Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Style Page interview with Kirsten Kjaer Weis

Kirsten Kjaer (pronounced Ki-ar) Weis sought to marry organic cosmetics with glam packaging. To this end, she collaborated with designer Marc Atlan to create the packaging for her cosmetics line Kjaer Weis. The Kjaer Weis collection comprises crème blushes, lip tints, and eye shadows. The one of a kind packaging features red lacquered grain-textured boxes that encase refillable metal compacts that swing open and close with a click that sounds like “a classic Mercedes door closing,” as she says it.

Kirsten Kjaer Weis
The Style Page posed a few questions to Kirsten Kjaer Weis:

You grew up on a farm in Denmark, where the nearest “big city” had a population of 1,500. Since then, you’ve lived in Paris and California and now you’re settled in New York City. Did growing up in a relatively isolated location fuel your wanderlust?

Yes, I think it did, I have always known that I wanted to travel and eventually live abroad, it feels like it was in my blood, a desire for seeing the world, different cultures, ways of living, getting as much out of the “smorgasbord” of life as possible.

What brought you to New York City?

A great desire for working as a make-up artist in New York and it also fit my personal/relationship situation.

You wanted to marry organic cosmetics with glam packaging. Your packaging is one of a kind. What was the inspiration for the design? Denmark is famous for its modern design. Was Danish design an inspiration for the packaging?

For the design I give credit to Marc Atlan, hands down. When we first met I showed him my “mood board” of things that have meaning to me, everything from swaps of fabric to a beautiful hand writing I had seen to a painting ect, I explained my vision for a green product with a design/glamorous outside, yet sustainable. I also liked the idea of having a distinct color and left him with free hands and a feeling that we were very much on the same wavelength. He called me 2 month later and said he had come up with a great concept, he was right:)

Tell me about working with Marc Atlan and the prototyping and production of your packaging

Marc is fantastic, incredibly inspiring to work with and doesn’t cut corners in any shape or form. I had of course dreamt of having my own design/molds but also knew it might be impossible, due to costs. It became possible and I’m beyond pleased with the end result. Going through prototypes, back and forth, perfecting the compacts, was a lengthy process, but also very satisfying, seeing the line coming to fruition before my eyes.

What are the challenges in quality assurance/quality control for your product?

Working with organic ingredients is like working with a live material, they might change from harvest to harvest, so a lot of adjusting goes into maintaining the textures and colors from batch to batch. It’s also part of the fun and it’s the closest one comes to wearing a hand made piece of make-up. For me it’s a labor of love.

What are your plans for the Kjaer Weis cosmetics line? What might we expect in the upcoming year?

For 2012, I hope to have mascara, foundation and if everything goes well a compact powder in place. Eventually it will be a full range of organic make-up, that’s the vision.

You love traveling and exploring. What places are on your bucket list to visit?

Yes plenty, I have never been to Japan, that’s high on the list, New Zealand as well, Patagonia and a road trip across the US, still so much to see:)

Are there any parting thoughts about beauty that you would like to share with our readers?

I created KW as an alternative to what was on the market, make-up is fun, it’s such a great tool to enhance ones personality and beauty, and I think pretty much any woman from all walks of life, likes to look her best. Fun and harmless go hand in hand!

Kjaer Weis is available through select Space NK boutiques and

The Style Page was privileged to work directly with Kirsten Kjaer Weis on this feature.

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