“In a society filled with time-starved executives and skincare users overly spoilt for choice, it was a winning concept.”
New York-based Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz have been partners for a quarter of a century already, launching globally successful skincare and beauty brand, Malin+Goetz, 14 years ago.
"While I am from the beauty industry," Malin shares, "it was really Andrew's idea to partner professionally. Coming from the design world and having an insight into beauty on my side, Andrew suggested that we could create a brand to make skincare simple for people to use. We could use design to tell our story, and fill a void for family-owned-and-run businesses, one that customers favour. It was a now-or-never moment in our personal and professional lives. Launching a brand is both exciting and frightening, especially as a self-funded venture. We could not afford to fail."
Thus Malin+Goetz was born, a design-driven skincare line offering simple solutions for busy, no-fuss people who didn't want to go through multiple questionnaires just to choose a single face cream; people who wanted something bright, chic and ultimately results-driven. In a society filled with time-starved executives and skincare users overly spoilt for choice, it was a winning concept. While other skincare brands today try to outdo one another with new ingredients and ever more categories of products, Malin and Goetz have remained true to their simple and basic philosophy.
But just how have they managed to hold it all together – without killing each other? "Separation, literally and figuratively," says Malin. "We have separate offices and schedules, dividing the workload to our individual strengths." This means Malin, who has worked as a cosmetics buyer for Barneys New York as well as Kiehl's, focuses on sales and marketing, product development and retail shops, while Goetz oversees manufacturing, creativity, operations and the company's substantial amenity programme.
Malin+Goetz's first product was the Grapefruit Facial Cleanser, which continues to draw rave reviews and still holds the title as the second best-selling product in the company line-up. It's also the first step in the daily skincare regimes of both gentlemen.
"New York, like Hong Kong, is very hot and humid in the summer – Grapefruit Facial Cleanser is my go-to to thoroughly cleanse the summer grit from my skin," chimes in Goetz. "I'll follow up with our Vitamin E Face Moisturizer, which is oil-free and absorbs really quickly. As the weather cools, I'll switch between our Facial Cleansing Oil and Jojoba Face Scrub. Since it is drier, I like to use our very hydrating Advanced Renewal Cream and Recovery Treatment Oil."
"I suffer from rosacea, eczema, seborrhea and fragrance allergies," moans Malin. "Grapefruit Face Cleanser was developed to thoroughly wash away the grime of New York City while remaining gentle enough for extremely sensitive skin (as is our brand philosophy)." He also loves the Replenishing Face Serum and the Revitalizing Eye Gel.
Both men are more than aware of the important role health plays, both in skincare and in general well-being. They are both runners who hit the gym regularly, and watch what they eat.
With their mutual love for design and beauty, coupled with sheer determination, Malin+Goetz is poised for growth, even after 14 years since its inception, as evidenced by the recent opening of its first flagship store in Asia at ifc mall earlier this year. The duo won't rest until global expansion and recognition is complete. "I am from the Midwest and was raised from immigrant grandparents and parents with a strong work ethic," says Malin. "Andrew's parents are competitive and entrepreneurial. Those are all qualities that form the foundation and ethos of our business."