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LOS ANGELES — Now that “paraben-free” seems to be an unofficial criteria for quality beauty brands, Los Angeles-based label LaLicious is poised to relaunch its entire line, with all the parabens and sulfates taken out.
This story first appeared in the April 18, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“It’s a strong keyword in the industry,” said founder and owner Jessica Kernochan. “Buyers don’t seem to want to carry products that have sulfates and parabens, so for us it just became a matter of giving people what they wanted.”
The five-year-old line, which is currently carried in about 400 beauty stores, boutiques and salons nationwide, just started shipping in its new incarnation — which also includes all new packaging — last week. Kernochan is also taking advantage of the momentum generated by the relaunch to put out some additional items early next year.
For now, however, LaLicious comprises 28 stockkeeping units — essentially four products in seven different fragrances. The core products are a Sugar Souffle Scrub, Body Butter and Body Oil, with the Body Wash being replaced by a Whipped Body Soap. Scents include Coconut Cream, Island Guava, Passionfruit Lime and Lily Mango, as well as the brand’s latest, Tahitian Flower. The collection is categorized by fragrance, with each one given a different color packaging; reddish ruby for the guava, a pearly beige for Coconut Cream.
Kernochan said that even the colors on the labels marked a major shift for the company.
“They’re more muted now,” she said. “Before, it was more neon, more girly. We wanted to step away from that young girl look and target a broader range of people who could buy the products.” She added that she hoped to include department stores to her current accounts, which include Planet Blue in Malibu, Calif., and facelogic in Orlando, Fla.
She is currently developing a couple of new products, including a lip scrub — an exfoliating product that can be carried around and used anywhere — as well as a shimmering dry oil or body fragrance. She expects those to be launched by early next year.
“Our whole philosophy is not to have a whole bunch of different things that people don’t know what do with it,” she said. “It’s always better to have a couple of good ones that do lots of things.”
She has tried to absorb as much as possible the cost of reformulating the line, although she conceded that the products will end up being about a dollar more on the floor. (Prices now range at retail from $18 to $32.)
Kernochan anticipates a year of significant growth going forward; she is moving into a warehouse space four times as large as the one her company now occupies, recently opened accounts in Canada and has also started shipping to England, Switzerland, Mexico and Nicaragua.
“We’re hoping for a 500 percent increase in volume next year,” she says. “We’re hoping for a big year.”