We are delighted to have interviewed one of the co-founders of skincare brand Malin+Goetz. Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz first opened their doors in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood in March 2004.
Find out all about their unique story here…
Matthew and Andrew, can you tell us your backgrounds?
Our backgrounds are quite different. And that’s a good thing for both the business… and our personal relationship. Yes, opposites do attract; and I think for a good reason. We’ve been a couple now for more than 25 years, and we’ve been in business together for close to 15. Matthew is a native of the Motor City, Detroit, and I’m (Andrew) from New York. So we are a good combination of earnest mid-Western values and New York tranquillity – not to mention sarcasm. Matthew was originally the beauty doyen; having spent his entire career in Beauty. I come from the design world, having last worked for Vitra, the Swiss/German design company for 10 years. Malin+Goetz is our perfect Love Child – being the complete fusion of all things Malin and Goetz.
Where did the idea for M+G come from?
Matthew’s career trajectory catapulted him from Sak’s Fifth Avenue to Barneys New York, and eventually Kiehl’s, which at the time was still family owned. When Kiehl’s was sold to L’Oréal, I suggested that we create a brand that was uncomplicated and very modern, and of course family-owned. As someone from the design world, I found Beauty Departments and the Kiehl’s shop completely overwhelming, intimidating and absolutely Baroque from an aesthetic point of view. I’m a minimalist, and true adherent that ‘less really is more.’ That was certainly not the experience you got when you went shopping in most Beauty environments. We thought that the combination of our career experiences to create Malin+Goetz would bring something entirely new to the market; not to mention beautiful.
What's so unique about M+G?
Did the world really need another skincare brand? Well, we fervently believe it did. The Beauty industry is addicted to complications. There is so much unnecessary and wasteful packaging; too many steps – which more often than not cause irritation. And just too many products. We are unique in that we took a ‘less is more’ approach, or to quote Dieter Rams, ‘less is better.’ This is not only reflected in our minimalist packaging, but more importantly in our formulas. We left out dyes, fragrances and lots of unnecessary ingredients. We eliminated unnecessary steps. This makes our products particularly attractive for those with sensitive skin – as all our products have been formulated to address skin sensitivities. Malin+Goetz products are very honest in their approach; making them really easy to use for both women and men.
Why is good design important in 2018/2019?
Good design is important all the time. Good design is not only about aesthetic, but also makes things function well. So that’s relevant in every age.
What's your work/life balance like?
It’s a balancing act for sure. Each new chapter of the business presents us with different work/life challenges. And let’s be honest, New York is not a town known to offer a great balance. That being said, while we work hard to bring balance to our lives, we do indeed do it. When you have your own business you are technically never really off. But we try to stay focused – when we work, we work, and when we relax, we relax. This is mostly achieved by getting out of Dodge. We are very adamant about going up to our country house in the Hudson Valley every weekend. It’s a beautiful part of New York State, about 2 hours straight up the Hudson River. In the summer we love gardening, and cooking and hosting dinner parties. We enjoy summer hikes, or just sitting around reading. Skiing replaces gardening and hiking in the Winter, but the cooking and entertaining remain constant. The weekends re-energize us, so that we hit the ground running when we’re back in New York on Monday morning. City life and Country life are very Ying and Yang for us – but that’s how we balance it all out.
What products/other brands could you not do without?
For obvious reasons, we are very Soviet in our approach to other brands. So we really do not really use any other brands when it comes to skincare, hair and body, although we make one exception for our Pro Ven Di Hand Soap on our kitchen sink wall. Neither of us, nor should anyone else be without a good dental care. I like Le Bon toothpaste from France. We both prefer unflavoured floss. We love our Frette towels, and I am very passionate about a really good nail brush.
Who's the chef in the M+G household and why?
Me (Andrew). I love to cook and am very passionate about it. It’s completely cathartic to me. Matthew hates everything about cooking and is lost in the kitchen. So as not to cause a rift – that should most definitely answer ‘why’.
Is there a specific dish that either of you would make using any of our Falcon products?
Absolutely. We have a small but lovely orchard, and entire garden dedicated to berries. So, a fruit pie or tarte would be a must. Although we have not graduated to chickens as of yet, the farm next door has wonderful eggs – so a quiche would be perfect as well.
Can you describe and give tips on the best places to eat, drink, source ingredients in your local neighbourhood?
In town (New York), I try to shop for food at local markets. There is always Whole Foods, but I try to make that a last resort. We live in Chelsea, and here is a wonderful little market called Foragers that we really like. There is also a collection of great food vendors in Chelsea Market. There is of course the Farmer’s Market in Union Square which is amazing in the Summer, but since we grow so much of our own vegetables and herbs in our own garden up in the country, we just don’t really need to go there. For drinking I like the wine bar across the road from us called Veloce. The bars at Le Zie and Le Singe are also nice local watering (and eating) holes. We also like to eat in the garden at Bottino in West Chelsea. And if anyone ever makes up to Hudson, the local Farmers Market is amazing, and there are lots of great farm to table restaurants in town – Swoon being one of our favourites.
Falcon Enamelware shot at Andrews and Matthew's New York office.