In light of Kiehl’s 160th birthday, I would love to do something special for my favorite skin and hair care brand. I decided to write an article about the interesting history of Kiehl’s 160 years.
So, beauties, would you join me in a little journey in time?
1851: Kiehl Pharmacy is opened on the corner of Thirteenth Street at Third Avenue in New York City. The company flagship is still in the same location. The founder was Mr. John Kiehl.
Mr. John Kiehl behind the counter
1921: In 1921 Irving Morse, John Kiehl’s apprentice, takes over the company. He kept the name, but expanded the business from pharmaceutical tonics and medicinal salves to a full-service pharmacy stocking teas, herbs, tinctures, honeys and the first ever Kiehl brand products.
Mr. Irving Morse in Kiehl’s store with all the staff
1950: Mr. Irving Morse passed on his botanical expertise, sense of civic responsibility, and most of all, his passion for life and passion for Kiehl’s to his son, Aaron.
1963: Kiehl’s Original Musk Oil is created
1964: Kiehl’s iconic Blue Astringent, known today as “the blue stuff,” was first introduced more than 40 years ago when the company’s chemists developed this multi-purpose toner; its popularity took off immediately. Four decades later, Kiehl’s attributes its appeal not only to superior quality, but also its versatility. Kiehl’s male patrons use it as an after-shave treatment and to prevent razor bumps. Kiehl’s lore has it that Andy Warhol himself used to buy Blue Astringent in the large 32 oz. size and was a regular patron to the Kiehl’s Flagship store – only blocks away from the site of Warhol’s famed “Factory.”
1970: Ultra Facial Moisturizer was first offered and since that time, remains one of the most requested products among patrons and is a “must have” among Hollywood’s professional make-up artists. It is perhaps the most versatile and widely used facial moisturizer in the Kiehl’s line due to its lightweight, silky feel and suitability for both normal to dry and normal to oily skin types. Formulated with Kiehl’s signature ingredient, Squalane; a highly refined natural oil derived from olives and known for its compatibility with skin’s natural oils, this preparation provides superb moisturization, leaving skin healthy and soft.
Original Creme de Corps body moisturizer has been a favorite preparation among Kiehl’s cherished patrons for decades. Rich in skin-nurturing ingredients ideal for hydrating dry skin, this buttery body cream leaves skin extraordinarily supple and smooth.
Kiehl’s produces such a vast quantity of the beloved formulation, that the amount produced in a single year could fill a tower of one gallon milk containers as high as the Empire State Building – three times over!
1975: Kiehl’s opens its first counter outside of New York in the Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills. The company is still among one of the most exclusive brands.
1978: Mr. Aaron Morse noticed that in the early years, when couples would come into Kiehl’s, the gentlemen didn’t have an interest in cosmetic products. Mr. Morse decided to turn a corner of the store into a museum with vintage Harley Davidson and Indian motorcycles from his collection. These were great conversation pieces and were talked about all over town. People would come into the store just to see the antiques. At one point there was an actual airplane in the NY store!
1988: Jami Morse, daughter of Aaron Morse takes over the company.
That year a team of daring individuals was exploring the limits of human endurance in conquering Everest – with the first successful ascent of the mountain’s East Face without supplemental oxygen. Sponsored by Kiehl’s, the “Everest ’88” climbers took along several Kiehl’s products to support them on their journey: Lip Balm #1, Creme de Corps, Washable Cleansing Milk, Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner, Ultra Facial Moisturizer and the “Close Shavers” Squadron Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream.
1991: Jami Morse has a daughter and with the assistance of famed Dr. Peter Waldstein, decides to launch a product line for babies that were pediatrician tested. Products include Baby Body Wash, Shampoo, Diaper-rash treatment cream, body lotion and the unique baby lip balm.
1997: Kiehl’s launches Kiehl’s Hand Care for a Cure to benefit AmFAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research). 100 % of the profits are donated to AmFAR.
2003: On November 12, 2003, Kiehl’s replanted a pear tree in front of its venerable Flagship store to once again firmly establish the historic intersection of its original location: “Pear Tree Corner.” Well acquainted with the history of the location, it was always the dream of Kiehl’s founding family to give the tree back to their beloved city. Today, everyone at Kiehl’s is proud to have brought this dream to life, demonstrating the longstanding ties that Kiehl’s shares with the East Village community and serving as a vibrant symbol of the company’s commitment to the City of New York. In recognition of this community commitment, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially proclaimed November 12th, “Kiehl’s Day.”
May 18, 2006: Kiehl’s opens first Travel Retail store in Hong Kong International Airport welcoming patrons on the go.
2010: Kiehl’s is proud to introduce its “Healthy Skin Essentials,”a trio of formulas that promote skin health: Midnight Recovery Concentrate, Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate and Super Fluid Daily UV Defense (US) – Ultra Light Daily UV Defense (Global). Combined, they work synergistically to restore and protect skin’s barrier for healthier, re-vitalized, younger-looking skin.
January, 2011: Celebrating 160 years of service, Kiehl’s continues to serve the finest skin and hair care made with uniquely efficacious, natural ingredients.
In Greece, you can find Kiehl’s at Hondos Center Kolonaki, Hondos Center Glyfada and Attica, the Department Store, on Panepistimiou St. For more details, see www.facebook.com/kiehlsingreece
Wanna learn more about our favorite skin and hair care brand? Just stay tuned…
[To be continued…]