Kendo: story of a winning formula

In the past two years, Kendo launched three brands, acquired two, and created a multitude of digital platforms. “We are focusing”, emphasises Sylvie Rouaix, Vice President Product Development, “on continuing to make these brands the best brands they can be – global beauty leaders, digitally prolific and socially active”. Story of an original approach…


MakeUp in…™:
Could you please briefly tell us how/why Kendo was created.

Sylvie Rouaix: KENDO was originally created as a private-label product development arm of Sephora, the world’s leading beauty retailer, to satiate the appetite for new brands and collaborations in the beauty world. Now, still a part of the LVMH group, the world’s largest leading luxury products group, KENDO operates independently from the beauty retailer to focus on the development of global beauty brands with long-term potential. Blending expertise in product development, strategic marketing and operations, KENDO is redefining the beauty landscape through original concepts, collaborations and acquisitions.

MakeUp in…™: A novel concept in line with the establishment of Sephora in the United States. Do you plan on extending this concept outside the United States?

Sylvie Rouaix: Sephora remains a valued and vital distribution partner to KENDO, and a part of the LVMH group. Many of KENDO’s brands are already global like Marc Jacobs Beauty and Kat Von D, and we plan on extending that reach beyond the current 24 countries that they are distributed in.

MakeUp in…™: Today, how many brands have been created and what are their main characteristics?

Sylvie Rouaix: The KENDO-created beauty landscape includes Marc Jacobs Beauty, Kat Von D, FORMULA X, Elizabeth and James fragrances, as well as two acquisitions – Bite Beauty and Ole Henriksen.

Marc Jacobs Beauty is the eponymous colour cosmetics line from the famed designer; with over 120 skus, it captures the designer’s famed irreverent nature and encourages clients to discover luxury reinvented with his first to market formulas, sleek packaging, expansive colour range and cheeky product names.

Kat Von D is high-performance makeup with long wear, rich pigments, and full coverage from the famed tattoo artist and TV star, herself. With a wide variety of colours, edgy packaging and easy-to-use componentry, Kat Von D Beauty has quickly become an unexpected cult-favourite amongst consumers and experts, alike, and exemplifies the fusion of glamorous, old Hollywood and edgy rock ’n’ roll.

FORMULA X is a revolutionary collection of over 200 bold lacquers that marks the next in nail. Boasting brilliant shine, extraordinary staying power, never-before-seen effects and an unprecedented range of standout shades, FORMULA X fuses art and science to give clients optimal results. It exists at the crossroads of technology and beauty, efficiency and fun.

Elizabeth and James, the upscale-urban fashion line designed by Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen, created two distinct fragrances for her – Nirvana White and Nirvana Black – to reflect the celebration of intimacy as well as individuality. These alluring scents distil the duality between feminine sophistication and tailored structure, with a contemporary, yet timeless aesthetic tailored to the modern girl’s cool, unconventional style.

Bite Beauty is a lip line that features highly pigmented, trend-forward color palettes with hydrating formulas infused with food-grade ingredients. With treatment and color products, lips feel as gorgeous as they look.

Ole Henriksen is a top skincare brand that blends the power of nature and science through custom formulas of potent actives and soothing botanicals into multitasking anti aging wonders, inspired by the founder’s Danish heritage, global travels and trailblazing Hollywood spa.

MakeUp in…™: What are your short and medium term creation projects?

Sylvie Rouaix: In the past two years, we have launched 3 brands, acquired 2, and created a multitude of digital platforms. We are focusing on continuing to make these brands the best brands they can be – global beauty leaders, digitally prolific and socially active.