AVEDA’S LATEST TWIST: HAIR ACCESSORIES
Byline: Julie Naughton
NEW YORK — Aveda is kicking off 2000 with two new initiatives: a hair accessories collection that will launch in March and a gem-infused skin care creme that will launch in January.
The accessories collection, created by New York-based designer Colette Malouf, marks the company’s first venture into the category.
“These accessories are another way to express the beauty of the hair,” said Jennifer Balbier, senior vice president of new brand product development for the Estee Lauder Cos. “They also enhance the beauty of other parts of the body, because several of the items can double as bracelets.”
The popularity of the hair accessories category also influenced the company’s decision to explore the business, said Balbier. “We’ve been thinking about it for awhile, but we didn’t want to do something that wasn’t special,” she said. The collection took shape after Aveda approached Malouf about creating a trend-conscious collection exclusively for Aveda.
“Colette came up with an amazing collection that uses a number of environmentally correct materials,” said Balbier. “For instance, she used used waxed cotton cord rather than leather, and ceramic and glass beads rather than plastic beads. We hope that we will be able to form an ongoing partnership with Colette to expand our accessories business going forward.”
The introductory collection will include 22 skus. The Ceramic Bead Ponytail Bracelet is available in four bead styles — small, large, rectangular and tubular — each with three color options, all retailing for $8; the Glass Bead Ponytail Bracelet is offered in three colors and retails for $10; the Floating Glass Bead Headstrap is available in three colors and retails for $12; the Floating Metal Bead Headstrap is offered in three colors and retails for $12; and the Hand-Knotted Waxed Cord Headband is available in one color and retails for $25.
Balbier declined to comment on projected sales for the collection, but industry sources predicted that first-year retail sales would total about $1 million.
The accessories collection, which is being released concurrently with Aveda’s Spring 2000 cosmetics and hair styling portfolios, will be available in the company’s 2,300 Aveda Concept Salons and Spas and 150 Aveda Environmental Lifestyle Stores beginning in March. No formal advertising is planned; instead, the collection will be promoted through in-store events, visuals and signage. In addition, Aveda will issue a 34-page, perfect-bound look book promoting the items to its stores, salons and spas.
Aveda founder Horst Rechelbacher said he plans to make a big push in yet another accessories area — brushes — by the end of next year.
“I’m looking at incorporating science into the new line,” he said. “I’d love to do a brush that could deposit conditioning elements into the hair each time it is used, and I’d love to do a tourmaline hood for blow-dryers that would protect the hair as it is being styled. I think it’s safe to say that by fall of 2000, we should have a whole new line of interesting instruments for treating the hair.”
Rechelbacher’s most immediate concern, however, is the January introduction of Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme, a skin care product containing ground-up tourmaline. According to Rechelbacher, the precious addition marks a new skin care frontier for the firm.
“Tourmaline serves as a tuning fork to increase the vibrational energy of the ingredients, improving the nutritive properties of the more than 12 plant, flower and marine ingredients contained within this formula,” he said. “Perhaps most importantly, tourmaline shields the skin against environmental aggression. It helps to block infrared radiation and it deeply moisturizes the skin.”
Tourmaline is so potent, Rechel-bacher said, that it is used on nuclear submarines to protect crews from radiation. “We are so convinced of its merits that we are currently looking at using this technology in other items,” said Rechelbacher.
As with many other Aveda products, Rechelbacher was inspired by Ayurvedic medicine in creating Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme. “For thousands of years, Ayurvedic medicine has used ground gems for herbal medicines,” he said. “They are very potent elixirs which are taken only at certain times of the month.”
Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme, which will retail for $30 for a 1.7 ounce jar, will begin rolling out to Aveda stores, salons and spas in January. Aveda executives declined to comment on sales projections for the product, but industry sources estimated that it would do $6 million during its first year of release.
According to Alison Howland, marketing manager for Aveda’s skin care business, the company plans “the most advertising we’ve ever done for a single product” for Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme.
National advertising will appear in the February issues of Cosmopolitan, Self, Mademoiselle, Glamour and InStyle, running concurrently with a regional advertising campaign with the company’s Concept salon/spa network.
A sampling campaign is also being planned. While Howland declined to comment on the company’s planned advertising spend, industry sources estimated that it would reach about $3 million.