“Wellness is taking care of yourself for your own purposes, betterment is for both you and the community around you,” said Oli Walsh, cofounder of Asystem, a new men’s skin-care brand centered on outer and inner wellness.
Walsh, the founder and chief executive officer of Wednesday Agency, and Frame Denim founder Josh LeVine, launch Asystem today with the mission to address men’s wellness, focusing on one’s outer appearance, and body and mind. Asystem is a subscription service offering a three-step performance skin-care regimen — a cleanser, moisturizer and rebuilding cream — for $45 a month; a supplement system of vitamins and nutrients to increase focus, energy and stamina is available for $75 a month, or both collections sell for $99 a month.
In addition to these products, Walsh and LeVine have launched The Betterment Project, a limited-edition coffee-table book that explores the motivations of 48 creatives and entrepreneurs, including Nate Brown, Brendan Fallis, Justin Bridges and the founders themselves, interspersed with photography by Bjorn Iooss. The magazine version of the book, which retails for $45, is an extension of the founders’ mission of addressing men’s wellness and inspiring men to check in with themselves on their busy schedules.
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“We looked at the space and no one was taking a 360 approach to men’s betterment or creating a brand with a strong focus on community, which spoke to the modern man,” said Walsh.
The founders are targeting a broad range of men, from ages 18 to 80, or “high-performance dudes that like to win,” said the duo. LeVine started his career with luxury skin-care brand Davi, consulted for Lucky Brand Jeans from 2008 to 2011, and started Frame in 2011. Walsh, who is from London, worked with brands such as Chanel, Balenciaga, Moncler, Estée Lauder and Mr Porter through Wednesday Agency, the London- and New York City-based creative agency, and spent four years as chief marketing officer of Aritzia.
Although their careers have been jam-packed, the shifts they saw in lifestyle and culture compelled them to slow down. And they seek to encourage other men to do the same with Asystem.
The duo had been longtime friends and admirers and were interested in starting a project together, but the time had never aligned until they met at a party at Neuehouse that a mutual friend was hosting. LeVine had just stepped down from Frame and Walsh had parted ways with Aritzia. They tossed around ideas and eventually landed on Asystem given the “combination of our histories and interests, personal and professional, but also an opportunity we saw in the white space of the market,” said Walsh.
LeVine and Walsh set up a headquarters in Venice, Calif., to develop the skin-care products and supplements, and were the “guinea pigs” during development, according to Walsh.
While the products address physical wellness, The Betterment Project addresses mental and emotional wellness and the importance of taking time for yourself.
The company headquarters also contribute to the mission. The 4,200-square-foot space, called BeachHouse, is a forum for like-minded people to meet and talk, take in a lecture or take part in other events and programming around the mind and body. LeVine describes the location as the “physical, spiritual embodiment of Asystem,” and also discussed the possibility of opening a City House or Mountain House in different communities.
“There’s been a big shift in narrative and it’s been great to see that shift for men to have vulnerability,” said Walsh. “The idea of betterment and community in this sector, to us that was really the modern way.”