For more than a year, Amy Errett stared at women’s hair. At dinner parties and over dinner, she’d boldly ask, “Do you color your hair?”
What at first seemed like awkward small talk served as the initial research for Errett’s online hair-color company Madison Reed, which sells custom shades for $30.
“My deep belief is that when you create a new brand you actually need to understand your consumer pain points,” said Errett, founder and chief executive officer of Madison Reed, during her presentation. For this customer, Errett explained, “She has no time. She doesn’t want to spend the money and she doesn’t want to go to the salon every three weeks.”
In her view, the boxed color lining mass-market shelves provides little in the way of advice or instruction. Should the consumer open up the instructions inside the box — which most do not, Errett found by observing women apply color — she’d find a litany of steps in a small typeface.
“We stood in 55 women’s bathrooms over a two-month period and watched them actually apply color. And every single woman made the same mistakes,” said Errett, a former venture capitalist. She sought to improve the experience — for instance, each box features the five-step step-by-step application process — and provide a product that rivals salon quality, while removing harsh chemicals including ammonia and resorcinol.
Recognizing the impact of digital on driving businesses forward, Madison Reed’s e-commerce business was launched in tandem with a mobile app, which provides a step-by-step video on how to apply the color. The app also has a 35-minute timer so users don’t leave color on too long, and has personalized playlists to make the wait more enjoyable.
Madison Reed is working to balance the high-tech aspects of the business with a high-touch approach, which includes a call center manned by certified colorists.
“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