On March 02, 2016, KOSÉ will celebrate its 70th anniversary.
KOSÉ’s founder, Kozaburo Kobayashi started out in the cosmetics business in 1946, just six months following the end of the Pacific War, a time when Japan’s economy was in extreme disarray.
Cosmetics are generally associated with products designed to maintain beauty and a healthy lifestyle and Kobayashi launched KOSÉ believing that it would give hopes and dreams to the war-weary population of Japan.
“For the health of a new Japan” was an expression used in the charter at the time to represent this resolution and while it was a time where anything could be sold, as long as you had the product, Kobayashi focused on quality and adopted a management approach that was selective as to how products were marketed and sold. His concept was to be fully accountable for the delivery of only the highest-quality cosmetics at all times. To this end, more than anything else, he channeled his energy into research & development, enhancing production facilities and establishing the necessary sales and marketing framework.
This vision for KOSÉ garnered huge support from consumers, the cosmetics it delivered earned trust and respect and as a result, we are now able to celebrate our 70th anniversary. I would like to take this opportunity to once again express my sincere gratitude for your support over the years.
We have positioned the next one-year period up to March 2017 as “70th Year of KOSÉ” and we hope to deliver products of even higher quality and undertake a range of initiatives in order to further your understanding of KOSÉ.
As one example of these initiatives, we are currently working on the construction of a new production plant,
scheduled to be operational some time next year, within the grounds of the Gunma factory located in Isesaki City, Gunma, in order to further reinforce our production facilities. Together with our Sayama factory (Sayama City, Saitama), the completion of this new plant equipped with state-of-the-art production facilities will dramatically improve the production capability of our major domestic production bases, known for producing the quality associated with products “made in Japan” that have earned a strong reputation among consumers all around the world and establish the framework to deliver superior quality products to more customers.
Another is the construction of our new research & development facility announced recently. The spirit of our founder focused on creating innovative cosmetic products and the pursuit of quality lives on today. The decision to build a new research facility was made on this, our 70th anniversary in order to keep this tradition alive. Our research functions are currently dispersed between three different locations, however; by combining our new, fundamental research laboratory with our two other existing product research laboratories on the original site in Tokyo/Oji (Kita-ku, Sakae-cho) we hope to build the framework to more effectively reflect the needs of consumers in our research.
One of our most popular products is our “Sekkisei” brand. Over 30 years has passed since we launched our first lotion, “Sekkissei”, and I believe it is quite rare for a cosmetic product to maintain its popularity among so many consumers for such a long period of time. To date, we have sold over 50 million units of this lotion alone, which has grown into a long-time seller loved by consumers all around the world that continues to transcend eras, generations and borders as a cosmetic product representative of Japan. It is our aim to introduce and deliver more of this kind of superior product to more people.
To this end, we have started planning the sale of the “Sekkisei” brand from new sales counters to be set up in department stores from April this year. The design of these counters has been tasked to Kengo Kuma, designer of the new Olympic stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“Sekkisei” comes highly acclaimed by consumers all around the world for its proven effect and feel. The simple beauty of the deep azure blue bottle design is also extremely popular, the crisp elegant feel of the bottle conjuring up images of the “spirit of Japan”, particularly among overseas customers. Wanting to more effectively promote the unique perception of “Sekkisei” to a more global audience, I sought the advice of Kengo, an old friend of mine who graciously accepted to take on the design.
The new counter design is comprised of Japanese paper and wooden materials to achieve a feel of “Japanese beauty” and beautifully expresses the transparent feel and dignified presence of “Sekkisei”. I invite all of you to visit one of our counters and experience the world of “Sekkisei”.
Further, the launch of one of our other flagship brands, “DECORTÉ” in one of America’s luxury department stores, Saks Fifth Avenue, marks our entry into the world’s largest cosmetic market, the Northern American market. Another of our popular brands, JILL STUART, a product now in its 10th year is also garnering high acclaim in the global market, particularly, throughout Asia. We have expanded this business segment to include products other than cosmetics, opening “JILL STUART Beauty & PARTY”, a store based on a new business model, harnessing the brand’s unique concept to address demand in the accessory and gift market and it is receiving rave reviews.
We hope to continue to expand our business domain to transcend international borders to take KOSÉ global, to break free from the conventional framework and establish a business model that is truly borderless without limitation. On this, our 70th anniversary we will be moving forward with a variety of other initiatives. However, we also hope to remain true to our tradition of “Universal Value”, a concept that has won over the hearts of consumers while also pursuing “value for a new era” to contribute towards creating an affluent and healthy future. Our lives are becoming increasingly global and borderless. All of the companies under the KOSÉ Group umbrella are committed to continuing to walk together with you to deliver beauty and happiness through a unique and diverse range of cosmetic products. We look forward to your continued support.