Julien Farel is bringing Park Avenue hair to the masses.
The celebrity hairstylist’s self-named line of antiaging hair care is set to launch on QVC and its Beauty iQ network the night of Friday Jan. 20, ushering in an era of aggressive distribution expansion in the U.S. for the six-year-old hair brand.
“We didn’t really go into retailers in the U.S. when we launched [initially],” said Farel, who noted the brand is sold in Bergdorf Goodman here, a few blocks from his 10,000-square-foot flagship salon and spa inside the Upper East Side’s Loews Regency Hotel. “QVC for a small boutique brand like us helps to give brand awareness and recognition, so people can discover you. We didn’t have the capacity to buy advertising in a magazine, so we needed to find another way.”
Julien Farel Hair Care is rooted in the concept of overall scalp health and its products, including three Restore treatments, are formulated with a proprietary skin-care-based-technology called A2B, or Antiaging Balance. The ingredients — a combination of hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed rice protein, Echinacea stem cell extracts and a mineral complex — are said to revitalize strands damaged by everything from everyday hot tool use to environmental aggressors.
On-air during Beauty iQ’s 10:00 p.m. hour Friday night, Farel and his wife Suelyn — also the ceo of their company — will launch the Vitamin Restore kit, containing a full-size, 8-oz. Vitamin Restore bottle with travel-size Vitamin Restore shampoos and conditioners, priced somewhere in the $35 range, depending on QVC price promotions.
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“We can educate the women who don’t necessarily have a four-wall retailer close to home — they hear how he’s the hair master, and it’s very intimate,” said Suelyn Farel. “The QVC consumer — that’s a real brand fan, the beauty junkies. They’re paying attention and they want new and different.”
Suelyn Farel noted the brand is banking on its hair health positioning to attract curious, beauty-obsessed customers.
“They know so much and they’re always thinking about [antiaging],” said Suelyn Farel. “We’ve taken the skin-care technology and made it work for the scalp and hair and there’s this “a-ha moment” where they realize this is different than what they’ve seen before in hair care. We have a big point of difference.”
The 10 minute Beauty iQ spot will be different from the brand’s QVC appearance. On Beauty iQ, Julien Farel will demonstrate a Brigitte Bardot hair how-to, playing off the tutorial technique perfected by beauty vloggers. But for QVC, husband and wife will appear together for a before-and-after demonstration of the Julien Farel Vitamin restore treatment.
This isn’t the couple’s first rodeo with QVC — the brand launched on QVC in Italy in 2014, followed by France, Germany and the U.K.
“It was smart because we understand QVC really well now, we know how they work we understand the on-air aspect,” said Suelyn Farel.
QVC internationally has proved successful for the brand, which has increased sales-growth two-fold in the past year, according to industry sources.
“[The customers] love the New York story, they love the aspirational Park Avenue brand story, the husband-wife team, they really love that Julien is from France and is living the American dream — that really resonates,” said Suelyn Farel.
The entry into QVC marks the beginning of Farel’s U.S. expansion. “We have an aggressive growth strategy,” said Suelyn Farel, though she declined to list what retailers the brand could possibly expand to, noting only that the couple plans to expand into two other international markets before year’s end.
“We like what Ulta’s doing, what Sephora is doing,” said Julien Farel. The line is sold in Sephora internationally. “But QVC brings brand awareness. And it’s all about convenience now.”
Launching in QVC isn’t the only big news for the Farel family this year — Julien Farel became an American citizen three weeks ago.
“Today going on QVC is like a big deal,” said Julien Farel. “I came [to America] at 22 years old with nothing, and this country has given me everything — my American blonde wife, my children, my work. I take it as a privilege to be part of this country.”