In 2001, Bum­ble and Bum­ble launched Surf Spray and John Frieda came out with Beach Blonde Ocean Waves, cre­at­ing an en­tirely new hair prod­uct cat­e­gory and inspiring count­less spinoffs. Here, an oral his­tory from the two brands be­hind the rise of salt spray

Fashion (Canada) - - Contents -

From cel­e­brat­ing clas­sics to re­port­ing on in­no­va­tions, our picks for the best in sum­mer beauty.

MICHAEL GOR­DON, Founder, Bum­ble and Bum­ble: “There’s al­ways a slight wind [at the beach]. I don’t know what it is—it’s the at­mos­phere, the hu­mid­ity. Of­ten if you come out of the sea and your hair dries, it’s got this very dis­tinct, cool tex­ture. So I sim­ply asked the chemists if they could com­bine stuff and give us that kind of tex­ture. That was the idea.”

HARRY JOSH, In­ter­na­tional Cre­ative Con­sul­tant, John Frieda: “When we had photo shoots for Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret early in my ca­reer, like 20 years ago, I no­ticed that the hair was amaz­ing by the end of the day and we got the best pic­tures [then]. The model’s hair had been blown by the wind so much that it would clump and get piece-y and ropy, so it had this amaz­ing look.”

LAU­RENT PHILIP­PON, Global Artis­tic Direc­tor, Bum­ble and Bum­ble: “I was on a trip to Tu­lum for an ed­i­to­rial and was with this girl…. We went to the sea and when her hair dried, it had this amaz­ing tex­ture. We weren’t sure if it was just some­thing in the wa­ter, so we bot­tled some and brought it back to [the of­fice].”

TIM RUSH, VP Global Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Bum­ble and Bum­ble: “It was a per­fect storm of peo­ple think­ing the same thing at the same time. I knew about Surf be­fore I even came to Bum­ble be­cause it was re­ally the first of its kind. It was one of those prod­ucts that I think peo­ple didn’t know they needed un­til it came out. Over the course of the years when I’ve been work­ing with other hair­dressers, I hear so of­ten, ‘Oh, I had a bot­tle of sea wa­ter’ and ‘You guys were so smart to do it.’”

JILL LYNCH, Chem­i­cal En­gi­neer, John Frieda: “Sally [Her­sh­berger] re­ally was the mo­ti­va­tion be­hind this prod­uct. It stemmed from some early work that she had been do­ing with her clients be­cause she thought windswept hair looked re­ally sexy on them.”

SALLY HER­SH­BERGER, Cre­ative Con­sul­tant for John Frieda 1999–2006: “I used to be a surfer, so I was very aware »

of that kind of hair. I’m from Cal­i­for­nia. When I come out of the ocean, my hair is ge­nius. That’s where it came from. I used to shoot with Herb Ritts. His whole body of work from the ’80s to the ’90s with Tat­jana [Patitz], Christy Turling­ton—all those nudes on the beach—fea­tures that beachy, re­ally tex­tured hair. I was wrap­ping their hair and twist­ing it with salt­wa­ter to get that in­cred­i­ble tex­ture.”

JILL LYNCH: “Sally would cock­tail jo­joba oil with sea salt. She asked if there was a way that the prod­uct could be cre­ated. Not only did she love it, but her clients loved that look but had no way of achiev­ing it.”

SALLY HER­SH­BERGER: “No­body else was do­ing it. I was Herb’s hair­dresser. That was our look. Steven Meisel was shoot­ing with Oribe at the time and they were do­ing more glam­orous hair. I was do­ing more grunge-surfer hair. A lot of peo­ple used baby pow­der and egg whites. They used hand soap [to make it] more gritty.”

HARRY JOSH: “[Be­fore salt sprays] there were other ways of get­ting the look. It wasn’t ideal, but you would use gel so it got crunchy and then put a po­made and stuff on top of it.”

MICHAEL GOR­DON: “Hon­estly, [the for­mu­la­tion] was quite easy. It only took two or three goes.”

JILL LYNCH: “Be­cause the brand’s of­fices were in Con­necti­cut, so close to the shore, they would ac­tu­ally hire young women with beau­ti­ful long blonde hair and send them to the beach for the day. Then they would have them come back to the of­fice at the end of the day so they could cap­ture what that look was and com­pare their prod­ucts.”

MICHAEL GOR­DON: “We had this re­ally fab­u­lous bot­tle with black neo­prene. It looked like a wet­suit. It was un­like any­thing I’d ever seen for hair. We had a fan­tas­tic French prod­uct de- veloper. He said, ‘What do you think of this?’ in this charm­ing ac­cent. We took a cou­ple dozen of th­ese black bot­tles and a team to Florida. We cast some lo­cal mod­els and cut their hair and sprayed this stuff in it. We started dec­o­rat­ing the bot­tles with coloured Sharpies. It was a surfer beach party and ev­ery­one was dec­o­rat­ing them­selves with fake tat­toos and drawing on the bot­tles. That pretty much be­came the pack­ag­ing.”

TIM RUSH: “They were look­ing for dif­fer­ent things that were a cue for the beach, so there was the [neo­prene] scuba gear and then there was the shape of it—like a scuba tank—and the metal hard­ware.”

HARRY JOSH: “That tex­ture didn’t re­ally ex­ist be­fore [Gisele Bünd­chen] came on the scene. It was ei­ther the grad­u­ated bob, short pixie hair­cuts, CK One—that whole cam­paign and move­ment of heroin chic, flat-ironed hair. Sud­denly the world had to have her hair. It be­came the most de­sir­able look across the board, from edgy to mid­dle Amer­ica.”

JILL LYNCH: “It was re­ally popular sea­son­ally; peo­ple would buy a lot of it in the spring and sum­mer, but then in the fall [sales] tended to de­crease. And while it had a strong fol­low­ing, it re­ally wasn’t [strong] from a re­tailer stand­point—they wanted to see vol­ume through­out the year. [We brought it back] be­cause the trend that we started con­tin­ued and grew, and now there is that de­mand [year-round].”

MICHAEL GOR­DON: “We didn’t re­ally care what was hap­pen­ing [in hair at the time]. It was just what we did. Did I think it would be a suc­cess? Not re­ally. I didn’t think about it. In those days, Bum­ble was still grow­ing, so we didn’t feel pres­sure to think about sales. I was think­ing, ‘What’s a great prod­uct we can make?’ I didn’t re­al­ize it would be so suc­cess­ful un­til it was copied. I do think it’s the most orig­i­nal prod­uct we’ve made—def­i­nitely. I think it’s prob­a­bly the one.”

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