Camelia Shiseido

A history of sharing beauty

Shiseido has a rich and vibrant history. More than merely a beauty brand, for over 140 years the company has always provided inspiration by being innovative and creative, producing timeless products and remaining a leader in the field of beauty and skincare. Here, we explore the many milestones that make Shiseido the iconic company it is today.

1872

1872

Arinobu Fukuhara establishes Japan's first Western-style pharmacy in Ginza, Tokyo.
He was 23 years old, inspired to deliver high quality products from western pharmaceutical science, and dreamed about a new way of doing business that was independent from existing medical practice.

1897

1897

Introduces its first cosmetic product. Eudermine, a lotion that came to be known as “Shiseido's red water” due to its colouring, was made for the prevention of dry skin. In some countries, the product is still sold today with an improved formulation.

1916

1916

Opens a separate cosmetics shop next to the pharmacy in Ginza, Tokyo.
Above the store, a design department and research lab were built to pursue excellence in quality in design and product.

1917

1917

Introduces “Seven Color Face Powder”, with art-deco inspired octagonal packaging, the first product in Japan that allowed users to match their natural skin tone, rather than to whiten it.

The first authentic fragrance created by a Japanese perfumer, "Hanatsubaki" perfume was launched. Featuring the scents of Japanese flowers such as the Camellia, Plum and Wisteria, the fragrances were bottled in extravagant high-quality cut glass.

1919

1919

Opens Shiseido Gallery, which is now the oldest existing art gallery in Japan.

1931

1931

Exports Rose Cosmetics to Southeast Asian countries; starts fully-fledged international business.

1939

1939

The third floor Shiseido Research & Development Lab is completed, transitioning the previous design department into a fully functioning laboratory.

1959

1959

Founds Shiseido Beauty Academy in Japan.

1977

Shiseido sponsors fashion shows by the “Paris Six”, bringing six French designers to Japan to present their collections. This brought Shiseido’s technology and cosmetic quality to the attention of the industry in Paris, and the company was called upon to do hair and make-up for the Paris collections.

1980

Shiseido brings on French artist, Serge Lutens as Image Creator. In addition to contributing to the brand’s visual campaigns, Lutens also put his hand to Shiseido's colour creation and played a major role in its prestige brand strategy, creating a major international identity for Shiseido products.

1985

At the request of the New York Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), “The Art of Beauty” exhibition of Shiseido advertising was held as part of the 20th anniversary commemorative event for Shiseido Cosmetics America. Ad designs and posters, as well as product packaging were shown in contemporary settings. High praise was showered on the original artistic qualities of Shiseido's advertising materials.

1986

1986

Hosts Shiseido Exhibition of Advertising Art (Musée de la Publicité in Paris).
Shiseido's design work was a unique visual expression of a hybrid between traditional Japanese culture, and French art nouveau and art deco, receiving praise from many French people.

1989

Hosts International Forum on “Successful Ageing”.
Held every two years until 2005 with the purpose of sharing the various findings and expertise that Shiseido has gained through its research and development.

1992

1992

Becomes one of the first companies to establish a written corporate policy relating to environmental issues. The corporate message served as Shiseido’s commitment to the Earth, and spoke of a desire to "live beautifully” while also contributing to a beautiful global environment.

2011

2011

Opens "SHISEIDO THE GINZA".
The first dedicated centre of beauty, the Shiseido concept store offered services epitomizing knowledge and experience cultivated over many years. The store motto: “The place to find the undiscovered you.”

2013

2013

Was recognised as an exceptional company for its information disclosure regarding climate change response, and achieved a position in the “Climate Disclosure Leadership Index.”