Joan Malloy, who became Alterna’s president last August, argues that for years the Los Angeles-based professional hair care brand didn’t broadcast how advanced it was — a problem she is out to rectify with a raft of new initiatives.
“They were very ahead of the curve on ingredient stories, but they didn’t name it and claim it,” she said. “They were the first to apparently coin the phrase, ‘The Science of Skincare for Hair.’ Also, since the late Nineties, they were doing paraben-free, sulfate-free and phthalate-free when no one was even talking about [that] in a luxury formula.”
Malloy’s early efforts to steer the Alterna ship in the right direction hinge on the September launch of Bamboo, the brand’s first full new line since 2000.
Bamboo’s first collection is Smooth, pairing bamboo extract with kendi oil, which is rich in essential fatty acids. Following Smooth, Bamboo will expand to include a Volume collection that adds maca root extract for voluminous hair, and a Shine collection that adds Indian gooseberry for luster.
Of the various shampoos, conditioners and styling items in Smooth, Malloy singled out Kendi Pure Treatment Oil and Kendi Dry Oil Mist as the stars of the collection, the latter of which she said brings the dry oil concept that is a body care staple into hair care.
Bamboo fills a segment Malloy calls “everyday luxury” she thought Alterna was missing. Priced at $18 to $24, the brand is designed to capture 25- to 45-year-old consumers often unable to afford Alterna’s antiaging Caviar line that runs up to $30. Bamboo products will eventually replace Life, an Alterna line that married eastern ingredients with modern technologies.
With Bamboo securing the affordability and sustainability pillars at Alterna, Malloy envisions Caviar as the brand’s principal driver of innovation. Caviar launches speak to that objective, including $35 Overnight Hair Rescue to combat environmental aging, and $20 talc-free Anti-Aging Dry Shampoo to soak up oil.
Malloy’s mission is to expand Alterna’s distribution from 2,000 salons in the U.S. and is providing a more inexpensive back-bar program to lure salons. Worldwide, the brand is in about 43 countries, excluding China and South America, both viewed as massive opportunities.
Outside of salons, Alterna recently made its debut on QVC, and Caviar products hit sephora.com on Tuesday, a potential springboard for the brand to enter Sephora doors. Priya Venkatesh, Sephora’s vice president and divisional merchandise manager for skin care and hair care, said, “Alterna offers innovative, efficacious and sulfate-free product with a strong salon credibility that will definitely appeal to our clients.”
Also, Malloy has tapped Mary Burns as vice president of marketing, Jennifer Gifford as creative director and Tamara Brown as vice president of global sales.
“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