BERLIN — Wella Professionals’ new hair dye formula, called Illumina Color, is stepping into the limelight.
The Procter & Gamble salon hair care brand is being trumpeted as the biggest color innovation of the last 20 years. Inspired by luminosity of natural light on hair, Illumina is designed to deliver multitonal, natural-looking shades while minimizing damage to hair and providing 100 percent gray coverage. Five years in development, the new line will be launched in the U.S. in January, following its roll out in the U.K. and Western Europe.
Illumina’s range of 20 cool-toned colors was developed to lighten up to three levels, but has some limitations. The darkest hair shades, including deep blacks (think Liza Minnelli or Dita Von Teese) are not served by Illumina, but better met with the brand’s Koleston. Wella says the Illumina color portfolio will be expanded, but tones will stay in the natural zone. Additionally, the company says its Illumina colors are also suited to men, due to the subtle nuances of the product’s colors.
Illumina also bucks the trend for ammonia-free hair color, which was sparked by L’Oréal’s Inoa, launched in 2009, and has trickled down into the consumer home coloring market.
“We have not seen in the lab a product that works better than ammonia,” said Maria Castan, science specialist for P&G’s Salon Professionals division. “If we have a better product, we’ll launch it.”
Instead, enemy number one is copper, which Castan says is found in water pipes all over the world, from Berlin to Buenos Aires. As a side effect of washing, tiny particles of copper residue adhere to the hair’s outer layer, the cuticle. During coloring, these copper particles bond with ingredients in the dye, damaging the cuticle and leaving a rough surface that doesn’t reflect as much light. Wella says Illumina color includes special micro-particles that surround the copper and keep damage at bay. Healthier hair is shinier, more transparent, and more reflective, explains Castan. “We are trying to create light with the color,” she says, noting the very specific inspiration was morning light in Los Angeles at 9 a.m., and how it makes hair gleam.
Wella suggests that stylists price Illumina treatments about 20 percent higher than their classic color services. The company hopes that Illumina scores a name-brand recognition. To this end, Wella is offering salons a variety of extended advertising and marketing tools in the hopes of helping their clients see the light about Illumina. The company’s faith in the demand for the product is illustrated by its suggestion to salons that Illumina treatments should be priced 20 percent higher than standard color services.
As a brand, Wella generates an estimated $1 billion a year in sales, including the consumer and salon hair care and coloring products. Illumina could give the salon unit a positive boost. According to P&G’s recently released first-quarter figures, Wella innovations helped increase organic sales year-on-year in the salon professional business.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast