Three years after launching Bevel, a shaving start-up for African-American men, Walker & Co. is entering a new category and channel with an entirely new brand. Form, a line of hair-care and styling products, is the second brand in the company’s portfolio, and it will be the first to enter the prestige market. After a soft launch on its own e-commerce site in late June, it is launching online at Sephora next month. In September, Form will roll out a select number of Sephora doors, with plans for a larger rollout next year. The Silicon Valley-based Walker & Co., founded by entrepreneur Tristan Walker, launched Bevel in 2014, with the aim of becoming the Procter & Gamble of personal care for people of color. Since then, it has raised more than $33 million in funding, hired a former Estée Lauder executive as its chief operating officer, and expanded Bevel into both mass and online retail via Target and Amazon. In looking to enter the prestige channel, Walker sought a company with an international reach and omnichannel approach that could tap into beauty-obsessed consumers. “When it comes to beauty experience and an omnichannel approach, Sephora is the best,” Walker said. “We’re not only appealing to and leveraging their millions of Beauty Insiders online, but in the future to [an international audience].”“The opportunity we have internationally with Sephora is pretty impressive,” added Joanne Hsieh, chief operating officer of Walker & Co. “[And] they’re focused on digital.” Form is a customizable line of products, said to work for every hair type and texture, but particularly different types and textures of curls. “There was an amazing opportunity to build a brand that focused on natural ingredients steeped in science across all hair textures in the prestige category,” Walker said. The customization element of the line — a diagnostic survey that leads to developing a prescription of which Walker & Co. products to use for one’s hair and how exactly to use them — leans heavily on digital. Walker noted that the technology behind the survey is designed to ultimately be available in brick-and-mortar retail as well. The products are priced from $22 for shampoo to $32 for a three-in-one leave-in lotion treatment.
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