Talk about sweet dreams. Fresh’s 1999 launch of Brown Sugar Body Polish catapulted the Boston-based brand from a bath-and-body line best known for its exquisite soaps into a veritable beauty behemoth.
The idea of using sugar as a primary ingredient was a natural for Fresh founders, husband and wife Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg.
“My grandmother used sugar every time I had cuts and bruises on my skin,” says Glazman. “After Alina and I were married, she cut her finger in the kitchen and was putting sugar on it and we realized we were both sharing the same tradition.”
“Actually, it happened more like this,” says Roytberg. “When my grandmother was still alive, Lev noticed her bringing out the sugar to apply to a scrape. He said, ‘My God, my grandmother used to do the same!’”
Whichever version is true, the story came to mind as the duo was formulating body scrubs. Glazman had used salt scrubs in the past and found them very dehydrating. Instead, they researched sugar-derived ingredients and infused them with a combination of oils to create the proprietary formula for Brown Sugar Body Polish. “Since brown sugar is a natural antiseptic with no bacteria growth, it could be a natural preservative,” explains Glazman of their reasoning. “It’s also a natural humectant and that made sense when incorporating it into skin care.”
The concept of brown sugar and the memorable story behind it put the company on the map—and attracted the likes of LVMH, which acquired Fresh in 2000. “You can’t just launch a product and say, ‘Here you go, use it,’” says Glazman. “You’ve got to not only have a vision, but also the ability for people to fall in love with something.”
Today, Fresh’s Brown Sugar franchise consists of 14 items that industry sources estimate account for a third of the brand’s sales in the U.S. Countless other companies have launched sugar-based products in the 13 years since the introduction of the original, but Brown Sugar Body Polish continues to be the beacon against which all others are measured. “It’s iconic for us,” says Roytberg, “because it comes from things that we really understand.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast