Hairstylist Frédéric Fekkai helped to create the luxury hair-care category. Now, he unapologetically aims to bring it to the mass market.
Early next year, the Procter & Gamble Co.-owned brand plans to relaunch a revamped and edited collection to both mass and prestige retailers. The launch marks a change in strategy for the brand, which nearly four years ago opted to distribute two different lines, namely “classic” to the mass market and “advanced” to the luxury tier.
The two lines created confusion for customers, and logistical problems for the company, acknowledged JP Kuehlwein, executive vice president of Fekkai.
One universal collection will eradicate those issues, and put Fekkai in front of a wider audience, he added.
“This has been the subject of great debate,” said Fekkai, referring the most suitable distribution strategy for a prestige brand. “The truth of the matter is that Fekkai is a luxury brand because of what we project. You’ll see it in our salon, where we have a sophisticated client. The luxury experience of the salon is carried into the products,” he added. “We’ve been too selective for too long. Just because it’s in mass it doesn’t have to be a different formula, package or experience. We know this customer is eager to have the Fekkai experience.”
The collection will include Brilliant Glossing, Technician Color Care, Full Blown Volume, Essential Shea, PrX Reparatives, Fekkai Styling and the return of Apple Cider Shampoo, which had been discontinued in 2012. It also will introduce several items, such as PrX Reparatives Mending Elixir with argan extract and Full Blown Volume Lightweight Foam Conditioner, a silicon-free formula for fine hair. Gone from the lineup are Perfectly Luscious Curls, Ageless and Silky Straight Ironless.
As for what type of retail outpost the line will target, Kuehlwein said, “We are going wherever the customer is pulling us.” He acknowledged that the distribution strategy may be uncomfortable for some of the brand’s luxury retail partners. The brand has dealt with fallout before. In 2010, Fekkai was immediately dropped from Sephora when it began entering drugstores with its “classics” range.
This time around, the brand plans to maintain distribution with its prestige partners, including Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor and Ulta. It will remain in 1,800 Target stores, but expand its product assortment in those doors. It also is sold in certain drugstores, such as Duane Reade.
Fekkai has lowered its pricing, too. For instance, base products will carry a suggested retail price of $19.99, compared with its current one of $22.
It will support the launch with print ads and a digital and social media campaign designed to play off the effortless allure of French chic, or “je ne sais coiffe” as Fekkai calls it. The tag line “Let Luxury Go to Your Head” will be visible across all digital platforms. A redesigned fekkai.com will launch on Dec. 16, with the relaunch of the collection. The products will then roll out more broadly in January to retailers in the U.S. and Canada. The brand is also keeping one eye trained abroad, where it shuttered much of its distribution nearly one year ago, and hopes to regain ground there down the line.
Print ads will feature models Gabby Dover and Paulina Heiler, with hairstyles showcasing the hairstylist’s signature aesthetic. Speaking about his approach to hair, Fekkai said, “I want to make sure it’s alive. It’s about hair that is done but undone.”
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@badgalriri’s @fentybeauty launch in September was a massive success on social media, powering $72.9 million of earned media value, according to Tribe Dynamics. The brand’s foundation offering sparked conversations about diversity in beauty, launching the growth of emerging influencers and propelling the brand’s support on social media. Today, #fentybeauty won Launch of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📷: Chema Moya/EPE-EFE)
@marianna_hewitt has become one of the most influential content creators in the beauty space, with almost 800,000 Instagram followers and a newly launched skin care line called @SummerFridays. Today, she was awarded Influencer of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📸: @sophiachabbott )
As shopping behaviors evolve, the retail experience must follow. Head over to retail experts @colliersinternational’s Knowledge Leader series to read more about the shift in our shopping era. #colliersretail #lovecolliers
@prada opened a pop-up club, called Prada Double Club, in collaboration with German artist Cartsen Höller at @artbasel Miami. Last night, guests – including @youngparis, @ritaora and even Miuccia Prada herself – gathered in a former ice factory where the pop-up is housed for a performance from @wyclefjean. Go to WWD.com for full coverage on all the exhibits, parties and more at #ArtBaselMiami. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@louboutinworld and @disney are making magic once again, creating a set of shoe designs for the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Louboutin designed a pair of shoes for each of the film’s four female leads: Rey (@daisyridrey), Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (@lauradern), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Rose Tico (@kellymarietran). The shoes will debut on Saturday at the L.A. premiere of the latest episode. #wwdfashion
Today at the #BeautyIncAwards 2017, WWD will be joined by beauty leaders from around the world as we honor this year's most innovative people, products, brands and places. Follow along here and on Twitter for live coverage from the exclusive event. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Exclusive: Beauty superinfluencer @marianna_hewitt is launching her first-ever skin care brand with her business partner @laurengores. Their new line Summer Fridays, which will be sold exclusively at summerfridays.com starting in January, is launching with just one product – a hydrating cream Jet Lag Mask. “We wanted to focus on one product that was amazing,” said Hewitt. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Michelin star-rated chef PJ Calapa marks his first solo endeavor with today’s opening of @scampinyc –– the new Southern Italian restaurant located in Manhattans’ Flatiron District. The upscale yet welcoming environment matches the menu, which includes two types of scampi: traditional Italian langoustines in butter and the Americanized version with shrimp over pasta 🍤 - pictured here. #wwdeye (📷: George Chinsee)