Our most important moments to date; our team looked into the brand’s archives and put together a collection of “memories” that we wish to share with you...
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 make 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 that summer and every summer since. 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.
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 among Europe’s 500 highest developing companies by Entrepreneurs for Growth Association.
The year kicks off with the team’s relocation to its new headquarters in Inofita, on the outskirts of Athens.
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 and the KORRES New York flagship store in SoHo is 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. 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 works 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.
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.
A unique research proposal is approved by the European Scientific Committee amongst 15 proposals submitted by a total of 106 participants. AGROCOS, the largest primary research on natural ingredients, focuses on the study of the antioxidant, antigeing and sun-protection activity of 1800 plants and over 3,600 natural antioxidant extracts. For the first time, Greek scientists were found at a leading role of a competitive European research endeavor, in collaboration with seven (7) international, established research centers and leading industries. Among the partners of the program, the National Centre for Scientific Research of France -one of the most prominent centers in Europe- with scientific achievements of major importance.
The AGROCOS 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.
Inspired by Black Pine, an ecological chameleon which has survived the harshest weather conditions from deserts to mountains, KORRES introduces BLACK PINE; The Firming Solution. Based on primary research on the biology of the matrix metaloproteinases [MMPs] & how these can be regulated naturally with Black Pine polyphenol, Epigallocatechin [KORRES innovation], the new line works around four systems of natural antiageing; increases skin elasticity & firmness, lifts facial contour, resists deep wrinkles and prevents sagging. The new line, becomes a success story reaching TOP 3 within 3 MONTHS and driving excellent growth for the Total Anti-ageing category +150% in 10 months.
Black Pine Eye cream wins the Best skincare award in UK Pure Beauty Awards.
KORRES introduces a brand new bodycare line – the White Grape collection from the vineyards of Santorini.
Inspired by the most breathtaking destination in the world, this new line is based on Assyrtiko - a white wine grape, indigenous to Santorini, cultivated in the acid volcanic ash-rich soil of the island.
This unique ingredient is cultivated and harvested by the Union of Santorini Cooperatives / Santowines – one of KORRES many collaborations with organic farmers nationwide in a continuous effort to source the highest quality ingredients for our formulations and support our local producers.
The UK Sunday Mirror votes KORRES Black Pine serum as the best premium antiageing serum in Antiageing awards for two consecutive years leaving behind leading department store beauty brands. And a year later Black Pine Day Cream goes on to win the Ultimate Beauty Bible award.
ΚORREScelebrates 20 years of radiant skin with a journey back to its roots and a limited, advanced edition of its very first apothecary beauty elixir - the Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil. A face oil with real rose petals, boosted with a special vitamin C - Super C - that increases skin’s absorption of vitamin C by 1000% for incredibly advanced brightening and tone repairing.Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil wins the Allure Best Of Beauty Award – the most recent to be added onto a list of total 16 awards attributed to Wild Rose family. Khloé Kardashian joins the long list of Wild Rose celebrity fans together with Scarlett Johansson, Kylie Minogue and Eugenia Silva, amongst others.
The same year, KORRES becomes the first skincare brand worldwide to incorporate the findings of AGROCOS, the world’s largest recent research in natural ingredients, in yet another breakthrough in antiageing. It all started with the identification of Castanea as the Greek ingredient among the top antioxidant plants of the research.
The new Castanea Arcadia collection is KORRES 4th global innovation; for the first time the potent antiwrinkle power of pure lupeol, Castanea’ s [Arcadian Chestnut tree] most powerful antioxidant active, is incorporated in a cosmetic formula to deliver optimum preventive and corrective antiwrinkle action.