20 years of craftsmanship, 2,000 years of history – fresh celebrates Crème Ancienne landmark

LVMH-led beauty brand fresh last night celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Crème Ancienne skincare line during a sumptuous gala dinner at Raffles Hotel in Shenzhen.

The event was graced by fresh Co-Founders Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg, LVMH and fresh senior management, KOLs and media, and other VIPs.

The Moodie Davitt Report was on hand as the brand honoured the landmark anniversary of Crème Ancienne, a standout success within fresh’s extraordinary journey since Glazman and Roytberg founded the brand in 1991 with a simple apothecary-like store. Look out for our fascinating interview with the founders in coming weeks.

Pictured left to right are fresh Hong Kong Brand General Manager Emma Chan; LVMH Group President Greater China Andrew Wu; fresh Travel Retail Asia Pacific General Manager Ariel Yak; fresh Co-Founder Alina Roytberg; fresh Global CEO Ada Lien; fresh Co-Founder Lev Glazman; and fresh Brand General Manager China Yan Wang

LVMH acquired a majority stake in fresh in 2000 after the brand – inspired by nature and artisanal craftmanship – had grown exponentially through the 1990s. Four years on, Glazman created Crème Ancienne after discovering the formula for what is reputed to be the world’s first cream – developed by 2nd-century scientist Claudius Galenus who crafted balms to treat the wounds of gladiators.

Ada Lien, Alina Roytberg and Lev Glazman chat with the emcee about the extraordinary Crème Ancienne back story

Having successfully replicated the formula alongside the fresh lab scientists, Glazman determined that the artisan nature of the product meant it would have to be made by hand. Given its ancient origins – hence the name Crème Ancienne, coined by Roytberg – he decided it should be produced manually in a monastery.

“You don’t just send an email to the monks,” Glazman told The Moodie Davitt Report with a smile as he related the extraordinary European-wide search for the right producing partners that ensued. After a suitable collaboration was found (a nunnery in Norway), production began. But as demand grew, the seven sisters could not manage the necessary output.

Martin Moodie and fresh Travel Retail Asia Pacific General Manager Ariel Yak arrive at the Gala Dinner
(Left to right) Martin Moodie, Lev Glazman, Ariel Yak, Alina Roytberg and Jason Cao, Founder of much-respected Chinese WeChat travel retail platform DutyFree Expert

Eventually fresh found another partner, this time in the form of a monastery in the Czech Republic. Crème Ancienne has been produced there ever since, going on to become a hugely successful global skincare line. The story might sound like a marketing gimmick but the beauty of it – and a key reason for the success – is that it is true, Roytberg told The Moodie Davitt Report.

“It represents everything we stand for – the history, the ritual, the attention to detail, the respect for innovation,” Glazman added. “And bringing back a piece of history that nobody knew about or was thinking about.” ✈

(Left to right) Ariel Yak, Martin Moodie, Ada Lien and fresh Travel Retail APAC Regional Area Director Cherrie Chan
(Left to right) fresh Global Travel Retail Marketing Director Caroll Li, Alina Roytberg, Lev Glazman, Ariel Yak and Martin Moodie

Martin Moodie and Ariel Yak pose for a photo with Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg after their interview with The Moodie Davitt Report earlier in the day
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