DTC, Supply Chain of the Future &:
KIERIN NYC's Ascent into Fragrance Royalty
"The company authentically embodies the brand owners' bold and uncompromising stance"
KIERIN NYC is an American perfumery brand independently owned and founded by Mona Maine de Biran and her husband, beauty veteran, Didier Maine de Biran. The company authentically embodies the brand owners’ bold and uncompromising stance towards challenging the traditional rules of fragrance through its collection of gender-neutral, cruelty-free, toxin-free, vegan and sustainably sourced premium eau de parfums. Didier’s executive leadership at industry juggernauts like Channel, Clarins, and Bulgari has certainly ensured KIERIN’s place as an emerging brand to watch.
I sat down with Co-Founder Mona Maine de Biran to learn more about KIERIN NYC’s ascent into an internationally recognized brand in under five years.
Mona Maine de Biran stands firmly on the company’s values as the core component of their success. When asked, Mona states that her inspiration for building such a unique brand comes from her position as a mom of two, who wants to offer a line that consumers can feel safe spraying on their skin. Through motherhood, Mona has grown more conscious about the potential chemicals that she is putting onto her children’s bodies and looks at KIERIN as a way to extend the same mantra to other conscious consumers who don’t want to give up their love for premium perfumes.
Like many women-owned companies, Mona takes a “do no harm,” stance. She believes that if new methods of operation need to be explored amongst her team, the least environmentally disruptive and harmonious options should be prioritized to support the overall growth of the business. This ideology has contributed to the continued success of KIERIN NYC since its launch in 2018.
User Experience is “In Vogue”:
KIERIN Targets Tech Savvy Sustainable Buyers for Direct-to-Consumer Led Global Expansion
Mona’s philosophy is to approach KIERIN as a technology forward, heart centered company. She’s constantly listening to the market for new ways to innovate within her team and build more efficient business processes. And as a luxury fragrance brand KIERIN NYC is leveraging their digitally native stance to remain ahead of the curve in their industry. They offer a collection of high-quality products at accessible prices and they’re not alone, “contemporary brands perform exceptionally well […] each season and sales from brands such as Ganni, Isabel Marant, Rixo, Nanushka, Alexachung and See by Chloé are collectively up by 272 percent since some of their first introductions in 2015, which is when we began to see a real surge in popularity for these affordable luxury items,” Elizabeth von der Goltz, global buying director at Net-a-Porter explains.
KIERIN’s secret lies in direct-to-consumer sales and mastery of social sites like Instagram to talk directly with customers and receive quick feedback.
KIERIN NYC’s status as a digitally native brand has protected them against many of the disruptions that other start-up brands first experienced when COVID 19 emerged and has allowed them to gain a competitive edge in the market. While many retail businesses were grappling with disruptions in their supply chain process, store closings, moving products and having a hard time securing reliable employees amidst the great resignation, Mona and her team were able to quickly iterate on winning in-house processes.
This is a trend that’s sparked new interest across the industry and has awakened new areas of study across academia, according to Adobe, “FIT recognized that most consumers today are paying much closer attention to how products make them feel. This starts from the moment they encounter the visuals – most likely online – and extends from the social and retail platforms they visit when considering a purchase to their experiences buying, wearing, and sharing items.”
The Next Frontier of VC Funding, ESG
As a family funded brand, they have their sights set on large venture capital investments that are now looking for fast growth companies that fall under the ESG– environmental sustainable governance–umbrella. Mona attributes their growth amongst the back-drop of a pandemic, imminent war, and economic decline (a time that has proved to be challenging for other merchants to gain traction, to say the very least) to their direct-to-consumer centered, growth strategy and their attention to the small details.
Customization is a key differentiator of the customer’s buying experience for this premium, luxury fragrance brand. Kierin cleverly ties their consumers’ desire for sustainable solutions to cost reductions in their packaging process by removing unnecessary inserts, cellophane and other traditional boxing components.
KIERIN NYC prides itself in being a forward thinking brand that is able to increase profit margins while improving customer satisfaction.
Specialized Supply Chain Partners Are Key for Strategic Retail Growth in 2022
The brand is constantly at work and strategically seeks out partners who can ensure that their product and shipping boxes maintain the brand’s high level of quality. As supply chain complications continue to plague retailers, Maine de Biran aspires to implement a “hub and spoke” shipping method that reduces costs and allows for more localized distribution while also addressing their carbon footprint to their secondary markets in Canada and Australia. According to industry experts, Mona’s quest is on trend with many retailers who are set to take on 2022 as an opportunity, “to increase resiliency across global supply chains […] [by rebalancing] on-shore, near-shore and off-shore strategies for manufacturing locations. As they’ve been doing for the past two years, they’ll have to keep identifying alternate sourcing strategies to reduce dependencies on individual suppliers in low-cost regions.”
KIERIN represents an emerging class of brands that are excited to kick-off FBA fulfillment but are looking to do so with a company that specifically caters to luxury retail clients and can translate the care, attention, and strategic planning that her founding team pours into their internal operations.
In an automation driven world, Maine de Biran sighted the ability to talk with real people and maintain a high level of accuracy across the supply chain, a key factor in selecting partners who their team would feel comfortable bringing on to help accelerate their growth.
As companies increasingly seek higher levels of transparency and personalization from their supply chain partners, it brings me pride that we were able to position Renewal Logistics to answer this call through the enhancement of our service offerings which provide project specific solutions to global retailers and holistic fulfillment operations for apparel, luxury, and consumer goods brands.
Even before it was on trend, we worked alongside a global brand that needed to completely decontaminate and repackage a very large purchase order of over 300,000 apparel items to meet the deadline for this purchase order to ship to Costco within 2 weeks. Our team secured a location, built infrastructure, scaled processing from 0-27,000 units in 3 days, completed the project on time, and with full order acceptance from Costco—a company known for their stiff chargebacks for compliance errors.
This willingness to provide custom solutions and go the extra mile has always fueled our company and is now becoming a necessary and highly sought after requirement for addressing global supply chain problems like the “record number of cargo ships are stuck outside LA.”
KIERIN’s not alone, their goal to forge strategic partnerships with high touch supply chain partners like RL is a trend that will continue to permeate throughout the industry. According to Forbes,“organizations will also need to improve collaboration and increase visibility with suppliers, logistics service providers, contract manufacturers and other key trading partners,” in order to remain competitive.
Throughout all of the uncertainty of the times, her team has found stability in bringing more functions in-house in order to grow a brand that is bigger, faster and stronger than its competitors. One such adaptation is the small batch production of the season’s scents as a way to maintain a flexible alignment with seasonal changes or any future industry shifts that may be brought on by unforeseen events.
Today, more and more people care about sustainability and have come to expect it. This is a great time for KIERIN NYC, a clean, conscious and sustainable fragrance brand to be growing. Mona cares deeply about building a conscious business and wants to be at the forefront of transforming the fragrance industry. To learn more about KIERIN NYC, visit them online at www.kierin-nyc.com.
Meet The Founder
Mona Maine de Biran
Mona Maine de Biran is the female founder and one of the visionaries behind KIERIN NYC, its mission and brand values. Mona is a former international/TV model, founder and editorial director of the New York City lifestyle blog Manhattan Minds.