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How Shiseido Is Nurturing the Next Generation of Leadership

Published December 12, 2023
Published December 12, 2023

Educational initiatives are helping drive the next generation of beauty forward. Rolfs and L’Oréal partnered on creating the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in the Beauty and Wellness program at Mesa Community College.  Aveda Arts & Sciences Institutes is pushing for better textured haircare education, and the British Beauty Council is launching its Future Talent Programme to highlight STEM career pathways for teenagers. The industry is building a new infrastructure for the talents of tomorrow, and now Shiseido has joined their ranks.

In September of last year, the Japanese multinational commemorated its 150th anniversary with the announcement of the Shiseido Future University in its birthplace of Ginza. “We strongly believe that people are our greatest asset and that investment in people increases corporate value, so we have upheld the management philosophy of 'People First.' As part of our 150th Anniversary commemorative initiatives, we decided to establish ‘Shiseido Future University’ to further invest in our people,” said Masahiko Uotani, Representative Director, President, and CEO of Shiseido, at the time of the announcement.

The facility was created to boost the globalization and diversity of Shiseido’s workforce through leadership programs, with an individualized curriculum that fuses a global-standard business education with the Shiseido ethos, encapsulated in the company ethos of “Beauty innovations for a better world.” The corporation desires the university to be a place of fostering leadership that combines sensitivity with strategic thinking to ultimately contribute to positive change in society through business growth.

Now its doors have opened, with Shiseido Chairman and CEO Masahiko Uotani as founding dean. With a design concept titled “Resonator of Beauty and Knowledge,” the space is a sleek, minimalist, and futurist vision of grey marbled floors, white and black suede seating, and star-like lighting, with various touchpoints showcasing the heritage of the multinational.

The university’s logo is the Mirai Karakusa pattern. The name of the pattern translates to “foreign plant” or “winding plant” in Japanese, and its spiraling forms can traditionally be found in forushiki wrapping cloths. Historically, the form came from the palmette motif (designed to emulate the leaves of a palm tree) of ancient Rome and Greece, which was introduced to Japan during the Kofun period (300 to 538 AD). Shiseido, acknowledging the Karakusa as “a cross-cultural mix of the East and West, absorbing various cultures and aesthetics,” decided it would be the perfect symbol to show the international scope of the company, while also making a nod to future growth.

The opening presents the latest chapter in Shiseido’s goals of driving creative growth and innovation in its ranks, having opened the Shiseido Global Innovation Center research facility in 2019, and launching the Shiseido Creative design agency as well as the fibona innovation program in 2022. With so much recent investment in its own ranks, it will be interesting to see what new concepts and initiatives the company will bring forth in the new year and beyond.


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