Premium Beauty News - The IEVA group you created has just purchased the L’Atelier du Sourcil network. What are your ambitions?
Jean Michel Karam - I am an entrepreneur. After MEMSCAP, which I listed on the Stock Exchange in 2001, I founded IOMA, and then sold it to Unilever in 2012, though I still headed the brand. In 2016, I created the beauty-oriented IEVA startup. To me, there were quite a lot of interesting things to observe.
First, the growth of e-commerce raises a lot of questions about the future of offline selling. In fact, I think these two distribution modes will last, but offline distribution will undergo transformations that will depend on the progress of online selling.
Secondly, consumers are now quite knowledgeable. They understand that if you do not have real wellness features, beauty features will not be real either. The beauty and wellness transformation has actually taken place.
Lastly, the impact of environmental stress on the ageing of physiological parameters, both skin and hair, is far more significant than that of our genetic capital. The creation of IEVA in 2016 was based on all these observations, and we are now working on the comprehensive solution.
Premium Beauty News - What are the main steps to build up the IEVA solution?
Jean Michel Karam - In 2016, I raised about 3 million euros as part of a first pool to launch the development of part of the solution. It consisted of an application related to a connected jewel which measured the user’s environmental stress to make adapted beauty and nutrition recommendations. This first step took place in June 2019, with a massive deployment in the Marionnaud, Beauty Success, Fnac, Darty networks, and others. Meanwhile, we launched the Elenature hair care range – the first both natural/organic and technical range. It was a powerful launch, so we are now getting new developments ready for this range in 2021. It means that, over six months, we got spectacular results with these launches. Also, I got closer to the IEVA solution as I pictured it in the first place. And here we are, in September 2020: the complete solution is being marketed.
Premium Beauty News - What does this new 2020 step consist in?
Jean Michel Karam - We took three actions at the same time: a second pool which raised a capital of 17 million euros, we purchased L’Atelier du Sourcil, and we launched the new IEVA application featuring a subscription offering, Mon Moi Beauté. It is free and it works on its own or with the connected jewel to provide a highly accurate skin diagnosis using AI and proprietary dermatological patches. Based on the results, a hair and skincare ritual is suggested in the form of subscriptions and the user gets estimates and advice. They can choose between three subscription formulas, and three days later, they receive two skincare products and one hair care product by one of our brands.
We are starting with brands in our ecosystem, IOMA and its sister range M/C for skincare, Elenature for hair care, and L’Atelier du Sourcil for makeup, but we aim to collaborate with other brands.
The three subscriptions, L’Expert, L’Essentiel, and L’Unique, are available for €37.90 to €89.90 per month: every month, you receive three products, plus the connected jewel, and personalized skin or hair care products with the most expensive subscription. All subscriptions are non-binding offers, so you can stop any time. You can save up to 70%, it is non-binding, and you get a personalized solution taking into account your physiological characteristics and way of life. The application regularly sends recommendations, in particular top chef recipes with ingredients adapted to your lifestyle, push articles, etc.
Premium Beauty News - As part of this strategy, what will be the role of L’Atelier du Sourcil, which is a physical network?
Jean Michel Karam - I am mainly focused on a Netflix of Beauty, so choosing offline selling can be surprising, but it should be known that L’Atelier is the leader of eye makeup in France. The 109 stores are not points of sale, but points of experiences. To me, although online selling can cannibalize a big part of offline selling, it will not be able to change experiences and services to the same extent. So, I purchased the undisputed leader of eye makeup, with their very loyal customer base, and in these points of sale I will be able to create points of experiences for IEVA solutions. I do not mean to transform the network into IEVA stores, I just aim to have a point of experience in which the vital community can find a physical post.
As soon as early September, the L’Atelier stores will offer the subscription, which will feature surprises, including makeup products or invitations to Atelier sessions. The L’Atelier range counts 40 references, and the development plan is quite ambitious for next year. We will develop synergies between the two subsidiaries, and the technology provided for L’Atelier will also be massive. There are many innovative solutions to enhance services and solutions as regards personalization according to the face’s morphology.
Premium Beauty News - What are your development projects?
Jean Michel Karam - Our action will consist in making L’Atelier strongly develop. Today, it represents 109 stores, including 49 wholly-owned stores and 64 franchises, and there are countless requests. In France, we will follow a pace of about ten openings a year, half being franchises. But we will focus even more on developing L’Atelier abroad, so the brand is present globally, in Europe and the US. It is also what I aim to do with the IEVA solution: next step will be the US and China.