Luxury Brand Partners’ hair brand R+Co is out to prove that sustainability and luxury can co-exist.
On Thursday, the company launched R+Co Bleu, a premium hair line with products that are priced $52-$77 and feature 100% recyclable packaging. The diffusion offering includes bottles and jars that are made up of 100% post-consumer recycled material, while tubes are constructed from bioresin sugarcane plastic and canisters are made from 100% aluminum. It will be sold at Neiman Marcus, RandCo.com and prestige salons, versus R+Co’s larger salon distribution. In many ways, R+Co Bleu mirrors what La Bouche Rouge is doing in makeup; the brand is known for its sustainable and coveteable $150 leather-cased lipsticks.
“We wanted to develop this uncompromised, highly tailored, prescriptive treatment line that was anchored in sustainability and consciousness. That was our code for Bleu,” said Dan Langer, president of R+Co.
Tev Finger, founder and CEO of Luxury Brand Partners, said the line was the Rolls Royce answer to R+Co’s Mercedes or BMW. “We now have a Rolls Royce addition to our prestige hair-care portfolio. This will help us be a comprehensive answer for our salon partners and, at the same time, offer a truly advanced, sustainable luxury hair-care brand where nothing exists in the category. All these cars appeal to different buyers. R+Co will collectively have a broad range of appeal and power this brand to be the biggest in hair care,” said Finger.
Luxury Brand Partners’ core competency is in hair, with R+Co and sister brand IGK. But since selling Oribe to Kao in 2017, it has been missing a luxury hair proposition. In late January, the company received a $50 million minority investment from Bookend Capital Partners, which has spurred a tear to offer better incubated products, including Patrick Starrr’s One/Size and Camila Coelho’s Elaluz.
R+Co Bleu’s sustainability goals are lofty, and the line itself is meant to be performance-based with its ingredients and marketing. It was created by R+Co’s Collective, made up of 17 stylists and colorists, including hair stylists Garren and Ashley Streicher. Recently, the beauty brand added 12 new personalities to the collective who advised on R+Co Bleu, including Anthony Campbell and Aviva Perea.
“The beautiful thing about a collective is that you can add people, and it adds new perspectives We are able to then create something that’s never been done before,” said Finger. “The common thread of R+Co and R+Co Bleu is the DNA of the hairdresser and being able to offer the best of the best for the client.” Marketing will consist of a robust Instagram-led strategy, as well as placement with stylists who (beyond the collective) are friends of R+Co and influencers in their own right.
Luxury Brand Partners has had a strong year, but it could be seen as a risky time to launch a premium brand, in a wash-and-go category like hair. Despite, hair-care’s growth during the ongoing pandemic, it has not seen the disparate luxury and mass positioning that skin care has.
Still, Finger said it might actually be the best time.
“The world has become smaller, and people have been forced to slow down. But I think what we are doing ties into the focus on wellness and self-care — self-care for ourselves and the planet. Who doesn’t want to smell an amazing scent and feel great as soon as you get in the shower?” he said. “We are offering a bit of newness that is also fun and good for you.”