King Of Pop
Peter Max puts a Bohemian spin on Christmas this year with Kiehl’s. By Li Ying Lim.
More than 100 years ago, Kiehl’s began its life as Brunswick Apotheke in New York City’s East Village. It was not until 1894 that it was renamed as Kiehl Pharmacy. When Irving Morse took over and started introducing grooming products for men, the pharmacy started to garner a steady, loyal fan base, including Andy Warhol who conceptualised Kiehl’s Astringent in a pop art piece.
ANew York brand at heart, Kiehl’s has pop culture in its DNA. The brand has championed a New York-based pop artist every year with a special edition design for Christmas – the venerable list includes Craig & Karl, Jeff Koons, Kenny Scharf, and Eric Haze. Adding on to the list this year is Peter Max. Although German-born, his influences are distinctively New York. A look at his pop colours explains it all – his aesthetics would naturally fit the buoyant spirit of Kiehl’s.
Gushes Maria Gustafson, senior vice president for global creative at Kiehl’s Since 1851, “It was a magical and inspiring experience working with Peter Max, as we as a company have such a deep admiration for him as an artist.” Some may recognise the colourful motifs that will be gracing the Kiehl’s collection and storefront as part of his famous work Cosmic Runner. “Kiehl’s shares many of the same ideals that are celebrated in Peter’s work – love, joy, community, and environmentalism.”
International appeal is, of course, part and parcel of Max’s dreamy rainbow hues and Woodstock-esque themes. “His vibrant, quirky, colourful, and psychedelic designs are truly a universal interpretation of the season,” agrees Yvonne Liew, Kiehl’s Malaysia’s group brand director. “At Kiehl’s, we’ve always been quirky with an edge, and likewise, we wanted a non-clichéd approach to this year’s holiday collection.” Max, who has designed poster artwork for major events such as the Grammys, has a keen eye for translating everything he sees into whimsical technicolours and vivid tones.
Call it a sign that we can never get enough of colourful days in our lives, but this is also a great opportunity to initiate a new Kiehl’s user to the world of the natural skincare brand. Max’s designs are available on its bestsellers, such as the Hydrating Hand Cream, the Calendula Herbal-Extract Alcohol-Free Toner, Creme de Corps Lotion and Whipped Body Butter, and Ultra Facial Cream.
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Lotion, RM111.30 (250ml) Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal- Extract
Alcohol- Free Toner, RM143.10