Target teams up with K-beauty guru Alicia Yoon

Dive Brief:

  • Target on Monday announced a collaboration with Alicia Yoon’s Peach & Lily, a “K-beauty” curation site and blog. Yoon and Peach & Lily have chosen several Korean cosmetics and personal care products, which will be featured in select stores and online, according to a post on Target's Bullseye blog.

  • “K-beauty” refers generally to personal care and beauty brands from South Korea; products are thought of as cutting edge and innovative and tend to include exotic ingredients, from bio-tech-y elements like “Sc-glucan” to more “natural” additives like snails, with a focus on a multi-step beauty routine.

  • Yoon’s Peach & Lily is arguably one of the most influential “K-beauty” blogs and e-commerce sites.

Dive Insight:

The K-beauty trend has exploded in the past couple of years, but shows no sign of fizzling, so Target is surfing a wave it could ride for a while. The approach is a retailer's dream, considering the penchant for a multi-step beauty routine involving a host of products. South Korean beauty bloggers remain influential, and the overall vibe of the whole K-beauty way — a combination of edgy, innovative and fun — covers a lot of bases.

So Target is not only on trend here, it’s also on firm footing. And the mass retailer has chosen to go with one of the most influential K-beauty gurus of them all, self-described “beauty nerd” Yoon. It's not a surprise coming from Target — the retailer innovated the mass market-designer collaboration in the eighties, after it realized it wasn't about to win a price war with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. After straying from that mode, the merchandise differentiation that comes with such collaborations is back under CEO Brian Cornell, including a venture with modernist lifestyle company Dwell.

K-beauty is especially smart because the niche includes a variety of brands at various price points, and carries with it a multi-layered sensibility that may not be possible in a collaboration with one upscale or more popular brand.

“I’ve always admired Target's commitment to working with different brands to introduce new on-trend products, and have personally enjoyed shopping many of their past partnerships,” Yoon said on the company’s Bullseye blog. "I’m thrilled to share my expertise with a new audience, and I hope this curation of some of my favorite K-beauty items helps Target guests find new ways to care for their skin. I am truly honored to play a role in the continued evolution of Target’s Beauty offerings.”

Alicia Yoon’s K-beauty picks will be available on and in select stores starting Jan. 15, with prices ranging from $3.50 to $38.

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Top image credit: Flickr, Jay Reed