The prestige hair care market is seeing an uptick in investor interest this month, most recently with the purchase on Friday of a controlling interest in the Oscar Blandi Hair Care line by TPR Holdings LLC.
This story first appeared in the June 13, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Details of the all-cash transaction were not disclosed. Oscar Blandi hair care, which was launched in 2003, is carried at Sephora and Ulta stores and generated approximately $10 million in wholesale sales in 2010, according to industry sources. Brian Robinson, president of TPR Holdings, a consumer products holding company based in New York, said he has had his eye on the brand since October 2007.
“He obviously has a great brand.…The goal now is to scale the brand and still remain focused on the premium sector of the hair care marketplace. If anything, go even more upscale,” said Robinson. Currently the line is carried in about 700 doors.
Blandi said Robinson is the right partner to take his brand to the next level.
“I see his success with his other brands. I have known him for a very long time,” said Blandi, who said his own secret to success has been feeding consumer needs, not necessarily market needs, and credited the line’s director of marketing and product development, Gina Bertolotti, for his success to date. Blandi will remain the brand’s chief creative controller. His hair care line consists of 32 products, with Dry Shampoo, Jasmine Oil and Hair Lift as its bestsellers.
Robinson is no stranger to the beauty industry. He founded the men’s skin care brand Zirh in the Nineties. In May 2000, he sold a 58 percent stake in Zirh to Shiseido and the balance of the company to Shiseido in 2004. He bought it back from Shiseido in 2007 and in June 2009, along with his business partner, Stuart Litman, sold 100 percent of Zirh to Procter & Gamble. Robinson also was the co-creator and former worldwide licensee for John Varvatos Fragrance. TPR Holdings currently owns the FCUK Fragrance license, Trilogy Fragrances, Susan Komen Fragrance license and Sweet Breath Oral Care.
Earlier this month Blow Pro Products LLC found an investor to inject “several million dollars” to expand the professional hair care brand, which will include new headquarters in the Meatpacking District and entry into Nordstrom in July.