Bruce Springsteen, President Bill Clinton and Lenny Kravitz — these are just a few of the clientele Vaughn Acord took inspiration from for the relaunch of his V76 by Vaughn men’s grooming line.
“There’s some tradition in there, some iconic elements, overall just getting back to some basic tones, color and messages. These guys are simple guys who like to have answers. They don’t have a lot of time to fuss with stuff,” said Acord, founder of V76 by Vaughn, about the approach he took to his Miami-based brand.
While the formulas will remain unchanged, v76.com and the packaging of the collection will present a more streamlined and simplistic message starting in January.
Acord began his career as a musician and model in New York, ventured to Europe for work and came back to his nesting place, landing a job at Bumble and bumble. He has worked with photographers Annie Leibovitz, Mark Seliger, Robert Maxwell and Herb Ritts. V76 by Vaughn launched in 2014 under Luxury Brand Partners, home to Oribe and R+Co. The original collection featured men’s grooming products like shave creams, molding pastes and waxes. But the direction of the “legacy packaging” was clouded in both aesthetic and whom it was targeting.
“What needed to change was the way the packaging looked — the clarity and simplicity of it and really understanding the market that we were in,” he said. “A cheeky thing about the line is that women love using the products too, we catch them using their husbands’ products all the time — but I don’t want to go into the market with a mixed message.”
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While women are still free to sneak a dollop of shaving cream from their beaus, he hopes to clarify the mixed messaging with a toned-down color palette and minimal, direct text. The revamped packaging nixes the turquoise, purple and pine hues and opts for neutral browns, blacks and maroons instead.
The growth is evident in the shifting attitudes among men in regard to grooming habits. According to Statista, the estimated global male grooming market has grown from 17.3 to 21.4 billion USD in market size. It is expected to grow to 26.6 by 2020.
“Production and retail in the men’s category are drawing in about twenty percent growth in a year, with unisex and male-centric salons being a growing segment where we knew we needed to have a strong offering,” said Reuben Carranza, president of V76 Hair Care and R+Co. Prior to his role at LBP, Carranza worked for eight years at Procter & Gamble, where he was chief executive officer of a salon division of the company, Wella North America.
“There is attention paid to the grooming aspect of a man than there ever was before,” said Acord. “People are using things. People have more product in their hair and it’s allowed to be shown. There’s a grip on their overall look versus someone just getting out of the shower, and literally doing nothing to his beard or to his hair — which actually looks a bit ridiculous today, whereas before, that kind of naturalness might have worked.”
For a young brand, it’s a lofty undertaking entering the market with 23 pieces, let alone revamp a Web site and branding scheme about a year later. V76 by Vaughn did just that with the added pressure of introducing three new products to an already extensive depository of grooming commodities. This includes Beard Oil, $19, Tonic Hair & Scalp Spray, $20 and Smooth Shave Cream, $19 also launching in January.
“We’re breaking the relaunch into four categories, because the word grooming is a very big word and I’ve always been about that. It’s reminiscent of what I do on set, backstage and in the chair. I look at a guy completely. I don’t just address his hair only or his beard only,” said Acord. Those four categories include Boldly Barbered (shaving, barbering), Well Groomed (shampoos, brighteners, sprays, tonics), Face Forward (serums, lotions, aftershaves) and Well Gifted (accessories, travel kits).
V76 by Vaughn debuted in modest set of specialty retailers including Neiman Marcus, Space NK, Bluemercury. Carranza aims to grow the network by 5,000 retailers in the U.S by the end of the year.
“We’ve introduced V76 by Vaughn in Sweden, Dubai and Abu Dhabi already and will be announcing two to three new international markets in the next few months,” Carranza said.
Industry sources estimate the line to make $10 million to $15 million at retail in 2016.