The new kid on the fragrance block is taking on traditional perfumery with a digital, urban twist, but how can your brand catch the scent of success with Gen Z?
Mona Maine de Biran
Hot on the heels of opening its first pop-up in the UK, New York-based brand Kierin is making a global impression across the fragrance category for its inclusive blends and forward thinking concepts.
Here, Cosmetics Business catches up with its founder Mona Maine de Biran to find out how the disruptive brand is bringing fragrance into the Gen Z era.
What inspired you to launch KIERIN NYC?
Like many great ideas, ours was born out of frustration.
We saw the market changing but didn’t see what we wanted in the market.
Since no one else was doing what we thought needed to be done, we decided to put our thoughts together and form a brand ourselves.
What are the challenges of entering the fragrance market with a new brand?
It’s never easy to launch a brand that, from the get go, declares itself to be challenging the rules of the industry it lives in.
Doing things differently, going against the trend, always requires an extra measure of courage and confidence.
Being a female leader in a male-dominated industry, some might say is a challenge but, I see no gender – neither in fragrance nor in power – and have never been daunted by a challenge.
Your story is quite different from other brands. Why did you go down this route?
We went down this route because there was never any question of going down another.
Our brand DNA was born from the heart, not from Excel charts.
Our brand values are an extension of our values as real people and founders.
Who is your target audience?
Young people of all ages. Individualists. People appreciative of urban vibes and lifestyle. Consumers not willing to compromise, requiring distinctive premium fragrances but at an accessible price.
Those who care about smelling great but also care about being cruelty-free, eco-friendly, vegan and conscious.
Why is the brand so groundbreaking?
We’ve combined the best of the green, clean, unisex movements into one without compromising style for substance.
More than 20 years ago, Calvin Klein came out with CK One and yet the industry standard has been for unisex brands to be sexless and minimalistic.
Similarly, the trend in clean and green fragrance has been simplistic scents in white and transparent bottles.
We focus on crafting fabulous scents without pandering to stereotypes of scent or design, ‘for her’ or ‘for him’ so the consumer can decide without marketing bias what is “for them” but does so artistically, with colourful and distinctive scents that do not ‘play to the middle’.
We are proud to be a vegan and cruelty-free fragrance house that prioritises sustainability.
We are also proud to be the first and only NY-centric brand to show real stories of people illuminated by fragrance.
How do you intend to market the brand?
As a digitally-driven brand, we are always looking for ways to use technology to connect with people and build communities.
Engaging consumers where they live, on the internet and social media, and in new kinds of fragrance experiences is at the forefront of our marketing.
What’s next for KIERIN NYC?
We are available at ASOS, Feelunique, The Perfume Shop and Next and will soon be available at Harvey Nichols.
We will continue to support our partnerships, build the brand, grow our digital platforms and expand awareness.
We are excited about the new scent stories due to launch in February 2020.
While we are interested in expanding into other countries, we will do so at a pace which does not compromise our high-quality delivery.
Long term and globally, our vision for KIERIN NYC is significant.
What potential does KIERIN NYC have for the market?
We believe our brand has tremendous potential, which is measured not only in profit but in power.
We aim not only to be successful but to elevate a dialogue for the benefit of the consumer.
Perhaps we’ll even be the brand that marks the beginnings of a shift in certain outdated industry trends.
One can never know what the future holds but we are optimistic.