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.”
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye