‘We have had K-Beauty and J-beauty, now it’s time for S-beauty,’ says Ellen af Petersens, co-founder of new Swedish beauty brand Colekt. She referring to Scandinavian beauty and points out that while fashion and design have taken great strides in her country, high end beauty brands are in short supply. So, in 2017 she joined forces with fellow Stockholmer Susanne Vennerstrand, hired a chemist and the design team at Acne (who launched Byredo a decade ago) and set about creating a clean, green, vegan range.
The first drop, in March, consists of Reward, an oak root face oil (185€ for 30 ml) and Reclaim, a face mist made of mulberry leaf (83€ for 50 ml). They are followed, in May, by three colognes concentrés made with notes of pink pepper and lavandin, osmanthus and cardamom. ‘Everything is made from plant-based ingredients inspired by Swedish flora,’ explains af Petersens, whose mother is a herbalist. The pair worked with perfumers in Grasse and test-ran their products on busy, urban friends who like unisex fragrances in cool, recyclable packing (the grey bottles are inspired by the Swedish archipelago).
By the end of the year, all ten Colekt products - which stretch from super serums to soaps and candles — will be available online and at select retailers in Copenhagen, New York, Berlin, London, Paris and Stockholm. ‘We want to harvest the best from nature and create a global beauty house,’ says Vennerstrand. ‘Byredo did it, so why can’t we?’
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Emma O'Kelly is a contributing editor at Wallpaper*. She joined the magazine on issue 4 as news editor and since since then has worked in full and part time roles across many editorial departments. She is a freelance journalist based in London and works for a range of titles from Condé Nast Traveller to The Telegraph. She is currently working on a book about Scandinavian sauna culture and is renovating a mid century house in the Italian Lakes.
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