How we started
Developing Natural Formulations
Around The Globe
BODY & BATH
SETS & GIFTS
Scrubs & Masks
George Korres, just eight years old, starts playing with ingredients and products behind his mother’s pharmacy counter. He also creates his own display areas, places products on stands and joins in for the annual inventory. One afternoon he announces that when he grows up, he will make his own face creams. His mother and a Swiss cosmetic brand sales representative who happens to be at the pharmacy during the grand announcement smile.
While still a pharmacology student, George starts working at Athens’ oldest homeopathic pharmacy – owned by Mr. Tzivanides -- where he first begins mixing natural pharmacy ingredients to create herbal preparations, natural remedies and, eventually, cosmetic products.
George sets up an exemplary homeopathic laboratory at the pharmacy, based on international lab standards. Led by the pharmacy heritage, his deep knowledge and understanding of over 3,000 herbal remedies, and his passion for a more natural approach, George starts developing formulas that are first tested on his own friends.
KORRES is born. The brand’s simple philosophy is rooted in the use of natural and / or certified organic ingredients of the highest quality; skin- and environmentally-friendly products with clinically tested efficacy; and products that are affordable for everyday use yet of interesting aesthetics that can ‘inspire
& make us happy.’ The first KORRES product is an aromatic herbal syrup with honey and aniseed, a recipe inspired by «rakomelon», a warming spirit-with-honey concoction, which George’s grandfather used to favour in his hometown on the island of Naxos. KORRES Wild Rose 24-Hour Cream, the brand’s first global innovation and first ever skincare product, is launched. It goes on to become a global best-seller.
An American buyer spots KORRES products in a pharmacy while on holiday on the island of Crete and calls George Korres asking to be the first to import them to the US. KORRES products’ international journey begins.
The beauty buyer for Harvey Nichols, London, spots KORRES in New York, and immediately places an order for the store’s newly created Beyond Beauty section, which features niche cosmetics brands from around the world. A number of partnerships with the most prestigious department stores in Britain and France – including Selfridges, Harrods, Liberty’s, Bon Marche and Galleries Lafayette – follow. Although not part of the original brand strategy, this domino effect spreads KORRES products to most parts of the world.
At the first KORRES store opening abroad, in London’s Chelsea, British guests drink raki while tasting traditional delicacies made by George’s mother. The opening party is disrupted when the raki boiling at the back of the store catches fire. The guests think it’s a stunt and start clapping.
Inspired by the long-lived tradition of applying yoghurt to sunburned skin, KORRES Yoghurt Cooling Gel becomes the brand’s second global innovation. After three years in development, KORRES Yoghurt Cooling Gel is the first cosmetic worldwide based on edible yoghurt and becomes an instant international hit, selling over 1,000 pieces per day every summer since that summer. It is one of the brand’s all-time best sellers. KORRES forges a relationship with the Mastiha Growers Association on the island of Chios, the first of many ethical cooperations with local farmers aimed at promoting precious indigenous herbs. In late 2003, George Korres is awarded the Innovation and Business Development Award by Greece’s Head of State.
Two new stores open in Barcelona and KORRES goes from cult brand to breakthrough in the US market thanks to the Sephora network. In the same year, based on the NOBEL-awarded discovery of the proteasome [ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation], the KORRES Research & Development Lab, in partnership with the National Hellenic Research Foundation and the University of Athens, begins primary research on Proteasome & Human Ageing, focusing on enhancing the proteasome function with natural antioxidants.
KORRES products hit shelves in Asia, starting in Japan and China. Later in the year, KORRES COLOUR launches, bringing the brand’s skincare and efficacy philosophy to a make-up line with natural active extracts. KORRES is ranked by Entrepreneurs for Growth Association as among Europe’s 500 highest developing companies.
KORRES stores open in New York, Paris, Shanghai, Madrid, Vienna and Geneva while the Greek Association of Pharmacists honours George Korres for his contribution to Greek trade and business development. In March, KORRES is listed on the Athens Stock Exchange and in November, George Korres is invited to open the first-of-its-kind international Natural Beauty Summit held in Paris.
KORRES is awarded as the World’s Most Innovative Brand by International Cosmetic News, while later in the year, the KORRES New York flagship store in SoHo is also awarded first prize at the Retail Renovation Competition. The brand launches its Formula Facts initiative to communicate in an honest, transparent, and easy to comprehend way, the natural percentage of each formula, as well as the ingredients that are selected and those that are avoided. A daring and novel step within the industry, the Formula Facts panel is positively received by consumers, beauty experts and editors alike, while Sephora US uses the Formula Facts panel as a benchmark for assessing all of the natural cosmetic brands that have a presence in its network. In December the first ever KORRES fragrance launches. George Korres worked closely with the world’s best perfume houses – in Tokyo, Geneva and Gras – on three unique formulations to best represent the brand’s mood through scent.
After five years of primary research on Proteasome & Human Ageing, KORRES
presents its third global innovation –the first natural antiageing line to achieve higher scores on all clinical tests compared to the market’s best-selling conventional antiageing creams. A brand milestone, the Quercetin & Oak line blows apart the theory that only conventional age-defying creams work and proves that nature’s chemistry can be stronger than man-made.In late 2009 a mapping of the Greek flora is completed, fulfilling a long-term KORRES team vision of exploring and promoting the beneficial activity of the country’s unique, native plants. This vision also comes to life through scientific research on the properties of Greek herbs as well as the brand’s cooperations with local farmers -- teaching organic farming, supporting and incentivising local farmers through contractual farming, and developing an exemplary, first-for-Greece, herbal extraction unit. Key to the KORRES vision are ethical, environmental and social programmes that support local communities and endangered plants, while also promoting the production of Greek, organic active extracts of superior quality.
American ELLE votes KORRES Quercetin & Oak Antiageing & Antiwrinkle Night Cream one of the World’s Best Beauty Products, while American Marie Claire hails the day cream as one of ‘25 miracle-products that will change your life’. The European Union grants KORRES funding for a four year study of the antioxidant, antigeing and sun-protection activity of over 3,600 natural antioxidant extracts. [From Biodiversity to Chemodiversity: Novel Plant Produced Compounds with Agrochemical and Cosmetic interest, AGROCOS]. Executed in cooperation with eight international university and research centres, the study will be completed by 2014. The study supports the KORRES goals of developing innovative and clinically effective skincare products based on natural, active ingredients; promoting research of natural ingredients in relation to skin biochemistry; projecting the benefits of unique Greek flora through cooperations with local farmers; and producing proprietary high value organic extracts.
As KORRES turns 15, George Korres revisits his grandfather’s classic recipe, this time based on aromatic herbs from the island of Naxos, and introduces a limited edition rakomelon, celebrating the short journey of a Greek, pharmacy skincare brand with its fellow ‘travelers’ -friends, colleagues and pharmacists.
The advantages of natural ingredients lie not only on their efficacy but also...
The Korres Pharmacy
The Tzivanides Pharmacy; located behind the Kallimarmaron Stadium
Naxos island is the inspiration for the first ever KORRES product...
Lena and George Korres
When asked about the secret of his success, George Korres talks about…
Wild Rose Cream
KORRES Wild Rose 24-Hour Cream is the brand’s first global innovation and first ever skincare product...