The exterior of the Frank Gehry-designed IAC building in Manhattan is reminiscent of an ice glacier; its milky white windows glisten; its sloping curves and irregular angles beg you to slide your hands across them; its hulking dimensions puts your sense of size into overdrive. It stands as one of the most original and awe-inspiring architectural marvels in NYC, and it also played the setting for another company that has its sights set on inspiring awe by inciting the senses: Wella Professionals.
After leading industry insiders through a “sensory hall” where touch, scent and sight enveloped visitors, the haircolor company gave attendees a sneak peak of the new Care & Styling lines, a collection of products that places credence on sight, touch and sense, and has been long in development under the codename “Cinderella.” Wella global creative directors Josh Wood and Eugene Souleiman were on hand to show the Wella Trend Vision 2011 color trends—Lumina, Passionista, Glamazon and Polaris—in front of a huge bank of high-def screens, as well as introduce attendees to how these Care and Styling products work magic to blend hair health with styling. (Intel: Trend Vision 2011 will be held for the very first time in NYC in November; keep an eye out!) And, naturally, these two men should be the one’s doing the honors; both have spent years helping mold the distinctive characteristics of the Care & Styling lines, which are broken into pillars that address specific hair needs and textures.
For the Care family, Brilliance takes on color-treated hair, with shampoos, conditioners and treatments that lock-in color while imparting sheen for either coarse hair, fine & normal or all hair textures. Enrich tackles dry, damaged hair, using the same shampoo-conditioner-treatment route for the three hair textures: coarse, fine & normal and all. Others lines to round out the Care collection are Balance, Age Restore and Service (for in-salon treatments).
For the Styling family, the idea revolves around stages: Wet, Dry and Finish—no matter the desired end result or hair type. Souleiman took to the stage to demo the stylers, trotting out models brandishing hairstyles he created for the Spring 2011 season. “At Kenzo, the designer asked for a masculine design that was still very feminine,” he told the crowd. Souleiman’s solution: Wet Stage followed by Dry Stage. “The Ocean Spritz (from the Dry Stage) is my favorite,” he shared. “It’s saline-based, so it’s a great product for deconstructed hairstyles. I call it, ‘Beauty of imperfection.’ Still looks healthy, yet savage.” As he went through other looks, like the elegantly unraveling side sweep at Donna Karan, he explained the reasoning behind such a highly tailored line of Care products and Stylers. “People are becoming even more playful with their hair, and starting to enjoy it. It’s about personality. Hair has become more bespoke and tailored to individuals—the logic follows that the products should be bespoke too.”
“This came about after a lot of research with consumers and stylists,” said Teca Gillespie, P&G Beauty Scientist. “We even partnered with scientists about the sensorial areas we wanted to target." Of course, hair health is of the utmost importance, and Gillsepie spoke at length about the different polymers each line employs to achieve targeted reconstruction. "These triple-blend polymers seek out damaged parts of hair," she said.
To which Mary Atherton, P&G External Relations added, “Specifically problem-seeking-and-solving, but also luxurious. Isn’t this what we all want in our hair products?” To which this editor says, “I feel/sense you.”
Products make their retail debut May 2011 through professional salons in North America. For more info, visit www.wellausa.com. —Karie L. Frost