Prestige makeup is getting a new player.
Addiction Tokyo, the trendy Kosé Corporation-owned makeup brand, is making its U.S. debut, starting Friday at Bloomingdale’s. Prices for eye, cheek, nail and lip products, which include its hero eye shadows available in more than 90 shades and six textures, range from $10 to $52.
Taking the brand Stateside is part of Kosé’s larger strategic goal of penetrating the U.S. market. As reported, the company aims to quadruple the U.S. business by 2026. Akira Matsubara, Kosé’s chief executive officer of the Americas and Europe, Middle East and Africa, said the launch fits his game plan for hitting those sales targets.
“The first [priority] is to amplify the Japanese approach to beauty and wellness globally, and the second point is to develop competitive brands and expand their global presence,” he said.
Matsubara didn’t comment on sales, but industry sources estimate the collection’s sales could reach $10 million during its first year in the U.S. He’s thinking that the artistry-driven ethos of the brand will resonate with prestige consumers. “Our mission in the U.S. is to create a medium for self discovery and a celebration of artistry with every individual,” he said. “Addiction Tokyo is where beauty is not defined, but instead liberated to be its most authentic and vibrant.”
He added that the U.S. is globally the largest makeup market, and after focusing on Japan, China and Asia, the Americas made a natural next step. “U.S. interest in Japanese beauty is increasing year by year,” he said. “The U.S. market is bigger, more dynamic, more diversified than the Japanese makeup market.”
Addiction Tokyo’s global creative director, Kanako Takase, will also be taking the brand to New York Fashion Week following the Bloomingdale’s launch. The goal is to augment Addiction Tokyo’s brand awareness through social media coverage of the shows, while also becoming a staple for professional makeup artists.
“I deeply connect to the brand philosophy and its roots in makeup artistry. My goal is to help people everywhere by creating quality makeup products that have pro performance in mind yet are easy to use so that everyone can discover the artist in themselves,” Takase said via email. “I want people to enjoy and embrace their own beauty but not be afraid to explore and experiment with a variety of looks, colors, textures and products.”
The Bloomingdale’s launch will also include a monthlong pop-up at the retailer’s 59th Street flagship. “Japanese stores tend to spend a lot of time on one customer with Japanese hospitality, which is called ‘omotanashi,’” Matsubara said, of the brand’s retail strategy. “They don’t push any product, but are tuned in to what the customer really wants to have.”
Though the brand will eventually expand beyond that, Matsubara said his focus is first getting Addiction Tokyo on solid footing. “For the first three years or five years, we are very ambitious,” he said. “But for the first two years, we want to focus on solidifying the brand equity. In order to do that, we want to focus on makeup artists rather than put everything everywhere.”