중앙데일리

Asians fly in for Korean beauty secrets

‘Taiwanese once had a fantasy about Japan, but Korea has taken its place.’ - Nicole Li

Apr 13,2011
Taiwanese reporters visit a Missha shop in Myeong-dong, central Seoul, on April 7. By Oh Jong-taek

Korea became accustomed long ago to other Asians flying in to see the locations where television dramas were filmed or concerts by their favorite K-pop group.

Now Asians are flying in for Korean beauty products, particularly cosmetics and fashion.

On a wet afternoon last week, seven Taiwanese reporters rushed into Missha, a mass market cosmetics brand, in Myeong-dong, central Seoul.

The reporters, who specialize in beauty products and trends, visited the shop as part of a four-day tour to get familiarized with Korean beauty and report back to readers in Taiwan.

“There are so many cosmetics shops, to the point where one block sometimes holds five to six shops and every shop has a complete line of products from small makeup tools to high-end products like anti-wrinkle creams,” said Nicole Li of Marie Claire Taiwan. “Just ten years ago, the Taiwanese had a certain fantasy about Japanese culture and products. But recently, Korean culture and products have rapidly taken their place.”

She added that a large variety of quality products at low prices give Korean products their competitive edge.

Hwang Ling Ling, a star blogger in Taiwan, echoed this: “Many Taiwanese are curious about the colors and makeup techniques that are popular in Korea. There seem to be a lot of bright colors such as pink in Korean makeup products, unlike in Taiwan, where blue-tinted makeup products predominate. Such useful information will be very good to post for my readers.

With Korean beauty products rapidly gaining followings throughout Asia, small- and mid-sized manufacturers who might have once been content with the domestic market are actively seeking, and finding, opportunities to export abroad.

Last month, 10 CEOs of small- and mid-sized manufacturers of top selling products on local home shopping channels took a seven-day trip to India to seek business opportunities.

CJ O Shopping, a TV shopping network that operates a joint venture in the country, invited the CEOs to consider export opportunities. The CEOs studied CJ O Shopping’s local shopping network, Star CJ, traditional markets and modern shopping malls.

Yoon Sung-yong, CEO of Liu & Commerce, maker of the henna-based hair dye Richenna, saw a niche his company could fill in a country that is the world’s biggest exporter of henna.

“There are many henna dyes in India but the dyeing process takes more than an hour and is very complicated,” said Yoon. “I have determined that consumers are craving a product that’s simpler to use. I think Richenna could be very competitive.”

Kim Joong-ki, representative of the manufacturer of the women’s underwear brand Fidelia, also got ideas on the visit. “There are possibilities [for our firm] as the prices of global brands are too expensive for India and more than a few consumers think that the [underwear] is uncomfortable because it’s often designed to fit Western women,” said Kim.

CJ O Shopping plans to offer some of the Korean manufacturers’ products in India during the first half of this year.


By Jeong Seon-eon [joyce@joongang.co.kr]



dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장