[Herald Interview] How Imvely turned South Korean girls’s style and sweetness icon

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

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

“Like most different girls, I’ve at all times been fascinated with garments and cosmetics. But since I couldn’t afford quite a lot of them, I usually favored to mess around with what I had and blend and match,” Im advised 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 profitable first-generation on-line style purchasing 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 gained ($66 million) in income final 12 months. The firm expects this 12 months’s gross sales to surpass 150 billion gained. 

An necessary 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 modern, luxurious life her followers see, a typical day for Im is crammed with much less glamorous duties comparable to checking shopper suggestions and attending infinite enterprise conferences.

“I do know that my Instagram performed a job in Imvely’s reputation. But this additionally implies that I’m uncovered to shopper suggestions 24/7,” stated Im. 

“But I consider communication with our prospects by numerous totally different channels, together with my Instagram, turned a supply of Imvely’s reputation and success as a result of we (immediately) hear from them and study what they need,” Im added. 

As inventive director, she is answerable for making choices 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 prospects,” Im stated.

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

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

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

This 12 months, 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 numerous areas like Southeast Asia, however not now. We need to focus and set up a stable basis within the markets that we’ve entered to this point. I believe we need to make a deliberate selection (by way of opening new shops abroad) in order that the model can get pleasure from a future,” Im stated. 

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 stated Imvely wouldn’t be transferring in that route.

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

Vely Vely is a cosmetics model that Im launched in 2014. 

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

[Herald Interview] How Imvely turned South Korean girls’s style and sweetness icon
Vely Vely’s Artemisia Balance Essence (Imvely)

Despite its not-so-cheap value — 43,000 gained for a 150-milliliter bottle — over 130,000 bottles had been bought 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 prospects who wished us to create skin-care merchandise. That’s why we nonetheless modify our merchandise primarily based on their suggestions,” stated 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 stated 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 job mannequin or rival. Because I wished 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 prospects need and create a product primarily based on that as a result of they’re those who love and buy our merchandise,” Im stated. 

“I believe 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 at all times excel at the whole lot. I push myself to do higher,” she stated, including that she feels a grave sense of accountability, as her enterprise is called 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 stated.

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

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