Starting today, Biologique Recherche — the French skin-care brand with a cult following — is offering its services in a resident spa exclusively inside Neiman Marcus’ Beverly Hills location.
Historically, the brand had been working purely with medical and hotel spas. That is, until it entered the world of retail by partnering with long-established, luxury department stores: London’s Liberty, founded in 1875, and more recently, Paris’ Le Bon Marché, the 7th arrondissement institution that dates back to 1838.
“It was extremely successful,” Biologique Recherche’s U.S. general manager Laura Gerchik said of the initial endeavor. “And so, we are replicating this model in the U.S. It’s a very big first for us…it’s only at this one property, this one Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills, that we are taking over one of the treatment rooms, and it is going to be operated five days a week as a normal spa.”
The process has been two years in the making, she said.
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“First of all, you have to find a space that has a spa, a spa room, and they have three,” Gerchik continued, when asked what made Neiman Marcus, founded in 1907, the right partner in the U.S. “In a lot of situations, other brands are not really willing to give up an entire space, and Neiman Marcus has been so supportive and so understanding of what it is we are looking to accomplish within their environment. They were such an active and enthusiastic partner. They were really invested in making sure that this was done in a proper way, that the brand stood out as something different, which is why we’re doing this launch event and why we’re so excited about it.”
There’s also demand, she said, particularly on the West Coast.
“We really get a lot of requests, [asking] where to go for treatments,” Gerchik said. “We don’t advertise, and we don’t pay for placements, so I think when people are speaking about Biologique [Recherche], it’s in a very genuine way….We have a very clinical approach to skin care, and there is a lot of science behind what we do.”
The company — founded in 1978 by a husband-and-wife team, biologist Yvan Allouche and physiotherapist Josette — had been hard to find outside of France until recently. Born in a scientific research laboratory and most known for its Lotion P50, the brand has been expanding over the years and now offers more than 200 products. It’s kept, though, its scientific core, a philosophy of using “high concentrations of active ingredients derived from natural or biotechnological compounds that are fragrance-free” to target aging skin, sun damage or hormonal imbalances.
“We have grown in a very rapid pace,” shared Gerchik. “We grew over 70 percent last year. We are growing consistently over 40 percent, and I think in the last six years, it has been over 300 [percent]. It’s always going to be driven by the people and our partners.
“I think the growth is definitely due to our partnerships,” she continued. “What is really amazing, when you look at it, is a lot of the growth is organic, meaning it is emanating from existing partnerships and not necessarily from new ones…in the age of social media and people posting about what they are using, I think that’s how the secret is out a little bit more and that has contributed to our growth.”
At Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills, Biologique Recherche will have a dedicated treatment room where its trained aestheticians will offer customized facial treatments tailored for each client. There will be “boosters,” the use of highly concentrated products with “unique manual techniques”; the “remodeling face machine,” a bio-electro aesthetic stimulation that combines galvanic current at medium and high frequencies, and “co-factors,” a sheet mask to target specific concerns.
Regimens range from $250 for a 60-minute booster treatment to $525 for a booster, use of the remodeling face machine and co-factors for 120 minutes.
“Seven years ago, we weren’t in any hotel spas, and today, we are in over 77 countries, and in most markets, we have partnerships with leading hotel spas,” Gerchik said. “We are going to continue to hopefully grow. When we really look into our development in the U.S., we realize that there are so many states that we are not in at all. So, despite this amazing reputation that we have, being such a present player in the market…there’s a ton of development potential and opportunities for us to bring [Biologique Recherche] to places and locations where we don’t have anybody yet to service those states and cities. But again, because we are so selective, for us it’s going to be all quality driven. It’s not quantity.”
There are no plans to expand elsewhere, she said: “Right now, we are very much focused on the success of Beverly Hills and just monitoring the model is correct for us.”