By Swikar Oli
2013 Ryerson Grad Andrew Grella’s project Formen has been named an innovator at The Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation.
As one of six Joe Fresh innovators in partnership with the Fashion Zone at Ryerson, Joe Fresh president Mario Grauso said in a public statement by Loblaw Companies Limited it’d “move the Canadian fashion industry in new directions.” Grella will receive mentorship, gear and facilities, and up to $50,000 in funding, among other benefits.
The Eyeopener asked Grella about his brand, its origins and products.
What were the project’s first steps?
The original idea came on my Grade 12 prom night. I had woken up, I had acne on my face, I didn’t know what to do so I consulted my mom. She wanted to put her makeup on me, so I told her she was crazy and I left. I went to Shopper’s Drug Mart, Walmart or department stores and couldn’t find any products that were specifically made for men.
What’s the brand and its objective?
Formen is problem-solution based care approach to male skin. We have four cosmetic products. We’re about having quick, easy solutions.
What are the makeup products?
We have an invisible blotting powder, a translucent powder that completely clears and takes away all the oil and the shine. The second product is a concealer stick made for little acne blemishes, scarring or skin imperfections you want to conceal. The third product is an under-eye concealer that’ll conceal your under-eye circles. The fourth is our five benefits bottle [moisturize, prime, even tone, brighten, mattify].
How is Formen different from other male cosmetic products?
Formen is about changing your appearance in a way no-one will know. You can look better, but no one will know why except you. Our products are discreetly engineered. They’re all applied with your hands with the exception of one product. You apply and leave.
Who would use Formen cosmetics?
From adolescent to elderly our product is accessible. Different parts of the world are more advanced than North America. But, for example, in South Korea, you have men ok with taking out a bottle of moisturizer and putting it on their face in public. Whereas in North America it’s still kind of taboo. It’s picking up but because of other factors in the market we’re lagging behind.
Interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.