A huge part of the world has collectively embraced two of South Korea’s main exports: K-pop and K-drama. Their influence has so far transcended into fashion and even beauty standards in many countries, creating a huge market for Korean beauty products and fashion brands.
International companies, including top luxury brands, have started pouring investments into Korean products after realizing the enormous market potential brought about by the “Hallyu” phenomenon, according to Asia One.
TV drama celebrities and K-pop artist endorsements have played huge roles in Korean companies’ international success in the cosmetics and fashion industry.
L Capital, a subsidiary investment bank of LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Fendi and other brands), for instance, invested $50 million into Korean brand CLIO, according to Reuters.
The brand, which was founded by Han Hyun-ok in 1997, had its products initially manufactured in Europe before moving its production to its own manufacturer.
When Korean actress Kong Hyo-jin wore CLIO eyebrow liner in the movie “The Producers,” the company earned a record sales of 100 billion won, or about $90,485,000, in 2015, registering more than double of what it sold from the previous year. The movie was an international success, especially in China where it was a huge hit.
Similarly, Goldman Sachs Group and Bain Capital Private Equity have made some significant Korean investments by acquiring a stake in Carver Korea, a popular cosmetics firm in South Korea, Reuters reported.
Carver Korea owns several cosmetic brands, including Vivito, Dr. MJ, Shara and A.H.C., selling over 1,000 products sold through various channels. Since 2013, company earnings have surged from 27.3 billion won ($24 million) to 156.5 billion won ($140 million) in 2015.
South Korean company Have & Be Co. Ltd, the parent company of cosmetics-maker Dr. Jart which produces the hugely popular BB cream, is also set to get a huge investment, this time from renowned cosmetics brand Estee Lauder, according to The Telegraph.
Founded by young entrepreneur Lee Jin-wook, the company will get international exposure through Estee Lauder’s global network. Lee currently owns 66.7 % of the company, which is worth around 17.8 billion won ($15.9 million).