LONDON — George Bamford is translating the sleek aesthetic that he’s honed at his Bamford Watch Department business to a new venture, Bamford Grooming Department, which is set to bow later this month. The line of male grooming products — which is debuting as a seven-product collection that includes a shampoo, exfoliating face wash and a shave oil — also takes its cues from Bamford Watch Department’s branding, with its striking matte black and sea blue packaging.
“My thing is how can we make a beautiful design — something you’re going to grab and something you want to have,” said Bamford, speaking at his Mayfair office, which has the air of a contemporary gentleman’s club, with its gray, book-lined walls and plush gray and black sofas.
Bamford worked together with his mother Carole, Lady Bamford to create the men’s grooming line, employing the know-how she has built up creating her own Bamford line of bath and body products since their launch in 2006. Bamford explained that while he wanted to launch a bath and body range, Carole Bamford also wanted to enter the men’s world. “There was a credibility on both sides — we at Bamford Watch Department, we didn’t have the knowledge of how to produce the ultimate [grooming] products, but I did know what I wanted to do,” he said.
The first tranche of products — which took 18 months to develop — are called Edition 1, and are inspired by travel, with the idea that each product is a daily essential and easily portable, with their Bakelite and aluminum packaging.
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Among the products are the Exfoliating Face Wash, which is formulated with ginger, black rice, quartz and charcoal; the Shave Oil, a blend of blackcurrant, echium and borage oils and the Moisturizer, which is infused with blackcurrant seed, echium, borage oil and South African resurrection plant, which Bamford said helps skin adapt to changing weather conditions. There is also a travel kit, comprised of product miniatures and a candle made with the line’s signature scent, which had a soft launch late last year.
Bamford worked with his mother to take a precise approach to the products’ scent, which is a blend of vetiver, agarwood and dark amber. He was inspired to capture the vetiver that’s his father, industrialist Sir Anthony Bamford’s signature scent, and blended it with agarwood to create “that smoky, sexy undertone.”
The products will launch June 15 at Dover Street Market in London and New York, Colette in Paris and online at Mr Porter. Prices for the line start at $40 for the Hand and Body Wash and rise to $110 for the candle and Travel Kit. The collection will also be available bamfordgroomingdepartment.com.
Though Bamford declined to provide sales predictions, he said the company is “already adjusting all of our numbers,” thanks to retailers’ positive reaction to the line. “Hopefully, we’ve got the right voice,” said Bamford of the line. “It’s a voice that I think hopefully has some integrity — it’s also me behind the brand, my name is on the bottle…it’s not saying we’re a big faceless business, it’s like, hey, this is me,” said Bamford, adding: “I want to hear that people love the product…but I also want to hear what they don’t like.”
As to future products, Bamford is planning to launch a travel candle, and is also plotting eventually launching a fragrance version of the scent he and Carole Bamford developed for the products. “We’ve got probably four or five things that we’ve got in the wings, but we don’t want to flood it,” he said.