Drybar could soon be blowing into a city near you: The blow-dry-only salon chain has inked a $16 million deal with Castanea Partners, which gives the Boston-based private-equity firm a minority stake in the company and Drybar the capital with which to expand.
“We believe Drybar has not just national appeal, but global expansion possibilities,” said Janet Gurwitch, an operating partner in Castanea and formerly the chief executive officer of Laura Mercier Cosmetics and the executive vice president of Neiman Marcus. Gurwitch and Paul Pressler, former president and ceo of Gap Inc. and president of Disneyland and Disney Stores, will join Drybar’s board of directors. In addition to the Castanea investment, both Gurwitch and Pressler personally invested in Drybar.
“They’ve found a real niche,” said Gurwitch, adding that Drybar reminded her of Laura Mercier in its early days: a company with a point of difference and quality services executed well. “We have the investment capital and will give them the monies to grow and grow properly. Many newer businesses have to make questionable decisions based on lack of capital, and we will make sure Drybar has what it needs to be successful.”
The investment follows a swift rise for Drybar, which will open its second New York City location at Le Parker Meridian hotel on Jan. 26. This brings the Drybar location count to 13 in two years — including its first Manhattan location, at 4 West 16th Street, which launched this past September, and Michael Landau, chief executive of Drybar, noted that the expansion plans were just beginning; he was speaking from Washington, where he was scouting locations. Drybar currently operates four stores in Southern California, as well as locations in New York; San Francisco; Dallas; Scottsdale, Ariz.; San Diego; and Atlanta. New locations in Manhattan Beach, Calif., and Westlake Village, Calif., are set to open later this spring.
“We wanted a partner who brought real experience to the table,” said Landau. “Castanea has that, and also has Janet Gurwitch’s knowledge of beauty and fashion — she knows what it takes to build a beauty company.”
The company plans to use proceeds from the investment to continue their rapid national expansion efforts and further invest in talent and infrastructure, noted Landau, adding that Karen Kelley, former senior executive at Pinkberry and Jamba Juice, recently joined the company as president and chief operating officer. As well, the company is in the process of creating its own product line.
Drybar launched its first shop in Brentwood, Calif., in February 2010 — the brainchild of Landau’s sister, Alli Webb, a professional stylist with curly hair, who was tired of overpaying for blowouts at traditional salons. Her solution? A blow-dry-only salon that offers $40 blowouts. Now, noted Landau, each location does upward of 100 blowouts a day. “We’ve found that even in a bad economy, women won’t give up blowouts,” said Landau. “They won’t cut or color their hair as often, but they will get blowouts.”
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)