The onetime sale of a logo T-shirt in 2005 was the unlikely beginning of Bumble and bumble's expanding effort to put its name (aka Bb.) and edgy image before the public. "It gets our brand out in an organic way," said Peter Lichtenthal, president of the hair salon and boutique. "We're not an advertised brand."
The item — a gray, short-sleeved, soft cotton T with a pale blue, reverse-script Bb. logo, hanging with nine other brand signatures and the legend "First cut 1977" discretely placed above a pair of scissors — has led to a flurry of merchandise. The collection includes a series of classic logo Ts; three seasonal Ts, each tying-in with one of the salon's Hair Stories books and DVDs (currently, "Always in Style: The Bob"); a translucent blue, black and white Bumbrella, with logotype broken up in a labyrinth, and a gray-and-black denim, wallpaper-logo duffel bag, given as a gift to the salon's hair team during New York Fashion Week in February, six months after it went on sale to the public.
It doesn't end there. A reprise of the gray-and-black denim, wallpaper-logo theme, this time in travel kits, and a seasonal T-shirt, inspired by the upcoming "Back of the House," Hair Stories No. 6, are slated to go on offer in November at the Bumble boutique in New York's Meatpacking District.
Prices for the signature goods range from $80 for the duffel to $30 for the Bumbrella to $25 for the T-shirts. Hair Stories books, DVDs and Bumble and bumble pins are giveaways.
"The Bb. logo represents handwriting for a brand rooted in the craft of handwork — hair styling and hair dressing," Lichtenthal said. "We have 36 Bb.'s, each created by hand, applied to different products." (The hair works' mailing labels declare: "Dedicated to the craft, culture and commerce of hair dressing.")
While it appears a mountain of Bumble merchandise is amassing, Lichtenthal insisted: "We're careful and selective about how we present our name." The next seasonal T, for instance, will coincide with the next Hair Stories theme, "Back of the House," reflecting the history of the salon, its role in fashion — and the short leap to the T-shirt as an element of style, Helen Steed, Bumble and bumble's creative director, said.
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