[caption id="attachment_11071364" align="alignnone" width="200"] Scott Friedman[/caption]Scott Friedman is ready for his next act.In his six-plus years as chief executive officer of NYX Professional Makeup, Friedman helped fatten up the company's sales to exceed an estimated $100 million a year. L’Oréal scooped up the makeup artistry brand, founded by Toni Ko in 1999, three years ago.After spearheading expansion of NYX into retailers such as Walgreens Boots Alliance and Macy’s, Friedman left his post in August. But the lure of building another company (after a month of global travel) encouraged Friedman to accept the ceo role at Bellami, a hair extension brand. “It doesn’t feel like work,” said Friedman of his new role. “I decided I wanted to do something that is fun and exciting.”He has a blueprint for growth for Bellami. The brand had estimated sales of $30 million last year, and Friedman sees the potential to build that to more than $1 billion within four or five years. Among the plans are a new headquarters set to open in El Segundo, Calif., next spring and the goal to expand the staff to gear up for growth.Here, Friedman discusses his vision.WWD: Were you familiar with Bellami?Scott Friedman: I had been introduced to the owners [Julius Salerno and Nikki Eslami, who founded the company when they found a lack of quality extensions in the market] a couple of years ago. They are both so talented and we communicate well together, our skill sets are complementary.WWD: What are your growth plans?S.F.: I see a tremendous opportunity because Bellami has a good position in a growing market. The company is already the most well-known, direct-to-consumer clip-in extension brand. And we recently launched our professional hair extension products. We will help salons grow a new category, become more well-known online and give them a brand that consumers are looking for with plans to be number one in salons.My focus is on the brand and what we can do to position the brand with our consumers. We’re going to use digital in all aspects of our business — we’ll use our insights to leverage online conversations and use digital to educate our partners. We are already the most talked-about hair extension brand online.The category of human hair is an expensive category. By going direct to consumers and stylists, all of our costs go into the products — so having conversations about the qualities of our products is important. We’ve also had great success on QVC, we are the first human hair extension brand to have that level of success on the channel.We see opportunities to add other products that complement hair extensions, such as tools suited to styling hair extensions like blow dryers or curling irons.WWD: Who is the audience for hair extensions and why is it expanding at a double-digit clip?S.F.: It is growing because so many women are happy to let people know they have extensions — they don’t hide it. They like to have long hair one day and short the next. It is probably close to a $1 billion business. The interesting thing with human hair is you can wash it and you can color it. It isn’t just young people, women of all ages — especially those with thinning hair — use extensions. It makes people feel good about themselves.WWD: Tell me about the growth of your physical Beauty Bars?S.F.: We just opened our second Beauty Bar in a site in Houston [the first is in Los Angeles]. The Beauty Bars provide extensions and allow women to have them blended in — either clip-in or professionally installed. The 1,500-square-foot locations also serve as distribution points for stylists. Hair extensions are expensive and they can go to the bar to get the colors needed for clients [rather than keeping them in stock].We will open six including one in the Meatpacking District in New York, one in Miami, one in Las Vegas and another in the Los Angeles area. We don’t have a goal of opening many stores. We want to get it right. We’ll hit pause and make sure we’ve locked in the expertise. One is easy. The one in Hollywood is constantly busy. But I know the difference between running one and a larger number.[caption id="attachment_11071366" align="alignnone" width="300"] Bellami collaboration with Dove Cameron.[/caption]WWD: Will Bellami do more collaborations, such as the recent launch with Dove Cameron?S.F.: We will. The line with Dove is going great. We think this gives a voice to some of the influencers and this is a category that is supplemental with what influencers are already doing — there aren’t 10 other high-end hair extensions we are competing against. We couldn’t believe how much Dove knew about our business. She knew the numbers of the colors and she knew just how many rows she wanted and lengths with her extensions.WWD: Do you see parallels from your career at NYX? Any learnings to apply at Bellami?S.F.: The most important thing is knowing we are going to create a really good team. It is important that you have really bright people and that you empower them. Another thing I’ve learned is that brand strength is everything. Sell-in means nothing. The entire focus is on satisfying the customers. If we give people great products and create value, they will carry the brand message.As we staff up, the kind of people we want to attract in product development are those who can observe cultural trends not only in beauty, but fashion and music as well, to develop innovative products. We can’t be fake.
“I think what’s so interesting about the #MeToo movement and this whole new wave of feminism in general, is that women are finally seeing, ’Oh I can start my own company, oh I can lear to code, oh I can leave my nine-to-five job and do the thing I want to do,” said @brooklyndecker ahead of her @sxsw talk for @createcultivate. The former model took the stage to share wisdom about networking and female-driven entrepreneurship. #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.