There is one brand that’s featured on every model at New York Fashion Week. It’s on celebrities who dazzle the most select red carpets in Los Angeles, and on socialites toasting at A-list film festivals and premieres around the world. No, it’s not a hot new downtown designer, or even a Parisian fashion house. It’s a boutique, Miami-based hair care line called Oribe.
Perhaps it sounds familiar. You can picture the gold lettering printed on a tall, glossy black bottle labeled Dry Texturizing Spray, the one that bloggers routinely photograph in beauty editors’ medicine cabinets or inside top stylists’ backstage kits. Influencers hail its illustrious scent and peak performance, so much so that the line has gone from being known as a professional stylist’s tool to a major player in the consumer beauty space. In the last year Oribe has reported 50 percent growth and did over $60 million at wholesale. It has become a top seller at specialty stores like Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman. The brand has hit its sweet spot, reaching its key demographic of one-percenters who find no price too high for smooth, frizz-free tresses.
“A lot of people who create lines are using formulations that have already been made, but we thought about what could be best in class,” said co-founder and president Daniel Kaner, a seasoned beauty executive and former partner at Bumble and bumble. “It had to be an extraordinary product. When you take a look at famous session stylists, they use Oribe on models because there is nothing else that performs in such an extreme way. It’s a learned hairdresser’s line.”
What most don’t know is that Oribe is actually the vision of Oribe Canales, the Cuban-born hairstylist who came of age during the “stylist-as-celebrity” era of the 1990’s. He reached acclaim for coiffing one-named supermodels like Naomi, Cindy and Linda and collaborated with visionaries like photographer Steven Meisel and make-up artist Francois Nars. In 1997 he famously styled Jennifer Lopez for the cover of her first album and during her meteoric rise, the two continued to collaborate as he created some of the star’s most memorable red carpet looks. He later went on to open his fashionable salon off Lincoln Road in Miami and in 2008 found partners in Mr. Kaner and Tev Finger, who had sold their Bumble and bumble stakes to Estee Lauder and were looking for a new vision to bring to market.
Other best-selling Oribe products include its Impermeable Anti-Humidity Spray. Tested in Miami, it has proven a surefire way to keep locks straight even in the most humid climate. Celebrities who swear by the line include Emma Roberts, Carrie Underwood, Selena Gomez and more.
Looking forward the brand is dipping its toes into the skincare and cosmetics world, but remains mum on the details. It also signed on stylist James Pecis as its latest global ambassador to help teach the salon world about new product launches. It’s bent on perpetuating its reputation as a professional brand first and foremost, hence the many education classes it holds throughout the year in New York and Miami. “We are highly technical and respective of our forefathers in hair care,” Mr. Finger said. “We are proud to be at the fashion shows and sittings and part of a new generation of kids who are using Oribe loud and proud.”