Japan’s bubble economy, marked by surging Japanese land and stock prices as well as conspicuous spending, met with both anxiety and admiration in world public opinion. The period also saw substantial social advancement in Japan. The passage of Japan’s Equal Opportunity Law in 1985 was of particular importance, allowing more women to enter career-track jobs and gain managerial positions. As a time of rising income, especially among the young generation, the 1980s was an era of designer brands epitomized by Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo. The new confidence was also expressed in bold makeup and body-conscious fashion trends. Kanebo dedicated this era to actively engaging women and continuing support of women through excellent products and meaningful activities.
Entry to the European retail market begins with the launch of the JOSET brand at Harrods in London. Department store sales in 16 European cities follow, and Kanebo Cosmetics Europe, Ltd. is created in 1980.
A joint project, which targets emerging women fiction writers and focuses on women’s life issues, pairs a monetary award with powerful media coverage.
“Human Documentary” and “Kanebo Special Literary Prizes” are organized as projects between Kanebo and the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s largest newspaper. The project targets women fiction writers whose themes reflect issues related to women’s lives. It offers a substantial honorarium along with powerful nationwide media coverage. Award winning stories are introduced in the Yomiuri Shimbun and reissued in book form, or dramatized for broadcast on the Nippon TV network. The Pediatric Ward, the first show to win the top prize, becomes a hit TV drama. The prizes are awarded annually for 20 consecutive years and help launch careers of promising writers.
Years before Japan introduces its equal opportunity law implementing gender equality, Kanebo designates the 1980’s as the “Era of Shining Women.” In addition to its “Lady 80” campaign, the company launches cultural programs supporting the advancement of women in society and the arts.
Kanebo’s research on the generation of hyaluronic acid — a powerful moisturizing substance — at the cellular level within the skin, leads to the development of ingredients effective in boosting the synthesis of hyaluronic acid in both the dermis and epidermis. In 1999, Kanebo scientists disprove widespread theories that hyaluronic acid does not exist in the stratum corneum (horny layer) of the skin’s surface. In 2008, Kanebo Cosmetics discovers that adiponectin secreted from fat cells (adipocytes) stimulates the synthesis of hyaluronic acid in dermal cells. This study shows not only the new function of adiponectin, but also the possibility that secretion factors originating from fat cells play important roles in skin moisture and firmness.
Kanebo Makeup Institute opens as a professional school for makeup and hair artists, giving students a thorough grounding in makeup theory and practical studio work. The Institute encourages development of individual creative abilities.
Kanebo’s research on the perception of beauty leads to the theory of a P.P.D. effect: Parts (shape, size and color of eyes, brows, and lips); Positioning (relative position of brows, eyes, nose, and mouth); and Dimension (facial characteristics of depth and symmetry). Awarded the prestigious CIDESCO International Grand Prize.
This lipstick, with advanced natural coloration and treatment properties drawn from oriental herbal ingredients, achieves record-breaking success as well as international acclaim and recognition.
As part of the Tokyo International Film Festival, this forum draws public attention to Japanese and international women directors. For 27 years, it contributes to the advancement of women in filmmaking and the visual arts.
An agreement of technical cooperation, concluded with leading Chinese cosmetics manufacturer Shanghai Jahwa United Co., Ltd., lays the groundwork for eventual launch of Kanebo products in China.
KANEBO SENSAI EX LA CRèME, an ultra-luxurious anti-aging product, is released in Europe as a pioneering, ultra-premium cosmetic. It is one of the world’s most costly creams and becomes widely renowned for outstanding quality.
Combining excellent staying power with moisturizing benefits, this lipstick — destined to become a legend — launches in Japan with sales of over five million units in the first year.