Inspired by the super-potent organic olive oil farmed on Luczo’s family estate outside of Corleone, Sicily, beauty industry veteran Kim Walls and international model Agatha Luczo joined forces to create Furtuna Skin in 2019. Their thoughtful, nourishing products have since racked up awards and are beloved for their elegant textures and clinically proven results. We caught up with the pair on being a made-in-Italy brand founded just before Covid-19, their most universal product, and their dream collaboration.
Brand name: Furtuna Skin
Founder(s): Kim Walls & Agatha Luczo
Date Founded: November 2019
What was the main inspiration for Furtuna Skin?
KW- Our single-origin, extra virgin olive oil was a huge source of inspiration. It is harvested from mighty olive trees on Agatha's family’s La Furtuna estate in Sicily. It has won awards worldwide and earned organic certification from the USDA and Bioagricert in Italy, so you know it's the highest quality available. Our plants' potency drives our skincare line's performance, creating the most impactful farm-to-face skincare line available.
AL- Along with the ingredients from La Furtuna Estate, the combined passion that Kim and I have for skincare plus the desire to build a socially responsible business has been injected into every aspect of the brand.
Who first taught you about beauty, and what attracted you to the beauty industry?
KW - My father made skincare products, so growing up, I became ingrained in the family business. His approach to beauty, which I still hold, was the idea that there are incredible resources out in the world that can really make an impact and heal different problems. How do we harness those and put them into formulas to make them useful in skincare? What kept me in the beauty industry is that it is such a dynamic space. Especially when it comes to skincare, it's so entwined with health that you can impact how people experience life.
AL- My mother was the first to teach me the importance of taking care of my skin from a young age and drinking plenty of water. I started modeling at sixteen, and from that moment, I fell in love with all things beauty and wellness. I was fortunate to work with world-renowned makeup artists and skin experts who helped take my skincare education to the next level.
Kim, how did you initially connect with Agatha?
KW - We met through her pediatrician, who was also on the board of one of the companies I had founded before Furtuna Skin. Because of Agatha's Croatian roots, she used olive oil for everything and knew there was something unique about the olive oil produced on La Furtuna Estate. She started talking with her pediatrician about doing something meaningful with it in skincare, and he said, "You need to meet my friend Kim."
What was the first product you developed for Furtuna Skin and why did you create it?
KW- Our Biphase Moisturizing Oil was the first product we developed. We realized a lot of people want the benefits of an oil without the downside of feeling greasy and having it interfere with makeup and sunscreen. Our oil is unique because it delivers a potent, double dose of hydration thanks to the combination of olive oil and olive leaf water.
AL - For me, I wanted an oil that was both nourishing and moisturizing, and this product more than delivers on that. An editor once described it as "the face oil loved by anti-oilers," which sums up its universal appeal perfectly. It is suitable for all skin types, even acne-prone, because it's anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. It fits into any skincare routine seamlessly, soaks in beautifully, and the scent transforms your regimen into a ritual. You see the difference in your skin immediately after applying it.
What product is a sleeper hit - maybe not your best seller, but you think it should be - and why?
KW - Our Replenishing Balm - it has a silky soft texture and gently envelops skin in a protective, occlusive layer of soundbath-infused extra virgin olive oil and a combination of medicinal herbs that have been used for centuries to heal and rejuvenate suffering or prematurely-aging skin.
AL - Yes, I would say our Replenishing Balm and our Micellar Essence because it heals, hydrates, and tones the skin and preps it beautifully for the following products.
What was one of the biggest challenges you faced when you launched, and how has having a co-founder eased that?
AL - We launched a made-In-Italy beauty brand in the age of Covid-19. It was challenging, but having to overcome so many hurdles early on has made us a more resilient and tight-knit team. I am a firm believer that two heads are better than one. It is so much easier to problem-solve with someone else by your side.
KW- The best part about having a co-founder is having someone by your side who cares as much as you do about the brand's ultimate success and bringing your joint vision to life.
When did you know you “made it” as a brand, and what have been some of your proudest moments?
AL - I don't know that we'll ever feel like we have made it because we continue to raise the bar for ourselves, especially regarding sustainability. That being said, every press acknowledgment or positive customer feedback confirms we're moving in the right direction and feels incredible. My proudest moment was when Travel + Leisure honored us as part of their Global Vision Awards in recognition of the strides we are taking to develop more sustainable and responsible products and practices. Having grown up in the fashion industry, seeing Furtuna Skin in Vogue was a wow moment for me, too.
KW - My proudest moments are always the one-to-one conversations with our customers when they tell me that somehow their life is better because they have been using our products.
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received? The best?
KW - When you run a business you really can’t have a laissez-faire approach to anything, so “don't worry, it will work out” is not great advice. The best advice I’ve received is, “the long term doesn't matter if you can't make the short term work.”
AL - I like to think that there's no such thing as "bad" advice. Sometimes the advice might not be the right fit for my specific circumstance at a certain point in time, but it may be helpful later. The best advice I’ve ever received is to trust your instincts. No matter how good something looks, if it doesn't feel right, walk away.
If you could tell yourself in 2019 (when the brand launched) anything, what would it be?
KW - Focus more. Try to do less at once.
AL- Use hurdles as learning and growing opportunities. When one door closes, another usually opens so keep moving forward.
Your Jeremy Scott collaboration was so fun - who would you like to collaborate with that you haven’t yet? What can we expect from the brand in the future?
AL - We’d love to collaborate with Missoni, who we greatly admire for their heritage and Italian craftsmanship.
KW - We hope to continue along the regenerative lifestyle path, and create opportunities for all living things to find health and thrive.
What is Furtuna Skin’s philosophy?
KW - To leave everything we touch better than we found it - from our customers’ skin to the communities where we grow our ingredients.
AL - We believe that honesty and transparency, from sourcing ingredients to product performance and company policies, is the route to achieving that.