NEW YORK — Former cast member of “The Real Housewives of New York City” Cindy Barshop couldn’t believe her eyes when she visited the depilatory aisle at her local drugstore.
“It was outdated and there were no innovation,” said Barshop, founder of Completely Bare spas. “It was the same stuff that had been there for years.”
She decided to do something about it: A retail line of Completely Bare is slated to launch in CVS Pharmacy this July. Barshop teamed with business partner Alicia Nussdorf and Quality King, a distributor with sales exceeding $1 billion. Completely Bare, now a sister company to Quality King, has the infrastructure to compete against the big powers in the category, which include Coty’s Sally Hansen, Church & Dwight’s Nair and Reckitt Benckiser’s Veet.
Barshop also has a well-waxed leg up on the competition, thanks to celebrity status from “The Real Housewives of New York City” and her enterprise of four hair removal salons, which have made the Vajewel the latest in accessories.
Barshop aims to bring salon quality to mass, especially for teenagers who are interested in painless and safe hair removal. “Everybody shops at CVS, and now they can experience the transformative results Completely Bare offers. This hip, modern product line represents a new direction for the depilatory market,” Barshop said.
With Americans removing unwanted strands from more places than ever, hair removal is becoming a booming business. Nussdorf, citing numbers from Euromonitor International, said hair removal sales are on track to hit $1.23 billion in 2012 and expand to $1.3 billion in 2013. Bleaches add in about another $200 million in sales.
Barshop anticipates the products will play well with sports enthusiasts, teenagers, the gay community and underserved ethnic markets. “This is going to be a game changer,” she said, adding that the portability of several of the items — such as the no-heat strips — allow for travel. “You can throw these in your suitcase or camp bag,” she said.
To reach targeted markets, Completely Bare will use social media to promote the launch. A QR code located on the product package links to a how-to video tutorial, the first of its kind on the market, according to the company. A Completely Bare specialist will answer wax-related questions with a 24-hour timeline and a training DVD is in the works for beauty advisers.
The CVS lineup includes three at-home wax kits — the Hypo-Allergenic Wax Strips for Face, Bikini, Body; the Salon Quality Face and Other Sensitive Areas Wax Kit, and the Salon Quality Bikini and Body Wax Kit. Each kit retail for under $17.
Also launching online at cvs.com are Completely Bare pre-and post-wax essentials with names such as Not Feeling It Numbing and Cooling Spray, Don’t Grow There Tri-Complex Body Balm and Bikini Bump Blaster. Plans call for the line to roll out to additional retailers in the fall.
“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