Garnier and Gold House Have Partnered Up for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Here’s Why It Matters

garnier gold house partnership mobile size
Garnier/Jenny Jin/Dasha Burobina for PureWow

When I first heard that Garnier and Gold House, a nonprofit collective dedicated to championing the Asian Pacific community, were partnering up for a nationwide campaign, I immediately thought back to my childhood in Louisiana.

At the time, I lived down the street from a drugstore and spent many hours wandering through the magazine aisles, poring through the pages of YM and Tiger Beat. This was the late ’90s, when none of the people in pop culture looked like me, a Korean girl with monolid eyes and no sharp features like my mostly Caucasian peers. I distinctly remember how unattractive and uncomfortable I felt in my skin at this age, especially when classmates would ask me questions like “Why is your nose so flat?” and “Where are you from?”

To see not just one, but an entire group of Asian creatives gracing ad campaigns for a big-name beauty brand like Garnier would have meant so much to me as an adolescent, a sentiment shared by Alex Wang, Brand Marketing Director for Garnier and the person who was largely responsible for making this partnership come to fruition.

Just ahead of the campaign’s official launch, I sat down with Wang to talk about all that went into the initiative and what he hopes people will take away from it.

How Did This Partnership Between Garnier and Gold House Begin?

“Gold House has been such a powerful force for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) over the past several years, and I had the fortune of meeting Bing [Chen, the founder of Gold House], at an event in 2022,” Wang tells me. “We quickly realized that we had a lot in common, including a shared desire to see more inclusive marketing in our fields. When I began questioning how we could strengthen AANHPI representation in the beauty industry, I knew Bing and Gold House would be the perfect partners.”

alex wang garnier pull quote
Dasha Burobina for PureWow

What Drove You to Spearhead a Big Project Like This?

“There were two headlines that were quite eye-opening for me. The first was a report Gold House published with Nielsen. It showed that AANHPIs felt the most underrepresented across TV and film. Around the same time, I saw another study that showed that 44 percent of Americans couldn’t name a single living, famous Asian American—and that’s in today’s world. To me, this showed a huge gap not only in self-perceived representation within the community, but also in how the rest of the country views Asian Americans.

“Garnier’s mission is to democratize ‘Greener Beauty for all of us,’ with an emphasis on all of us. We had an opportunity to set an example for the rest of the industry.”

Could You Tell Me More About the Print and Digital Campaigns for the Initiative?

“In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we partnered with Gold House on fully AAPI-led photo and video shoots—not just in front of the camera, but behind it as well. From the stylist to the photographer to the hair and makeup artists, everyone involved was from the community, in addition to the models and creative leads from Garnier and Gold House. The goal was to create a moment that honored our heritage—a story for AAPIs, created by AAPIs.

“On the day of the shoot, there was such a powerful, heartwarming feeling on set. It was the first time we’d ever been part of a project where AAPIs were the majority…an opportunity some never thought we’d have.

“In addition to the digital content, I’m also proud that we’re partnering with Walgreens to share the team’s work and celebrate APAHM in stores across the country. The team is so excited to see their work come to life in this way.”

What Do You Hope People Will Take Away from This Partnership?

“I hope people are inspired by the amazing work of our AAPI crew. I hope brands feel encouraged to support APAHM and are more intentional in how they work with AAPI creatives in years to come. And I hope that our community feels a little more seen in the beauty industry.”

What’s Next?

“I really see this as just the beginning. There’s so much more we all can do to scale these efforts, from casting diverse creatives, to investing in AAPI communities, to sharing more authentic and affirming stories. The Asian Pacific diaspora includes roughly 50 ethnicities…there’s a wealth of culture to be shown and appreciated and our industry has the power to do this in a visible way. I grew up in a beautiful, matriarchal family and I always looked up to my grandma, mom, aunt and sister, but I rarely found role models like them in mainstream media. One day, all kids will grow up seeing themselves in all forms of content, billboards and ads, and they’ll know the beauty world does not exclude them.”

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...