NEW YORK — Victoria’s Secret Beauty wants to get into consumers’ hair.
After a year of testing So Sexy hair care in 90 Victoria’s Secret Beauty doors, the company’s hair care collection will roll out to a full distribution of 500 doors in July. The brand will also introduce a second lineup, called the Garden Sensuous Shine hair care collection, at the same time.
“We want to be a full beauty destination for our customer,” noted Robin Burns, president and chief executive officer of Intimate Beauty Corp., Victoria’s Secret Beauty and Aura Science. “What you don’t want is to have the customer buying fragrance and color and then going someplace else to buy skin care, hair care and body care.”
Burns said when the company started working on the positioning and focus of the brand six years ago, “it was really about building a fragrance portfolio. More recently, we’ve focused on color cosmetics. We’ve had tremendous growth in the company year after year, and are now at a point where we feel it’s appropriate to take the brand to the next level.”
The So Sexy hair care collection, which boasts an “ultra fresh scent” made up of violet leaves, sandalwood and freesia, comprises four formulations — Balancing for normal hair, Clarifying for oily hair, Nourishing for dry and damaged hair and Volumizing for thin hair. Each formulation is available in a shampoo and conditioner. There are also five styling products in the lineup: Volumizing Mousse, Sculpting Gel, Straightening Gel, Natural Hold Hairspray and Curl Enhancing Gel. The Garden Sensuous Shine hair care will be available in two formulas — one for normal hair and one for dry and damaged hair — and available in four of the Garden subbrand’s best-selling scents: Love Spell, Pear Glacé, Amber Romance and Strawberries and Champagne.
Mark Knitowski, vice president of product development at Victoria’s Secret Beauty, is particularly proud of the brand’s proprietary Shine Intensifier Complex, an ingredient in all of the So Sexy hair care items. “It helps give you shine, as well as the touchable hair of Gisele [Bündchen] and Tyra [Banks],” he said. He explained that the collection took about 18 months to develop, “because it was important to make sure the formulas were right for all ethnicities and hair types.”
Sherry Baker, executive vice president, chief marketing officer at Victoria’s Secret Beauty, explained that the target customer for the So Sexy collection is a consumer interested in very specific hair care, while the Garden hair care collection is for a consumer more interested in fragrance.
All products retail for $8.50 each, which Baker noted is “premium to some mass hair care brands, but certainly less then hair care sold in department stores, and very competitive or less than a lot of products sold in salons. So, whether [the consumer] wants to be involved or not, we really want her to use [one of these lines] every day.”
While executives declined to talk numbers, industry sources expect the So Sexy and Garden Sensuous Shine collections to garner first-year retail sales of as much as $40 million.
When the hair care products launch, they will be placed at the front of the stores, as well as in all windows. There will also be a special purchase-with-purchase offer that includes a sampling of products: trial-size shampoo and conditioner, Very Sexy Lashes mascara and Shining Kisses lip gloss inside a makeup bag.
Going forward, Victoria’s Secret Beauty may launch additional hair care subbrands. A new body care line is set to launch in 2005 as well.
— Kristin Finn