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.”
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews