The latest skin-care company to draw investor interest is Lu Ming Tang, a natural beauty brand based in China, which has received minority investment from private family offices. Those include the family office of Susan Rockefeller, Kara Ross, Christophe Cervasel and Sylvie Ganter, and the Guibor fund.
French executive Marie Amiand, who has extensive experience consulting in the beauty industry, particularly in Asia, created Lu Ming Tang centered on Chinese tea leaves and their healing and purifying qualities. The idea for the line, which was launched in 2016, came after she was diagnosed with heavy-metal poisoning stemming from urban pollution. A doctor in Hong Kong suggested she follow a medical treatment but also drink five cups of green tea daily, which she saw had a positive effect on her skin.
Lu Ming Tang’s 40-unit range is positioned as “affordable luxury,” with products including cleansers, moisturizers and masks, priced from $14 to $93. Everything is manufactured in Suzhou, China.
Lu Ming Tang’s bestsellers include the Crème de Marie facial moisturizer and radiance booster; Miraculous Detox Paste, and Jasmine Bliss and Rose Bliss lip balms.
The beauty brand was pre-launched on Valentine’s Day 2016 with The Beast Shop, in Shanghai. It is now sold elsewhere in China, South Korea and Singapore in domestic, travel-retail and digital outlets, including Tmall. It’s offered, as well, on some private jets in Asia.
The brand considers its base to be The Maison Lu Ming Tang tea house, formerly the Qianlong Imperial Library, a temple house dating from the Song dynasty, between 960 and 1279. The building stands in the Longjing tea mountains, which are listed by Unesco as a protected natural heritage site.
Ohana & Co. acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Lu Ming Tang.