Q&A: Shiko Beauty Collective bridges the gap between J-Beauty brands and the US market

By Cassandra Stern

- Last updated on GMT

“What makes Shiko unique is that we are the only platform that fills the gap between the latest Japanese skin care brands who want to expand their business in the US, and the US local beauty consumers who demands more diverse portfolio,” said Midori McGivern, Marketing Director of Shiko Beauty Collective. © RUNSTUDIO Getty Images
“What makes Shiko unique is that we are the only platform that fills the gap between the latest Japanese skin care brands who want to expand their business in the US, and the US local beauty consumers who demands more diverse portfolio,” said Midori McGivern, Marketing Director of Shiko Beauty Collective. © RUNSTUDIO Getty Images

Related tags j-beauty e-commerce Consumer trends

In this Q&A, we learned more about Shiko Beauty Collective’s unique positioning in the US cosmetics and personal care product spaces, the brand’s curation process, emphasis on Japanese beauty principles, and commitment to cultural representation in beauty.

The popularity of J-Beauty products in the US market continues to climb in 2024, with data insight firm Future Market Insights reporting a 5.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next decade. In the beauty space, e-retailer brand Shiko Beauty Collective stands as a pillar of innovation and cultural exchange, bridging the gap between the rich traditions of Japanese skin care and the diverse palette of the US market.

With an eye for exclusivity and a commitment to nurturing skin health, Shiko is working to bring a curated selection of J-Beauty brands to US consumers. In this Q&A, we interviewed Midori McGivern, Marketing Director of Shiko Beauty Collective, as she sheds light on what sets Shiko apart from other J-Beauty e-retailers, the meticulous curation process led by experts like Hinako Sugioka and the brand's vision for cultural representation amidst emerging trends in the cosmetics market.

CDU: What makes Shiko unique in bringing exclusive J-Beauty brands to the US market?

Midori McGivern (MM)​: What makes Shiko unique is that we are the only platform that fills the gap between the latest Japanese skin care brands wanting to expand their business in the US and the US local beauty consumers demanding a more diverse portfolio. Mitsui, one of the largest conglomerates, is behind Shiko, so we possess the capacity to reach the local level in Japan.

Further, we are exclusively unique, as Dlab is our partner, too, so our team now consists of experts in beauty and skin care in Japan and the US.

We know some traditional Japanese cosmetic brands are operating here in the US, but US consumers demand more of what Japan can offer. Shiko has carefully chosen simple yet efficacious, unique brands and products to meet their needs and expectations: most of the brands we selected are established by medical doctors and scientists and skin experts to bring unique texture and visible results.

CDU: How does Shiko select its brands, and what role does J-beauty expert Hinako Sugioka play in the curation process?

MM​: Our team has many chemists, and beauty and skin care experts. Hinako is one of them; she played an essential role in our first curation
process of our launch and keeps an eye on the skin care & beauty trends in Japan.

At the same time, we have more experts on our team to grow our business further: Kyoko Getz, Director of Education, and Tracy O’Connor, Creative Brand Director, who possesses in-depth knowledge about the US skin care market. Also, I came from L’Oréal, where I played various senior marketing roles in both prestige and mass beauty channels.

Further, Jim Berklot, VP at Dlab, knows the latest ingredients and manufacturing process. With our full members, we can select the right brands and products and offer possible local productions in the future to support our partner brands.

CDU: What are the core elements of Japanese beauty that Shiko emphasizes?

MM​: Our core elements have been consistent since the beginning. Japanese skin care is about nurturing and nourishing skin with mindful care and routines.

We do not rely on a quick temporal solution or use too aggressive ingredients to risk skin damage. We know how to get beautiful skin without going through pain; our routines offer an easy transition to great skin with preventative values.

Japanese are known for longevity, and with our long history and tradition, we know how to achieve healthy, beautiful skin for a long time, which matches the demands of US consumers.

CDU: What brands can we expect to see added to Shiko's platform, and how will it maintain exclusivity while expanding?

MM​: We are planning to bring more brands and products that emphasize our value, which is to nourish and nurture skin to build a healthy
radiance. As Japanese local consumers demand high standards in skin care, they are keen on the latest skin care ingredients and technologies that are combined with fast absorption, great texture, and excellent results while it does not impose a considerable side effect/risk to the skin.

With this consumer demand, local brands are constantly innovating. As Japanese brands tend to play local, we are here to support them in growing with us. SHIKO is not only seeking exclusive partners, but our online partners also tend to be exclusive.

CDU: How does Shiko align with emerging trends in the US cosmetics market?

MM​: Now is the perfect timing for Shiko to expand further in the US market. As mentioned, the the US market has become more diverse to appreciate different types of skin care routines and products. Also, the anti-aging skin care needs are stronger than ever.

Our high-quality Japanese, unique brands and products have been well appreciated by local US consumers who are looking for the latest unique, high-quality innovations from Japan. For example, our Dr. Medion brand offers unique carboxy skin therapy home care, which brings “professional facial results” at home—this is in line with the big trend in the US market.

CDU: What expertise does Hinako Sugioka bring, and how does Shiko position itself as a thought leader?

MM​: Hinako, as a Product Curator, used her skill to select the right partners with the right US consumer trend. We carefully selected our partnered brands to offer premium, unique, high-performance Japanese skin care brands.

As mentioned above, we have a bigger team consisting of skin care technology, products, and texture/sensory experts. We aim to establish Shiko Beauty Collective as the leading J-Beauty platform, bringing the latest Japanese unique, high-performing brands and products to the US market.

CDU: How does Shiko promote cultural representation, particularly during AAPI Month?

MM​: We will honor the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May. It will be an important moment for us, as it will be our first time celebrating our far east Asian – Japanese heritage. We are proud to present our celebration via our AAPI campaign. We will also create
content to share Japanese beauty tips, tricks, and daily habits and showcase each of our team member’s favorite items, beauty tips, etc.

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