HAIR IS ART: The Patrick Melville Salon and Spa will celebrate its grand reopening May 28. The new space, which has partnered with Manhattan’s William Bennett Gallery, will feature a rotating exhibit of artwork by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall and Joan Miró. The salon, located at 45 Rockefeller Plaza, will rotate the art every six weeks, the usual span of time between salon visits.

AVEDA INSTITUTE L.A.: California’s first Aveda Institute officially celebrated the opening of its 11,000-square-foot, 75-station facility near the University of California in Los Angeles on May 5. The institute has the capacity for 240 students and around 85 are already enrolled. The tuition is nearly $20,000 for a yearlong program. “We are seeing a whole lot more interest in the beauty industry because the job can’t be exported overseas,” said Patrick Thompson, president of the Aveda Institute in Los Angeles as well as institutes in Columbus, Ohio, and Chapel Hill, N.C. Thompson is planning to put five institutes in Southern California, with possible future locations in San Diego, Orange County, San Bernardino County and northern Los Angeles.

HAIR EXTENSION: Groupe Provalliance has added some volume to its hair salon business. The French group announced May 13 it has acquired the high-end Jean Marc Maniatis salon chain, which counts four salons in Paris and 20 in Japan. “A mainly international development strategy will be put in place in the coming months,” stated Provalliance, which claims to be Europe’s biggest hair salon company with more than 2,400 salons worldwide. A spokeswoman for Provalliance declined to disclose financial terms of the deal. Provalliance’s salon portfolio includes the Franck Provost, Jean Louis David and Saint Algue chains, among others.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS:
Bluemercury is on the lookout for real estate deals. The 27-unit beauty apothecary has opened two locations this month, one in Lake Forest, Ill., and the other in Westport, Conn. The latter opened May 8 at the former site of JD’s Cosmetic Essentials, a chain of four Connecticut stores that shuttered earlier this year. “We are being extremely opportunistic,” said Marla Malcolm Beck, founder and chief executive officer of Bluemercury Inc. “We are entrepreneurial and nimble, so we can be quick.” As for what Bluemercury customers are buying, as spending concerns loom, Beck said, “There’s a hunger for a pick-me-up or something new,” adding that specialty beauty products allow shoppers to “get their fashion fix.” That said, skin care and cosmetics sales continue to trump those of the hair care and bath and body categories, said Beck. The exception, though, is the recently added luxury-priced Oribe line, which offers shampoos in the $30 range.

KEEPING UP WITH KINERASE: Kinerase has shed its Hollywood connection — Courteney Cox is no longer the face of the skin care brand — and is highlighting its medical connections instead. Owned by Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Kinerase aims to bring the benefits of doctor’s office treatments to beauty consumers with PhotoFacials Sun Damage Reversal System launching in July. The system is comprised of three products: 5-oz. Daily Exfoliating Cleanser for $40, 1.7-oz. Day Moisturizer with SPF 50 for $88 and 1.7-oz. Night Moisturizer for $88. “We want to be the first to bring the hottest dermatological procedures to stores,” said Janice Lee, senior product manager at Kinerase. The system will roll out exclusively to Sephora and sephora.com before blanketing Kinerase’s retail distribution network, including Ulta and Nordstrom. Industry sources estimate it will generate $7 million to $10 million in first-year retail sales.

AVEENO TAPS STYLIST: To support the launch of its inaugural hair care line, Aveeno Nourish, to the mass market, Aveeno has signed celebrity stylist Jessica Tingley to be a spokeswoman for the line in its ads and public relations efforts, as well as in product development. Tingley lives in Los Angeles and is the head stylist at Serge Normant’s salon there. She counts Heidi Klum, Mandy Moore, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kate Bosworth as clients. Additionally, Aveeno, owned by Johnson & Johnson, will be staging salon takeovers in three cities — Boston, Minneapolis and Seattle — on Wednesday, where the brand will offer free blowouts, hair tips and product samples.

HERMES, BPI TEAM UP: Hermès Parfums announced Thursday that it plans to transfer its external distribution in the U.S. to Beauté Prestige International as of Aug. 1. BPI will assume responsibility for fragrance sales and operational developments and perfumeries in the U.S., while Hermès of Paris Inc. will continue to oversee and manage directly its fragrance activity within its own network of stores. In the U.S., the company’s fragrances are distributed in Hermès stores and in 260 specialty stores and perfumeries.

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