Acumen by American Crew

Revlon is back at it with another prestige brand.

Shortly after chief creative officer Linda Wells introduced Flesh, a prestige makeup brand she incubated using her personal Rolodex of industry contacts and rolled out to Ulta Beauty in June, comes Acumen, a new prestige venture from American Crew.

The 15-item line, consisting of shave, skin and hairstyling products, is set to launch this month at Selfridge’s in the U.K., and is expected to rollout to department store retail in the U.S. in 2019.

Acumen is coming at a time when the men’s grooming market is incredibly fast-growing. At the time of David Beckham and L’Oréal’s House 99 grooming brand launch in February, WWD reported that the worldwide beauty market represents around 210 billion euros, of which the men’s grooming segment makes up about 10 percent and is developing some two- to three-times faster than the 4 percent to 5 percent annually in the overall business.

The line is also being released at a time when Revlon is significantly ramping up activity on its portfolio brands, which include Almay, CND, American Crew, Mitchum and Sinful Colors. Almay embarked on a total brand revamp earlier this year, and in June, CND introduced Shellac Luxe, which is expected to be its most significant launch in years.

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As sales languish in the mass market, Revlon is also becoming increasingly experimental outside its core competencies — Flesh, for instance, was launched exclusively at Ulta. Acumen will rollout into department store retail.

“There’s a strong level excitement around these brands,” said David Carvalho, president of portfolio brands at Revlon. “One of the biggest opportunities is with Acumen. American Crew is a premium brand in the salon space, and it was a natural next step to go into prestige.”

David Raccuglia, the barbershop owner who founded the American Crew Brand in the Nineties, continues to be hyper-creatively involved with the brand, and oversaw the development of Acumen.

The skin-care products are formulated with highly active ingredients using a proprietary complex of vitamins B5 and E blended with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ginger root and cranberry extract. “This is a much more serious approach to skin than we’ve done in the past,” said Raccuglia.

Products range from $19 to $50. There are also hair pomades and creams — formulated with the skin-care ingredients as well — hydrating gels for face and eyes, a scalp revitalizer, and shave lotions and creams.

“American Crew was founded in 1994, when there was absolutely no men’s market. We were focused on hair for a very long time, and then shave,” Raccuglia said. “Today, I’m obsessed with skin care. I can speak for men my age and younger that we have permission now to up the category — grooming is cool. Men don’t have to hide the fact that they want to feel good and look younger, less puffy. They want shave products with sensorial qualities. The market has matured to a point where it’s ready.”