Rob Robillard has moved from the high tech to the natural.
Since August, the Living Proof alum was appointed chief executive officer of Sensible Organics Inc., with expansion in mind. “We plan to be the first brand to truly make green beauty mainstream,” said Robillard. In his new role, Robillard oversees all strategy, sales, marketing, distribution and research and development for the company’s USDA-certified bath and body line, Nourish, and its private label manufacturing division. “What I love about it is similar to how I felt about Living Proof,” said Robillard. “I knew we could authentically and credibly enter the organic category because it carries the seal.”
In addition, Robillard just finished closing a round of $5 million in financing to complete the full purchase of Nourish from its founders. The financing will go towards R&D, manufacturing plant innovations centered on eco-friendly products as well as retail support and expansion.
“We know retailers across all channels are now focused on organics, as it’s become a hot growth segment and part of a bigger picture, so we are engaging new markets nationally and internationally every day, from top beauty retailers to natural retailers, drugstores and more,” said Robillard. We are also taking a leading role in the category since we have the highest certifications and seals to back up our claims. We know this is what sets us apart, and that there’s an unacceptable amount of green-washing that’s happened in the space that needs to be cleaned up.” To wit, Nourish contains only USDA-certified organic fruits, vegetable and plant extracts and is fronted by brand ambassador Christine Taylor. The line entered Ulta stores earlier this month.
“We are pleased to add Nourish to our selection at Ulta Beauty,” said Janet Taake, Ulta senior vice president of merchandising. “As the popularity of natural ingredients and organic products continues to grow, we believe that this collection will be of great interest to our customers.”
In Ulta stores for holiday, 13 Nourish products will be featured in Ulta’s Specialty Bath & Body section.
Looking to the future, Robillard said he is focused on innovation as well as education for consumers. “The future of organic beauty is getting redefined, and we’re the ones planting the seed,” said Robillard. “In terms of expansion, based on the success of the Nourish products, the next natural step is facial skin care. We’re working on a beautiful line and to at least triple our production next year.”
Prior to his most recent appointment, Robillard served as ceo of ICU Eyewear. As ceo of Living Proof, he is credited with bringing to market patented, breakthrough technologies like the introduction of polyfluoroester, a molecule used for a host of common hair issues, from controlling frizz to imparting volume.
“At the time, it was about bringing honesty and authentic performance to the market,” said Robillard. “When I was looking at Living Proof, I felt there was a desperate need from the consumer for honesty. It was a meaningful change in the [hair-care] category. Once we got distribution, sales took off and the company exploded.”
During his career, Robillard has also held positions at Kiehl’s, L’Oréal Paris, Ben & Jerry’s and McKinsey & Co.
“While I was at L’Oréal my proudest achievement was True Match,” said Robillard, who created the innovative foundation, known for its extensive shade offerings. “The concept of warm, neutral and cool didn’t exist in the mass market before then.”
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews