Celebrating 20 years of this iconic Australian brand

MOR has been a staple beauty brand in Australian homes for years – 20 years in fact.

From relaunching cult classic ranges with a modern twist, to releasing new collections and fragrances, MOR is celebrating this huge milestone in its history, with a bang.

BD spoke with MOR marketing director, Vicky Kalofolias, all about the achievement, how the brand has grown over the past 20 years, how she sees the beauty industry evolving in the future and what the brand has its sights set on next.

Congratulations on 20 years of MOR! Can you tell us what this milestone means to the brand?

Thank you! We are beyond thrilled to be celebrating this milestone birthday for MOR. 

We have so many fragrant and evocative stories to share from the last 20 years of our brand’s evolution, and we have taken this milestone birthday as a key opportunity to showcase our new brand direction, with a refreshed brand logo, a new colour palette and an anniversary collection, Narcissus - a modern interpretation of a fragrance from our archives.

How has the brand changed and evolved over the years?

MOR’s journey started in Melbourne in 2001, when the first iteration of the brand was a small but distinctive collection of exquisitely wrapped and hand-crafted soaps; featuring luxurious ingredients in unique fragrances and opulent packaging that were to lay the foundations of our brand philosophy.

This niche edit of soaps soon evolved into a full suite of bath and body collections inspired by exotic places, time-honoured ingredients and indulgent bathing rituals to take consumers on a unique and immersive sensory journey.

What is one of the biggest highlights that stands out?

Being renowned as an Australian and international success story, with our collections now available in 21 countries worldwide and growing has been a brand highlight.

Another recent highlight was having the opportunity to deliver a head-turning window display in Myer Melbourne’s Bourke Street frontage in April of this year.

The collaboration provided us with a key opportunity to showcase our new brand direction and celebrate our milestone birthday with our “Lets Us Eat Cake” theme. The display also introduced customers to our new anniversary collection Narcissus, a heritage fragrance re-imagined.

What is MOR's beauty philosophy?

MOR is known for the evocative and emotive sensorial experience our products deliver. 

At the heart of our brand remains a discerning and sophisticated yet curious and spirited personality, as we constantly seek to refine our bespoke lifestyle collections - forever mindful of honouring the past while incorporating new ways to capture the essence of luxury and thoughtful craftsmanship.

An edit of past and present reflected through fragrance, narrative and a distinct visual style, we look back to move forward.

What does being an Australian brand mean to you and why was it important to have your products made locally?

Remaining true to our origins, our roots will always be grounded in Melbourne.

Melbourne is a young and stylish city and has always had its finger on the pulse by embracing cultural changes and global influences. With this spirit at our heart, we are driven to explore and bring together our eclectic, rich and complex collections.

And we will continue to have our products made in Melbourne as this is an essential part of our brand DNA.

The brand is celebrating the anniversary with new releases and first steps in rebranding - can you tell us what's changing and what core elements of the brand DNA are staying put?

When we started this rebranding journey, we looked into our archives to map out and understand the brand journey over the years.

From a personal perspective, I recall when MOR first launched in 2001. It made a huge impact in the market and every season would release new and evocative collections with striking designs inspired by travel and exotic places.

Ranges featured unique fragrance combinations such as Kale & Watercress, or Cucumber & Casaba soaps – ingredients well ahead of their time.

We took this as our inspiration as ‘we look back to move forward’ with the brand.

Over 20 years the brand has developed some cult products - what is the cornerstone product or range that consumer keep coming back to and why?

Our Marshmallow range! It was first launch in early 2001 and has had several design and product changes over the years, but the fragrance remains true to the original.

The fragrance is so distinct – there is something sweet and nostalgic about it that has captured a very loyal following.

We used this fragrance as inspiration to launch a new version this year, Marshmallow Petals. A fresh and modern take on the original, our new fragrance is soft, sweet and spirited.

The brand has releases two skincare ranges this year - what was that process like and why did the brand want to tackle skin?

As a brand we felt it was a natural progression to move into skincare. We were driven by our philosophy to bring the most luxurious and beneficial products to address skincare concerns.

Our premium formulations are combined with highly functional and active ingredients with peptide technology and our MOR Skincare collection also features extracts from gemstones, Ruby crystals and Hydrolyzed Pearl extract for that extra touch of luxury.

How has the beauty industry changed over the last 20 years?

Product choice, cleaner ingredients and formulas, transparency, product claims and speed to market have been big changes in the beauty industry that we’ve seen over the last 20 years.

Sustainability is also a driving force in the industry. And now more than ever brands need to have a digital presence if they are to remain relevant and in touch with their consumers.

How do you see the industry evolving in the future?

We see the industry becoming more transparent with their claims and ingredients. Consumers are ready to call out any ‘green washing’ which is great for the industry as brands need to be truthful in claims. We pass our products through strict regulatory reviews before we finalise any product.

The beauty industry is also borderless, and consumers have access to so many international brands, even smaller, niche brands.

Inclusivity is also at the forefront of the industry – products need to have a wider appeal for all. And in a nod to this, we are launching our first ever Fine Fragrance collection in November – fragrances designed to suit all genders.

What excites you most about what's coming up for MOR?

As we continue to roll out our rebrand, we will be introducing exciting new categories, beyond bath and body, categories that will establish us with a lifestyle positioning.

Over the next 2 years our existing ranges will be reinterpreted and refreshed.

And following on from the launch of our first ever Fine Fragrance collection in November of this year, we will be introducing another new collection that will form part of our prestige line up – a new level of luxury and refinement that is synonymous with our brand heritage. 

You can find the MOR range on BD and download hi-res images here.

Image source: Supplied