October 11 2019  |  Industry News

Oribe luxury haircare brand set to make waves in travel retail

By Mary Jane Pittilla

Oribe General Manager Sid Katari speaks to the media in Cannes about the haircare brand’s ambitious plans

US-based brand Oribe has identified a gap in the travel retail market for luxury haircare and is going all out to satisfy the demand.

During a press breakfast in Cannes, where the company previewed its travel retail collection, Oribe General Manager Sid Katari spoke passionately about the legendary hairdresser-to-the-stars Oribe Canales, who gave his name to the brand. Oribe worked with all the big fashion brands such as Versace and Armani and countless supermodels such as Naomi Campbell among his many glamorous clients.

The brand launched in 2008 and now spans shampoo, conditioners and stylers in the haircare segment as well as lifestyle products such as bodycare, perfumes and home fragrances in its portfolio.

The products have a signature scent evoking the Côte d’Azur, developed by a French fine fragrance company.

Oribe products are sold in upscale hair salons in more than 40 countries around the world. The brand’s success in the luxury retailer market with US department stores such as Neiman Marcus and online with Net-a-Porter has positioned Oribe as a leader in the US haircare segment. And, following very positive feedback from Asian consumer sampling, Oribe is now ready to hit travel retail shelves in 2020.

Katari said the launch into travel retail was a “huge opportunity” and a “natural progression” for the brand, but it was all about “finding the right distribution partners with the right philosophy to recognize the opportunity”.

He said the company would never “chase distribution”, which would dilute brand equity and the customer experience.

“Luxury haircare is not an established segment in travel retail, but we’ve defined the category in the US. We’ve proven success with Asian consumer in bricks-and-mortar with Lotte and Shinsegae,” he said, referring to the two South Korean retail giants.

“We’re focused on financial growth but not at the expense of customer experience or the brand. There’s a tremendous opportunity,” he added.

Oribe’s number-one selling product, Dry Texturizing Spray, launched in 2010 and quickly became a cult classic

Oribe was acquired by beauty group Kao Corp last year, giving it “incredible reach internationally”, Katari continued. “We have the resources and access to grow in the right way with no compromise.”

Gold Lust is the name of Oribe’s best-selling range. The line is designed to replenish and rehydrate and is “anti-aging for hair,” says Katari.

The company’s number-one selling product, Dry Texturizing Spray, lives in Oribe’s Signature Collection. The product launched in 2010 and quickly became a cult classic, selling one bottle every 60 seconds.

The products previewed in Cannes include on-the-go, exclusive sets in specially designed packaging for the channel, such as the Ultimate Blowout Travel Set and the Oribe Grooming Essentials Set. He said the company could tailor its product assortment and packaging for travel retailers.

Oribe is taking steps toward sustainability by introducing a travel refill program next June. The travel shampoo bottles are being redesigned to look like the regular 250ml bottles, which will also make them refillable. Consumers will be able to unscrew the top and fill the bottles with regular or liter-sized shampoos and reduce on plastic waste.

Speaking about the Asian consumer, Katari said that Oribe products resonated well with this demographic group, as its products cater to every type of hair.

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