[Herald Interview] How Imvely grew to become South Korean ladies’s style and sweetness icon

In simply 5 years, a younger and vibrant style model has turn into a staple for younger South Korean ladies. 

Im Ji-hyun, Imvely’s spokesperson and artistic director, mentioned it began with a real curiosity in what to put on and how you can placed on make-up.

“Like most different ladies, I’ve all the time been fascinated with garments and cosmetics. But since I couldn’t afford a wide range of them, I usually favored to mess around with what I had and blend and match,” Im informed The Korea Herald at her workplace within the Gasan-dong space of Seoul. 

Im Ji-hyun, inventive director at Imvely, poses for a photograph throughout an interview with The Korea Herald in her workplace in Gasan-dong, Seoul. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

Imvely is taken into account one of the crucial profitable first-generation on-line style procuring malls. The shopping center has opened 16 offline branches since its 2015 launch, together with a store on the Lotte Department Store Young Plaza in Jung-gu, Seoul. 

According to Bugun FNC, Imvely’s mom firm, gross sales of Imvely are rising steadily, having recorded 75 billion received ($66 million) in income final yr. The firm expects this yr’s gross sales to surpass 150 billion received. 

An essential engine behind the model is social media, and Im is the star. She promotes the merchandise primarily on her Instagram web page, which has round 830,000 followers.

But not like the trendy, luxurious life her followers see, a typical day for Im is stuffed with much less glamorous duties resembling checking client suggestions and attending limitless enterprise conferences.

“I do know that my Instagram performed a task in Imvely’s reputation. But this additionally signifies that I’m uncovered to client suggestions 24/7,” mentioned Im. 

“But I imagine communication with our clients by numerous completely different channels, together with my Instagram, grew to become a supply of Imvely’s reputation and success as a result of we (instantly) hear from them and study what they need,” Im added. 

As inventive director, she is in control of making selections for all Imvely merchandise, from selecting materials to confirming designs and product packaging — even dealing with logistics points. 

“Due to my assertive nature, I’m concerned in virtually all work processes right here. I can, and need to, confidently say that I do know all about our model and may clarify something to clients,” Im mentioned.

Imvely is a ladies’s clothes model underneath Bugun FNC, an organization established and operated by Im’s husband, Park Jun-sung. Bugun FNC presently operates three different manufacturers, together with one of the crucial profitable males’s on-line retailers, Mutnam.

The couple’s shopping center enterprise started earlier than they acquired married, and Im modeled ladies’s outfits on the launch of Imvely.

Since then, as CEO of Bugun FNC, Park is chargeable for the general enterprise of Imvely whereas Im offers with sensible issues resembling design and promotional actions.

This yr, Imvely has even ventured into offline gross sales abroad.

Imvely opened its first US retailer in January in Buena Park Mall close to Los Angeles. In September, it opened an offline retailer within the Lumine 2 mall in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district. It additionally conducts on-line gross sales by Tmall, a business-to-customer on-line mall that spun off from China’s Alibaba Group. 

“We do plan on increasing our model to new markets in several areas like Southeast Asia, however not now. We need to focus and set up a strong basis within the markets that we have now entered to date. I feel we need to make a deliberate selection (when it comes to opening new shops abroad) in order that the model can take pleasure in a long term,” Im mentioned. 

Many take into account Imvely to be the subsequent Style Nanda, the most important on-line shopping center bought by L’Oreal in June.

But Im mentioned Imvely wouldn’t be transferring in that route.

“(Stylenanda and Imvely) are completely different varieties of companies with completely different enterprise objectives. Considering that we make a model that’s customer-centered, Imvely and Vely Vely are manufacturers that want clients’ assist to develop and turn into higher,” Im mentioned.

Vely Vely is a cosmetics model that Im launched in 2015. 

Im pointed to Vely Vely’s Artemisia Balance Essence as a product that represents the corporate’s enterprise philosophy.

[Herald Interview] How Imvely grew to become South Korean ladies’s style and sweetness icon
Vely Vely’s Artemisia Balance Essence (Imvely)

Despite its not-so-cheap worth — 43,000 received for a 150-milliliter bottle — over 130,000 bottles have been offered inside a month after its launch, though the corporate by no means did any promoting. 

Soon after launching, Vely Vely’s essence was chosen as essentially the most bought merchandise at duty-free shops in Korea.

“It was solely phrase of mouth that led to these record-breaking gross sales in such a brief interval. From the early stage of creating a product, we referred to concepts from our clients who needed us to create skin-care merchandise. That’s why we nonetheless modify our merchandise primarily based on their suggestions,” mentioned Im, including that that is additionally how Vely Vely determined to launch a 300-milliliter model of the product.

When requested about Imvely’s rivals, Im mentioned she’d had no rivals from the start, nor had she had any position fashions.

“Starting my enterprise, I made a decision to not have a task mannequin or rival. Because I needed to make a model that has by no means existed earlier than. I do have a look at different manufacturers’ merchandise for reference, however I largely attempt to hear what our clients need and create a product primarily based on that as a result of they’re those who love and buy our merchandise,” Im mentioned. 

“I feel I used to be born with a extremely aggressive spirit. That’s why I like to work and need to develop my model. I need to all the time excel at every part. I push myself to do higher,” she mentioned, including that she feels a grave sense of duty, as her enterprise is known as after her and is predicated on her picture. 

“But most significantly, I need to turn into a proud mother. Spending time with my 6-month-old son after work is the happiest a part of my day, to be trustworthy,” Im mentioned.

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(Video shot and edited by Choi Ji-won/The Korea Herald)

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)

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