NEW YORK — Charles Worthington is not giving up on his American Dream. The U.K. hairstylist may have sold his eponymous hair care line to PZ Cussons — a $1 billion international consumer products corporation — in June 2004, but he continues to consult on product development and marketing for Charles Worthington London.
Worthington has even recruited fellow British compatriot Tim Rogers, protege of Garren, to shine a spotlight on his namesake collection.
Rogers jumped into his role as media spokesman and consulting editorial stylist for Charles Worthington London last week, showcasing several hair looks inspired by the Sixties and Seventies at an event in SoHo. “He was the guy winning all the awards when I got into hairdressing,” said Rogers, referring to Worthington. “He was one of my hair heroes.”
Rogers, who traded London for New York seven years ago, said he has followed the 10-year-old hair care line’s progress, including its entry into the U.S. market in 1998.
As for Rogers’ own career path, since arriving in Manhattan, the charming hairstylist has immersed himself in the fashion and beauty industry. He has become a fixture backstage at fashion shows, creating looks for Anna Sui, Marc Jacobs and Alice Roi. In his new role, Rogers will collaborate with Worthington on creating seasonal looks, and give feedback on product formulas. Worthington will continue to drive product development. Rogers spoke of the line’s attributes, such as Keraflex Complex, a hair strengthening ingredient, and said he is looking forward to upcoming additions. Worthington hinted that a styling line and color-protecting range are in the works.
Rogers noted that because he is an independent stylist, he can speak genuinely to consumers about hair care trends and products.
His addition comes one year after PZ Cussons — maker of personal care brands Imperial Leather and Carex — acquired the hair care division from Charles Worthington LLC (now called Charles Worthington Salons), which still owns and manages the salon business in the U.K. and U.S.
The London-based company has since established a U.S. headquarters in Chicago called PZ Cussons Americas Inc., which will oversee all the company’s brands deemed right for the U.S. market. In January, Susan Swirsley joined PZ Cussons Americas as director of marketing. Swirsley, whose experience includes stints at Dial and Alberto Culver, noted that Charles Worthington’s U.K. business is four times bigger than the U.S. business. Despite the backing of PZ Cussons, sales of Charles Worthington shampoos and conditioners in the mass channels slid 17.8 percent to $9.1 million for the 52-week period ended May 15, according to Information Resources Inc.
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However, the company expects Charles Worthington to double its current distribution of 10,000 stores over the next year. The line is currently sold in Walgreens, Duane Reade, Ulta and Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy, among others, and Canadian drugstores such as Shoppers Drug Mart and London Drugs. The ambition is to go head-to-head with behemoths such as Procter & Gamble, L’Oreal and Unilever, and become a leading hair care brand.