MATRIX TAPS CELEBRITY STYLIST: Matrix has signed Enzo Angileri as its new spokesperson to represent the business’ vast hair care portfolio. The country’s leading professional hair care brand, which is a division of L’Oréal USA’s Professional Products Division, looks to get a boost from Angileri’s celebrity client list, which includes Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Jodie Foster, Holly Hunter, Lucy Liu and Faith Hill. Deborah Marquardt, assistant vice president of communications at Matrix, said the move tied in with Matrix’s strategy of providing red-carpet looks to consumers. “We felt it was important to partner with Enzo to both underscore our positioning as Hollywood’s brand of choice, as well as our industry positioning as a partner for positive transformation. We have had and continue to have stylists using our products for their shoots, but in terms of a formal spokesperson relationship, this is our first foray.” Matrix has been actively seeking to partner with Hollywood, such as its advertorial partnership with US Weekly, which launched last year.
SOFTSHEEN-CARSON ON THE MOVE: SoftSheen-Carson, the ethnic division of L’Oréal USA, is moving its headquarters from Chicago to New York. The change becomes effective in the fourth quarter. Almost all of SoftSheen-Carson’s 63 employees from marketing, sales, human resources and finance will make the move. Those handful of employees unable to move — or whose jobs aren’t transferrable — will be offered severance packages. Candace Matthews, president of SoftSheen-Carson, said moving the office will help the division have greater access to L’Oréal USA’s resources. The 230,000-square-foot office building at 8522 South Lafayette on Chicago’s South Side is up for sale. L’Oréal’s Institute for Ethnic Hair and Skin Research will remain at 2101 South Wabash in Chicago.
SPONGE WORTHY: Bar soap could one day be a thing of the past — that is if Spongeables, a product by SpongeTech Inc., has anything to do with it. The new company, based in Los Angeles, began shipping its soap-soaked colorful sponges — which can be designed to provide a rich lather for up to 30 showers — to Henri Bendel and H2O+ stores last year. Now, the fruit-infused synthetic sponges are about to enter Duane Reade, Harmon Discount, Nordstrom and Marshall Field’s. Spongeables foresees ending 2004 with $4 million in retail sales. Products retail from $12.95 for a children’s sponge to $15 for a sponge that lasts up to 30 showers. Fragrances include sweet jasmine, spicy mango, peony passion and citrus basil.
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SKIN SIMPLE: Gingi, a beauty company that combines skin care with a water filtration system, isn’t resting on its laurels. Most recently, Gingi, which already makes 11 items formulated for both sexes, introduced at Cosmoprof North America a Moisturizing Firming Gel ($79) and an Instant Eye Lift Cream ($89). For 2005, a Deep Cellular Hydrating Moisturizer ($69) is planned. Gingi items are priced from $29 for a Make-up Removal Clarifying Cleanser to $89 for the eye cream. A unit of Marketing Fundamental Inc., Gingi is sold in about 30 spas in the U.S., as well as in select locations in Asia, England and Italy. By the end of 2004, Gingi could generate as much as $1 million in retail sales, with 25 percent of sales coming from its Web site and Amazon.com.
A NEW PLAN: Sonya Dakar is taking a detour from selling her specially formulated skin care products to day spas and instead is now focused on hotel and spa resorts. The move was triggered by the fact that women are very loyal to their skin care products and therefore are hesitant to purchase a different brand when close to home. At destination spas, such as Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, Calif., Dakar believes, women are more likely to experiment. She is offering minikits, alongside candles and disposable cameras in guest rooms. The kits, which retail for $28.50, include six items, such as moisturizers and face scrubs, and are meant to entice guests who may not travel with their skin care regimens.
PROFOUND NAMES DIRECTOR: Nikos Mouyiaris and Bob Salem, co-founders of Profound, have tapped professional salon industry leader Steven Brooks to the company’s advisory board. Brooks has served on the board of directors of the Salon Association for the past seven years. He and his wife own and manage Diva Studio in Las Vegas. Profound was formed last year to provide independent salons with a business model that aims to combat diversion and allows them to partake in the profitable private label business.
MUSIC MAN: In response to a nationwide cut in music education classes, Ban Beautifully Smooth deodorant is looking to raise money to promote youth music classes. Ban has teamed up with nonprofit teen outreach program themusicedge.com, and Teen People Magazine, to “Ban the elimination of music in schools.” The fund-raiser involves auctioning off more than 20 tank tops on ebay.com/ban signed by musicians such as John Mayer, Sara MacLachlan, Wyclef Jean and India Arie. The 10-day auction kicks off Aug. 5.
LOW CARBS, DOOR TO DOOR: Avon representatives will begin selling low-carb foods in August under the company’s weight-management program, SlimWell. Called Low-Carb Options, the line consists of SlimWell Snack Bars, SlimWell Baked Pasta Soy Chips and Meal Replacement Shakes. Prices range from $9.99 for seven snack bars to $12.99 for eight meal replacement shakes. In addition to snacks, the program offers Advance Weight Loss System, a nutritional supplement said to help control carbs and boost metabolism; Control Carbs and Fats tablets, edible supplements to manage hunger, and Weight Loss Support, an edible spray to control cravings for carb-laden foods like cake and bread. SlimWell was established in 2002 by the direct beauty seller.