Beauty & Wellness
Apothecary Friendly: The (Malin + Goetz) Line of Beauty
By Dale Stewart
It’s hard not to be a tad smitten by Matthew Malin (left) and Andrew Goetz (right), the marvels behind the eponymous beauty line (Malin + Goetz). They are both smart, athletic, articulate, and youthful-looking, a well-matched pair who’ve been together nearly twenty years, and shared a luxury apothecary-style line for going on ten. Goetz looks back on the beginning: “It was a very linear thought process for us. It’s Matthew’s industry; my background is in design and the genesis of our line came from when he left Kiehl’s. As the world becomes more globalized and ‘McBranded,’ it’s a great opportunity to have something that’s authentic, that has a soul, and that’s (Malin + Goetz).”
The wheels for Malin and Goetz’s unisex skincare line started spinning back when Malin hit the beauty line lottery, with one sought-after job after another, each preparing him for this line; beginning with an Executive Training Program at Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC. From there he became the beauty buyer at Barneys. But he really cut teeth at Kiehl’s (pre-sale to L’Oreal), and on a stint at Prada helping to develop and manage the Helmut Lang Parfums. Meanwhile, Goetz was the marketing director for the Swiss-based uber modern design manufacturer Vitra. It’s Goetz’s vision that brings (Malin + Goetz) its simple packaging, one of things that separates it from the luxury-cosmetics pack. “We went in with all of these old apothecary bottles, then our design team and I came up with modern interpretation of those bottles,” he says. “It’s a very creative way with the gradation and the typography.”
About the graphic design, Goetz says, “I never look at the product and think it should be any different. Our products reflect the same look and idea as hundreds of years of apothecaries and chemists did before us.” Malin adds,“We love the tension of the modern against the traditional. It’s not a complicated idea. You have a great product without using a lot of unnecessary things.” Their homes echo that same juxtaposed old vs. new sentiment. They have a place in an Art Deco building in Chelsea and a 200-year-old Italianate farmhouse in Kinderhook (currently on the market), and recently purchased another house outside of Hudson, all with traditional facades and Mid-Century modern furniture. Their uncomplicated brand philosophy is an up-to-date mix of tried and true ingredients from century-old apothecaries, many items based upon Malin’s own skin issues. “One of the focuses was to create a product that was gentle and irritant free.” Goetz jumps in to add, “Our line is a balance between science and technology, too. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible.”
Everything you need to know about their product is on the front of the bottle in a neat sans-serif font, in various playful modern crisp colors. Malin and Goetz are as straightforward as the packaging for their best-selling peppermint shampoo ($36.00), vitamin e face moisturizer ($45.00), sage styling cream ($20.00), and vitamin b5 body moisturizer ($38.00). They even have a toothbrush ($8) and a super stylish shaving razor ($90) in their arsenal. Malin understands that “there is a backlash to high-priced luxury. People don’t have to buy a $500 cream to get the same results.” And they don’t cheat on their brand. A quick snoop in their medicine cabinet (you’d do it, too) reveals they use (Malin + Goetz) products exclusively, and when the topic of what sells best comes up, they say in unison that it’s their eucalyptus deodorant ($18.00). Goetz explains, “Women gravitate towards the deodorant because it’s aluminum free. We sell it three times more than our number two product, the grapefruit face cleanser ($30.00). It doesn’t hurt that (Malin + Goetz) amenities packages are on Delta and Qantas Airlines and hip hotels like NYC’s Tribeca Grand, Portland’s Ace Hotel, LA’s Mondrian, and London’s St Martins Lane to name a few.
(Malin + Goetz) face and hair products put them on the map, but it’s the cult favorites like their dark rum candle ($52.00), which throws a scent so well that one can get a brilliant waft of it from rooms away, and their sulfur-based acne product, which have become such hits they’ve had to limit how many people buy at a time.
The next addition to the beauty moguls’ line may be home-cleaning products or toothpaste, though this may be a few years down the road. As of this week, they open their fourth (Malin + Goetz) store on Madison and 90th. Regional (Malin + Goetz) products are easily available at J. Seitz in New Preston, Hudson Supermarket on Warren Street (shelf display above), and Splash Spa in Poughkeepsie. But their connection to the region they weekend in is real and present. Recently they shipped an antique haberdashery counter purchased at Hudson, NY’s Vincent Mulford antique store for their Los Angeles outlet in the ultra-hip section of Larchmont Village. “It wasn’t easy to get it there,” Malin says. “But it was important to bring that local mix to our stores.”