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Jonathan Antin Starts Over in Beauty

Celebrity hairstylist Jonathan Antin thrives on competition, even if it may appear he is competing against himself.

Celebrity hairstylist Jonathan Antin thrives on competition, even if it may appear he is competing against himself.

This story first appeared in the April 23, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The hairstylist is developing a new hair care line to rival his original namesake line, one that continues to sell at stores, with the new range also bearing his name. Antin conceded that the while the venture isn’t typical, the new gig, Jonathan Antin Hair Care, doesn’t break any rules since he never signed a non-compete, even if it sounds a bit like the original, Jonathan Product, which launched in 2005.

Antin said he is in discussions with two companies he called “very, very large monoliths” of the beauty industry to produce Jonathan Antin Hair Care, expected to launch as early as the fourth quarter, although he wouldn’t divulge which ones. The new brand will be permitted to use his likeness and name. Antin disclosed last month he sold his half of Jonathan Product back to the company.

“I feel like I was pretty lucky that I am able to move on and immediately start Jonathan Antin Hair Care and, for lack of a better way of putting it, compete with Jonathan Product,” said Antin, who stressed he parted with Jonathan Product on good terms. “It is kind of an unusual situation, but I am really excited about it.”

The company that will market Jonathan Antin Hair Care wouldn’t make him an owner, Antin said, rather a licensing or royalty structure may be hammered out.

“I think the way that it is going to play out this time is that I am going to be more on the creative side as the creative director and creator of the brand,” said Antin. “It will be Jonathan Antin-driven, but…this brand is going to have a pulse and legs on its own so that it doesn’t need me to grow. It is going to grow just by way of being a really amazing product.”

Antin has yet to determine whether the brand will be aimed at specialty retailers or mass merchandisers, but is resolute its products will be priced below Jonathan Product’s wet items that are mostly from $20 to $28.

To popularize the new brand, Antin is appearing on Bravo’s “Shear Genius” and is working on creating both a reality show chronicling his current endeavors and a show in a competition format. He has entered into a development deal with A. Smith & Co. Productions, the company behind “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Trading Spaces,” among many other reality shows.

If the hair care brand and reality shows weren’t enough, Antin is getting back into the salon business he exited a few years back. He is scouring possible locations in the Los Angeles area for a 10- to 12-chair salon that could be built out within 90 days.

“I wanted to start over in the salon world, and I couldn’t do that in the salons that I was in,” said Antin, referring to his previous West Hollywood and Beverly Hills salons. “I am looking for that ultimate space that I wanted to have back then, so I could own the building, potentially pick my own neighbors and be located exactly where I wanted to be.”