23 December 2009

An Interview With... Julian Kynaston, Founder and Chairman

Following on from Kate's interview yesterday I managed to grab a moment with Julian, Founder and Chairman of Illamasqua [not easy this close to Christmas!] to ask him for his personal highlights of 2009...

What has been your greatest personal achievement of the past 12 months?

To see that Illamasqua has gained a foothold in the world of beauty in just 14 short months.

To be proud and able to say that we have remained true to the principles we designed the brand around at the outset; these have best been seen through the originality of our collections – especially Dystopia - and also the way we have helped build the S.O.P.H.I.E Foundation in such a hands-on way. If I was to name a single achievement I think it has to be that we have managed to enter into a very corporate world and yet develop some very individual and special relationships with bloggers, press and consumers.

What do you think has been the defining moment of the past 12 months for Illamasqua?

I think that when we had some criticism earlier in the year – as reported by a top Youtuber [ colour pay off on some of our Powder Eye Shadows]- we were faced with an ‘ignore it or respond’ decision. We didn’t hesitate in choosing the latter and in doing so I think we showed everybody that we are a genuine organisation and are made of flesh and blood. We will remain to learn fast and are committed to delivering 'best in class' product in a way that makes the pulse race. Sometimes constructive criticism is a crucial part of that journey and commitment.

What are your targets for Illamasqua next year?

Keep the difference. Resist the norm. Extend the range [the next collection is amazing even by our standards].

Do you think Illamasqua has achieved it's aim of spreading the word of tolerance and self expression?

Nowhere near. But the important thing is that we have started the journey and got the ball rolling. We know for a fact that we deliver far more than sales in the beauty halls we exist in – we deliver an excitement and we are an inspiration for consumers and to the staff of other make up brands too! So many of our staff have experienced intolerance for the way they have chosen to look and live their lives. Together I know that we have inspired many people to be more confident in their look and many more to push beyond personal and social boundaries for the first time.

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