Chinese beauty brand Florasis has been invited to the Business of Beauty Global Forum organized by The Business of Fashion, which made Florasis the first and only Chinese beauty to participate in the top global beauty forum since its inception.
From left to right: Imran Amed, Founder and CEO of BOF, Renata Gomide, Marketing Vice President of Grupo Boticário, Zaher Eldassouky, General Manager, Beauty Division of Chalhoub Group, Gabby YJ Chen, Global Expansion President of Florasis, photographer: Matteo Prandoni, Rowben Lantion
“From not being recognized when I first ventured abroad 20 years ago to gradually gaining attention and now being beloved, it is not only due to my efforts, but also the energy emanating from my work, which reflects the increasingly prosperous and powerful China behind it.” A well-known Chinese fashion designer once expressed such emotions.
Undeniably, in the wave of brands going global, there is already a group of brands with distinct Chinese features that represent Eastern aesthetics and have successfully entered the world stage. Chinese brands are playing an increasingly important role in the global fashion industry.
Recently, the Business of Beauty Global Forum, hosted by The Business of Fashion (BoF), one of the most authoritative fashion media in the world, came to a close.
According to CHAILEEDO, since its inception, the forum has only invited globally renowned beauty brands, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators, without inviting any Chinese brands. However, this year, a Chinese beauty brand made its debut at the forum. Who is it?
China’s first and only beauty brand being invited
In the field of beauty and fashion, BoF is widely renowned. BoF is dedicated to providing original fashion business news and the most authoritative analysis of the fashion, beauty, and luxury industry intelligence. It is a daily must-read for industry leaders both domestically and internationally and an essential source of information for executives, creatives, students, and entrepreneurs. In the fashion industry, it is referred to as the “industry bible,” “the Economist of fashion,” and “the most influential fashion website in the world”.
The Business of Beauty Global Forum is a fashion industry summit organized by BoF, bringing together leaders, entrepreneurs, leading retailers, experts, and innovative financial institutions in the beauty and fashion industry to focus on the latest industry topics.
As a media organization focused on the beauty industry, Qingyan is dedicated to telling the story of Chinese cosmetics to the world. Its English media brand, CHAILEEDO, reports the Chinese beauty market to industry professionals, Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), and Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs) through its independent website and social media platforms worldwide.
From left to right: Imran Amed, Founder and CEO of BOF, Gabby YJ Chen, Global Expansion President of Florasis, Renata Gomide, Marketing Vice President of Grupo Boticário, Zaher Eldassouky, General Manager, Beauty Division of Chalhoub Group, photographer: Matteo Prandoni, Rowben Lantion
Being one of the top global fashion forums, the Business of Beauty Global Forum is also an event that CHAILEEDO had been paying close attention to. This forum has invited 47 industry professionals, including Jane Lauder, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Marketing and Chief Data Officer at Estée Lauder, Jean-André Rougeot, President and CEO of Sephora Americas, and Cécile Lochard, Chief Sustainability Officer at Guerlain.
During the forum, representatives from leading global beauty and fashion companies, entrepreneurs, and executives jointly conducted a two-day in-depth discussion on the beauty industry’s current situation and development direction, finding growth opportunities, and how to build customer relationships.
Notably, CHAILEEDO observed the presence of domestic Chinese brands for the first time at this year’s forum. Gabby YJ Chen, Global Expansion President of Florasis, presented the Eastern culture and aesthetics embodied by the Florasis brand under the topic “What does beauty mean today?” to the global beauty industry. It is worth mentioning that Florasis is the only Chinese beauty brand invited to the forum since its inception.
Practice is the basis for authority
As the first and only Chinese beauty brand invited to participate in the forum, Florasis shared the stage with Estée Lauder and other industry leaders to voice their opinions on the beauty industry. Why?
Any theory or concept gains credibility and authority when it is grounded in practical application. In fact, since the launch of its international expansion strategy in 2021, Florasis has already sparked a global trend of pursuing “Chinese makeup” and “Eastern aesthetics,” using cosmetics as a medium and culture as its foundation.
CHAILEEDO also learned that BoF’s invitation for Florasis to participate in the forum was based on Florasis’ influence among global beauty consumers and its representation of unique and charming Eastern culture and aesthetics.
“At the beginning, as a Chinese brand that had only been established for a few years, Florasis did not plan to go global so quickly,” Gabby shared the opportunities and journey of Florasis’ overseas expansion during the forum.
Looking back on Florasis’ expansion journey, Gabby shared a story: last year, a Japanese TV production team believed that the artistic quality of Florasis products perfectly matched their needs. They hoped to use Florasis’ Floral Engraving Phoenix Makeup Palette and Engraved Lipstick as makeup products in their TV drama.
This made Gabby realize that “Florasis’ Eastern culture and aesthetics have a shared understanding and uniqueness worldwide. Florasis hopes to convey this beauty, which originates from Eastern culture and is combined with global fashion trends, to everyone, injecting new vitality into the diverse world of beauty. Our products and inside Eastern culture and aesthetics have been widely welcomed by consumers worldwide.”
After two years, Florasis’ products and the inside Eastern culture and aesthetics have gained widespread recognition from global consumers. According to Gabby, “Last year, our products satisfaction rate for sales outside of China exceeded 96%, with a return rate below 1%.” As of now, Florasis’ overseas social media accounts have a total of over 2 million followers, and consumers from more than 100 countries and regions have purchased Florasis’ products.
It is worth mentioning that, unlike most Chinese brands that initially target Southeast Asia when expanding overseas, CHAILEEDO has learned that since Florasis began its global expansion in 2021, over half of its overseas sales have come from highly developed beauty markets such as the United States and Japan.
In fact, unlike some domestic Chinese brands that adapt to local customs in their international expansion efforts to accelerate brand awareness and sales conversion, CHAILEEDO has learned that Florasis shows no compromise in promoting Eastern aesthetics. For example, Florasis’ signature product, the Blooming Rouge Love Lock Lipstick, features an embossed design depicting a love story from over 2,000 years ago in China—Zhang Chang painted eyebrows.
Gabby YJ Chen, Global Expansion President of Florasis, photographer: Matteo Prandoni, Rowben Lantion
Nowadays, overseas consumers of Florasis are also familiar with this story. During the Han Dynasty, an official named Zhang Chang would spend time every morning drawing eyebrows for his wife, which caused him to be late to meet the emperor. However, when the emperor learned of the reason behind his tardiness, he did not punish Zhang. This incident not only became a popular tale of the time but also became one of the classic stories of Chinese people expressing their love implicitly.
As Gabby said, “If Florasis doesn’t engrave this story on lipstick, this story would only remain in the history textbooks for Chinese students.” Today, through the Blooming Rouge Love Lock Lipstick, Florasis has brought this unique Chinese love story to the world.
Indeed, the journey of Florasis’ overseas expansion can be considered as its process of exporting Chinese cosmetics, Chinese quality, Chinese culture, and aesthetics to the world. From the various examples mentioned above, apparently for Florasis, whether it is actively promoting the brand’s international presence or participating in this forum, there is only one goal—to make classics recognized by the modern world and to make the Eastern culture recognized by the world.
Building the Chinese fashion system
With the development of global economic integration, it is a trend for Chinese brands to go global. If a Chinese brand wants to tell a story to the world, it must first establish a deep relationship with the world, and only by establishing a position in a certain field can we seek better development.
From the perspective of the fashion industry, where beauty products are located, the West has always dominated the international fashion discourse system.
In this situation, it is of great practical significance for Chinese local fashion to seek fashion discourse power globally.
As a fashion industry insider pointed out, fashion symbols and cultural values are often achieved through brands. Apparently, as the only and first Chinese beauty brand to participate in the BoF forum, Florasis’ journey of going global not only proves the quality and charm of Chinese brands but also brings traditional Chinese culture to overseas markets, making Chinese and Eastern beauty recognized by the world. The Florasis brand’s design, which is deeply rooted in Eastern aesthetics, has also won over many overseas consumers, reflecting the potential of Chinese aesthetics to become an international trend.
“Over the 5,000 years of history in China, the unique beauty of the Eastern culture has been nurtured. Florasis is undoubtedly a model that perfectly combines modern aesthetics with the beauty of traditional Chinese culture,” An experienced industry insider commented on Florasis.
Gabby YJ Chen, Global Expansion President of Florasis, photographer: Matteo Prandoni, Rowben Lantion
From consumers to the beauty industry, fashion media, and national news and information agencies, the global influence of the brand has been widely recognized.
Historically, every adjustment in national strength has brought a shift in cultural centers and fashion centers. With the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, there is a global craze for Hanfu (traditional Han Chinese clothing), cultural relics, and intangible cultural heritage. Traditional Chinese culture is systematically gathering a torrent of values, showcasing the accumulated heritage of five thousand years to the world.
As important carriers of cultural communication and fashion development, fashion brands such as Florasis, Li-Ning, and Bosideng, which are highly distinctive in Chinese style, have bravely gone global while steadfastly choosing to integrate Chinese culture into their brand innovation and design innovation. They have taken on a leading role in building the Chinese fashion system on the world stage.
Undoubtedly, the shift in fashion discourse power is not something that can be achieved overnight. However, it can be foreseen that with the gathering of new forces represented by Chinese brands like Florasis, and the promotion of the construction of a Chinese fashion discourse system rooted in Chinese culture, there will be a revolutionary change in the global fashion industry development landscape.