Models Erin O'Connor and Helena Christensen, plus British R&B singer Jamelia, have partnered with salon chain Toni & Guy and Name, the brand development and licensing arm of the Independent entertainment and modeling agency, to introduce a line of hair care and styling products this month in the U.K. It's dubbed Model.Me.
Each of the brand's aforementioned spokesmodels, who also hold a stake in the business, lends her face and name to a subcollection of five products. Christensen's line, for example, is called Model.Me Helena and features her photograph and signature on the packaging. Products also were concocted to meet each spokesmodel's needs. Christensen's items are meant to create a natural look.
"The concept originated from an idea about bringing together leading fashion and music personalities with a brand [that] is an expert in its field," said Sacha Mascolo-Tarbuck, Toni & Guy's global creative director.
"One of the key objectives was wanting to create a brand that not only reaffirmed Toni & Guy's position within the fashion industry but is also fronted by personalities that could truly be related to by all women," she added.
The celebrities were involved in all aspects of their lines' creations, from product formulation to packaging design, said Gavin Myall, Name's director. "We didn't want to do [the project] if it was just about endorsement," he said. "[We] wanted them to be their products at literally every step." He noted, for example, that O'Connor specified she wanted a dry shampoo to be part of her lineup, while Christensen requested organic olive oil be used in some of her products.
"It was a great learning process," said Christensen. She added that since she boxes and runs for exercise, she's obliged to wash her hair, which is prone to dryness and tangling, often. Christensen's Model.Me lineup includes Super Hydrating Shampoo, Super Hydrating Conditioner, Vitamin Protection Spray, Radiant Styling Spray and Movement Balm.
O'Connor's collection puts an accent on quirky styling with a high-fashion bent. "I took all the tidbits I've learned over the years being backstage," she said. "I wanted to make it accessible." Her lineup includes Illuminating Shampoo, Illuminating Conditioner, Quick Fix Dry Shampoo, Creative Styling Glue and Matt Styling Paste.Designed with Afro and textured hair in mind, Jamelia's collection includes Enriching Shampoo and Enriching Conditioner. Her styling items include High Gloss Blow Dry Liquid, Affinity Serum and High Maintenance Pomade.
Model.Me will bow in Boots the Chemists stores in the U.K. on Sept. 12 before being rolled out to Toni & Guy salons and its diffusion chain, Essensuals, in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe in October. A U.S. launch is planned for next year.
Industry sources estimate the 15-unit line could generate first-year retail sales of 9 million pounds, or $18.2 million at current exchange, to 11 million pounds, or $22.2 million, in its first year. A single- and double-page print advertising campaign kicks off this month.
Model.Me products range in price from 5.99 pounds, or $12, for a 250-ml. bottle of shampoo, to 7.99 pounds, or $16.12, for a 150-ml. bottle of Jamelia Affinity Serum. Keeping price points accessible was key for Christensen, who said she uses copious amounts of conditioner. "That's the reason I wanted to do this," she said with a smile. "So I could get it for free."
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