makeup brand 3CE (it makes up 70% of the company’s business), with a turnover of 127 million euros in 2017.

It’s a sign that k-beauty is ready for the international market, both in Asia and more broadly, according to L’Oréal.

"With this acquisition, L'Oréal Korea will substantially reinforce its presence in the accessible make-up market. We are very proud to welcome the Group's first Korean beauty Brand and contribute to bring Korean beauty and style to the rest of the world​,” confirms Yann Le Bourdon, president of L’Oréal Korea.

Alexis Perakis-Valat, President of L'Oréal's Consumer Products Division, also emphasised this international focus: "We are thrilled to welcome this cool Korean brand in the L'Oréal family. Stylenanda captures Seoul's vibe, edge and creativity. It is perfectly positioned to nourish the growing appetite for make-up of millennials in Korea, China and beyond."

What is the future of k-beauty?

While this acquisition confirms the trend for k-beauty is still on the rise, where it’s likely to grow is up for discussion.

In a feature published this week on our sister site CosmeticsDesign-Asia​, editor Natasha Spencer spoke to Ju Rhyu of Inside the Raum, who revealed the current state of k-beauty and where it’s likely to move from here. Find the full article here​.

One key concern Rhyu picked out was, given the rising international presence of the trend, there is a growing lack of clarity on what exactly constitutes a k-beauty product and brand.

“The K-Beauty boom in the US has unfortunately led to a dilution of what defines a K-Beauty brand. You see American brands like Julep that has a Korean American founder play into the K-Beauty trend,”​ she explains.

“You see retailers like Sephora group Japanese brands like SKII under the K-Beauty section and Western brands like Glam Glow create “Korean-inspired” products.

“Do they qualify as K-Beauty? I say no. Part of the problem is that there is no definition or standard for what makes a K-Beauty brand.”

Find out her recommendations for how to define a k-beauty player, and full insights on the current state of the segment, here​.

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