MBX, Sephora Co-create Korean Skin-care Brand, Otzi

MBX, formerly Memebox, and Sephora are collaborating on a second K-beauty brand.

The two have co-created Otzi, a five-product, skin-care line that is vegan, cruelty-free, PETA-certified and approved by the retailer’s Clean at Sephora initiative. Otzi will launch on Dec. 16 in the U.S., with prices ranging from $25 to $35.

Otzi’s launch comes two years after that of Kaja, the K-beauty makeup line created by MBX and Sephora. Dino Ha, MBX’s chief executive officer and cofounder, said that after finding success with Kaja’s Beauty Bento eyeshadow — which, at one point, was the top eyeshadow at Sephora, whose biggest makeup category is eyeshadow — he and the retailer began to ideate skin-care brands.

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“I majored in environmental engineering in school, so I’m glad that the world is heading that way,” Ha said. “[Otzi’s] product line doesn’t have secondary packaging. The best way to be sustainable is to not produce.”

The packaging and campaign imagery seem to be intentional efforts to position Otzi as a gender-neutral brand — another point of differentiation between it and the rest of Sephora’s matrix. Ha called gender neutrality a “pillar” of K-beauty. South Korea is reportedly the world’s largest men’s beauty market.

Otzi plans to work with influencers within the Gen Z age range and microinfluencer tier — a strategy meant to foster greater social media engagement.

“We want to do more of a bottom-up approach in terms of the community or engaging with ambassadors,” Ha said.

The brand aims to further encourage engagement through a texting program that will allow customers to receive alerts for product recommendations and information, new launches and promotions.

“We wanted to make sure that we not only do customer service, but we offer the community aspect of it and guidance through texting,” Ha said.

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