Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Beauty festival ‘Seoul Beauty Week’… But what about small and medium-sized businesses?


What do women in Seoul apply and spray? How far has K-beauty come? What kind of technology does a young, strong brand have?


A festival was held to enjoy applying K-beauty. Seoul Beauty Week brings together people from the beauty industry, Seoul citizens, and foreign tourists.


Seoul City (Mayor Oh Se-hoon) held ‘2023 Seoul Beauty Week’ at Dongdaemun Design Plaza from September 21st to 24th. This is an expo that promotes the cutting-edge technology of Seoul, a globally attractive city. In its second year, it has grown into an event that goes beyond beauty and encompasses lifestyle.


This year, the scale was doubled from last year. About 100 K-beauty companies showcased their products and technologies.


Introduction to cutting-edge cosmetics and beauty tech


The 2023 Seoul Beauty Week consists of four spaces: △ High-tech Enterprise Hall, △ Small and Medium Business Hall, △ Lifestyle Seoul Special Hall, and △ Citizen Participation Hall.


The high-tech enterprise pavilion presented global beauty trends. 27 companies participated, including Amore Pacific, Kolmar Korea, L’Oréal Korea, and Olive Young.


The Small and Medium Business Pavilion displayed vegan and organic cosmetics targeting MZ consumers. Promising small and medium-sized businesses opened booths and introduced cosmetics, living, and fashion products.


The Lifestyle Seoul special pavilion displayed products that lead a cutting-edge lifestyle.


The citizen participation space was set up at DDP Oullim Square. Visitors experienced cosmetics and cutting-edge beauty tech technology.


New Beauty = Hyper-personalization, indie brand, co-creation



Various beauty expert seminars were also held.


‘Beyond K-Beauty, towards New Beauty’. This is the topic of Lee Young-jin, Executive Director of Amore Pacific’s Next Beauty Division. The explanation is that they are trying hyper-personalized services such as Custom Me, Tone Work, and Cosme Chip, with the topic of 'customized cosmetics'.


‘Commercialization of media. Mediaization of commerce. D2C. 'Indie brand.' This is the online platform trend for 2024 predicted by Seo Gwi-saeng, head of Curly’s product division. In particular, he put forward the formula of ‘luxury = premium = indie’. He saw a world where products become brands, and specialized brands in specific areas as promising.


L'Oréal Korea held the 'North Asia Beauty Triangle Summit'. The future of beauty was presented through the Korea-China-Japan Co-Creation strategy. The idea is to create an innovation ecosystem based on K-beauty's speed, creativity, soft power, OEM, and ODM technology.


There was also an opportunity to discover promising startups. Six companies, including Amore Pacific, Kolmar Korea, Olive Young, and Clio, participated in the 'Business Meetup Pitching Contest' to select startups with technological capabilities.


“Small and medium-sized businesses are ignored”


“Where on earth is the Small and Medium Business Center?”


Seoul Beauty Week runs in the following order: DDP subway station → Oullim Square → Art Hall 1 and 2. The small business pavilion was located in Art Hall 2. Unlike Art Hall 1, the main event venue, it is a remote place. Complaints arose that one had to move along a passageway and that it was difficult to even find the entrance. A booth where no one is looking and only the cold wind blows. The participating companies also sighed deeply. There were criticisms that the company was serving as a guest at a large company's banquet, borrowing only the name of a small business.


On the 21st, the CEO of small and medium-sized company A said on Facebook, “I can’t find the small and medium-sized brand booth. After wandering around for a while, I passed the long hallway at the entrance and saw that only small and medium-sized brands were having separate exhibitions. “Most visitors pass by the small and medium-sized brand hall without even knowing where it is,” he said, asking about the basic purpose of the event.


In response to this, Kim Eui-seung, the first vice mayor of Seoul, said on the 22nd, “We will strengthen music, announcements, and staff to attract small and medium-sized businesses. A guide sign will be placed at the connecting entrance leading from Art Hall Building 1 to Building 2. “We plan to make every effort from the event planning stage to ensure that small and medium-sized businesses do not feel left out in the future.”