NEW YORK — Truefitt & Hill always did appeal to the upper crust, what with a client list that boasts King George III, Winston Churchill, and Frank Sinatra. And it seems the 200-year-old luxury grooming line hasn’t lost its...
NEW YORK — Truefitt & Hill always did appeal to the upper crust, what with a client list that boasts King George III, Winston Churchill, and Frank Sinatra. And it seems the 200-year-old luxury grooming line hasn’t lost its touch.
Last June the London-based upscale shave company caught the eye of two Harvard Business School graduates, Guy Cartwright and Heath Flock, both of whom saw so much potential in the brand that they bought the licensing and marketing rights for Truefitt & Hill in North America.
The deal, which has been in negotiations since last June, was signed off in January for an undisclosed amount.
Now, Cartwright, the company’s president and chief executive, and Flock, its vice president and chief operating officer, are visiting high-end retailers to see how Truefitt & Hill’s array of cologne, aftershave, shaving cream, bath and shower gel, shampoo and accessories will fit into the product mix. Stores on their hit list include Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale’s. Products will retail between $15 for shampoo and $60 for cologne.
Truefitt & Hill North America, based in Chicago, generates less than $1 million in sales here, with a nationwide distribution base that includes five Nordstrom stores and nearly 40 boutiques. Two Truefitt & Hill barber shops,in Chicago and in Toronto, also receive products. Each shop comes equipped with antique barber chairs and a service list that includes a Royal Shave ($45), a hair cut ($45), manicures, pedicures and steam facials.
Cartwright and Flock do not own the North America stores, nor the London-based barber shop flagship, which was established in 1805. But their purchase agreement gives them the right to own and operate future stores in North America.
Cartwright believes he can grow the Truefitt & Hill business at least 30 percent in 2004.
The U.S. men’s toiletries market, according to London-based data tracker DataMonitor, is estimated to reach $4.4 billion by 2004 with an annual rate of growth at 3.4 percent. Cartwright, however, is focused on the prestige market, a fraction of that number, but one with a 10 to 20 percent growth rate, according to his data estimates.Cartwright is well aware of the competition he faces, especially by the growing number of prestige shave brands surfacing such as Jack Black, E Shave, and, most notably, The Art of Shaving, a company that generates nearly $8 million in sales and operates four stores — each of which perform shave services and offers a large array of upscale shave accessories and products.
But a recent meeting with Art of Shaving executives yielded an agreement: The market is growing in products and shops and there is room for a number of prestige players.
“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