Cosmetic companies say that basic components should be made available to all but that consumers should be encouraged to employ them as they see fit. For instance, they advise men to have a grooming regime according to how they feel at the time, not according to what past tradition and current lifestyle has conceded proper for an occasion. They suggest that men make the same choice among skin, hair and shaving products and attempt to find marketing paths that express their personalities.
As a menswear expert having experienced consumers experience such confusion, they may never conform again. Yet despite individual differences, male consumer experimenters have in common a deep- rooted desire to take care of their skin differently from older generations
The acceptance of new products depends on innovators, who are the first to try the product, and influentials, whose personal style is copied by others. On a brand scale, public figures are often innovators and influentials. The buying public in menswear watches the athletes, entertainers and celebrities. If you ask me, I would place all my chips on the athlete - especially when it comes to grooming.
On a smaller scale, individual communities have their own grooming fashion innovators and influentials, but the target audience's acceptance ultimately depends on good and usable product. In short, each person adjusts his grooming regime to balance a sense of clarity as well as a sense of belonging and being an individual.
A few weeks ago, I came across a men's grooming brand that has developed an organized grooming regime that will most certainly be a sure-fire grooming method to grab men's attention. When it comes to men's skincare in the USA, I can assure you as a day is long, that American men demand results-driven product, travel friendly, competitive price-point and no bells and whistles. In a word; keep it masculine and keep it easy.
Fabric's Holding Face Moisturize
Fabric is a new subscription-based clean, men's wellness brand, that puts everything men need and nothing they don't into products that empower daily rituals. Through simple, high-quality formulas, Fabric ends the confusion about ingredients, products and routines for men who don't have the time - or the patience - to navigate the world of personnel care.
Assaf Sahar is a brand loyalist. He wears just two t-shirt brands (he owns dozens of each of his favorites), one brand of jeans and one brand of sneakers. He has a preferred whiskey, vodka, gin and so on. But one day it occurred to him that – despite using skincare products for over 20 years – this was the single category where he had no real brand affinity. This came as a surprise given that you should care about what you apply to your skin as much as, if not more than, what t-shirt you pull out of your closet each day. And so he did some research and found that brand loyalty when it comes to men's skincare doesn't exist because of three main factors:
- The Brand Itself (Brands need to resonate with their target demographic and make them feel better about themselves.)
- Price/Performance (Does it really deliver?)
- The Customer Experience (Assaf wanted a brand for skincare to deliver in ways that some of his favorite DTC fashion brands do.)
And so he set out to create a brand of high-standard products bolstered by convenience and the perfect digital experience. He crafted a business plan based on extensive market research, raised pre-seed funding from a VC and here we are! OK, well his past experience didn't hurt. Assaf grew up in Israel and led a Special Forces team for three years at the IDF. He holds a dual major from Tel Aviv University and a Masters of Finance from the London Business School. He began his career as a consultant for McKinsey and then spent almost a decade in corporate development at high growth brands such as Lumenis. You can say he knows a thing or two about a thing or two.
Fabric's hero duo is The Standard Set - a quintessential skincare combo that makes a daily skincare ritual as easy as possible. Comprised of the Honesty Face Wash and Integrity Face Moisturizer, Fabric lays the foundation for healthy, clean and nourished skin. And, given Fabric's no-brainer subscription model, men don't even have to remember to repurchase.
The Honesty Face Wash is a powerful daily face wash that cleans off dirt, oil and grime to reveal healthy, balanced skin. Soothes and hydrates as it heals and fights bacteria. The Integrity Face Moisturizer hydrates, smooth's, and soothes your face to defend against dryness, fine lines, and other environmental effects. The products are non-comedogenic, anti-oxidant rich, cruelty-free and PETA-certified, vegan, and free of: parabens, sulfates, SLS, petrochemicals and other toxins. The products are naturally scented with Fabric's signature blend of essential oils – dominated by Pine, Sage and Sandalwood. Fabric invests in high-end ingredients and formulations that are lab-approved for sensitive skin. This stamp of approval means Fabric products are suitable for all skin types.
I recently had the privilege of speaking with Assaf Sahar, Founder & CEO of Fabric about what men are seeking today in grooming products, how he started using face wash more than 20 years ago during his time in the the Israeli Special Forces and why he believes it is important for consumers to be aware of this brand!
FABRIC Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about the history, launch date and DNA of your brand?
Assaf Sahar: Fabric (founded in 2018) is a direct-to-consumer clean men's wellness brand that puts everything men need - and nothing they don't - into products that form the ultimate skincare rituals. We believe that it is possible to provide guys with premium clean products in a very compelling value proposition. We soft-launched the brand few weeks ago after more than a year of product development.
One of the barriers we saw in the men's skincare market was that many men were lacking a skincare ritual. It is a misconception to believe that by purchasing a moisturizer or some face wash you take care of your skin. Anyone that has skin now knows that to have excellent skin, you have to ritualistically take care of it. Just like anything else. But with all the misinformation, crazy regimens, and marketing mumbo jumbo, knowing how to take care of your skin can feel complex and confusing. Like all things, it always comes back to the basics. Fabric is here to provide a simple regimen that every guy can follow. I started using face wash more than 20 years ago during my time in the Special Forces. Many of my weeks were spent on the field with dirt, camouflage and sweat on my face. At the end of the week, I looked forward to what I called a "mini-ceremony" to get ready to re-enter civilization – an incredible shower where washing my face and removing camo/grime meant I was about to head back home and back to reality. It's this ritual that inspired me to create Fabric.
In the last 20 years, I have tried and tested numerous products and brands in the category and have not stayed loyal to a single brand or product. I could not find something that can deliver on a great 1) brand 2) price performance and 3) customer experience altogether, so I set to start a brand that would deliver and cater to guys like me. Joseph DeAcetis: In your words, what is your competitive advantage in the men's grooming market?
Assaf Sahar: Simply put, we make premium products, with efficacious active ingredients, and provide consumers with a simple and accessible regimen. We believe that taking care of yourself means establishing improvement routines that translate into our busy daily lives leading to optimal performance and happiness. There are not any other players in the market that can provide our level of products in our price point and ease of use. Joseph DeAcetis: How do you intend to market to Millennial's and Gen Z with advertising dollars?
Assaf Sahar: Obviously Millennials and Gen Z are very important groups as they currently represent a big chunk of the market and their share will only grow. We are currently a digitally native brand, meaning that our initial communication platforms are solely digital. Luckily those younger men are almost entirely digital in their shopping habits. We're active in social platforms and believe that most of our marketing dollars will be spent there during our early days. Going forward we believe it's important to be wherever our consumer is, so you'll be seeing more of us outside digital and more into podcasts and relevant physical locations that our consumers spend time at. Joseph DeAcetis: In your words, what are men seeking today in grooming products?
Assaf Sahar: More than anything, guys want clean, high quality products that can be integrated into their daily lives. I think that today most guys will not go for a complex, lengthy regimen and won't pay a premium for overly expensive products. Most guys really want the basics: get the minimum required in order to look and feel at their best. These essentials are wash (Face wash) and hydrate (Moisturizer) this is how you start treating your face right. Body essentials are body wash and deodorant. Those are the very basics. Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes in detail about the current product offerings and why it is important for consumers to be aware of this brand?
Assaf Sahar: Fabric is a clean brand that thoughtfully sources everything that goes into its bottles so only the best ingredients end up on (and absorbed by) one's skin. Fabric invests in high-end ingredients and formulations that are lab-approved for sensitive skin. This stamp of approval means Fabric products are suitable for all skin types. All of our products are naturally scented with Fabric's signature blend of Pine, Sage, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper, Cardamom, and Patchouli essential oils. The products are packed with active ingredients that nurture the skin, such as: Centella Asiatica, Jojoba Oil, Sage Extract and Hyaluronic Acid. We launched with a focus on the face, with our two hero products: The Standard Set. This Duo contains Honesty Face Wash and Integrity Face Moisturizer. The basic regimen starts with a wash to cleans off dirt, oil and grime to reveal healthy, balanced skin. Immediately followed by using the moisturizer that hydrates and soothes to defend against dryness, fine lines, and other environmental effects. In few weeks we will introduce our initial body line: Respect Body Wash and Confidence Deodorant as well as our Shave line with Patience Shaving Cream and Authenticity Post Shave Balm. I believe that no other brand can provide our level of products in the price point we deliver to our subscribers. Joseph DeAcetis: If you could choose one celebrity to showcase your brand, who would it be and why?
Assaf Sahar: I'd go with Ryan Reynolds. The man who was once seen as nothing but a pretty face showed men everywhere that they're capable of growing, capable of greatness. We want to do the same.
As the brand for guys with more important things to do than skincare, Reynolds embodies what we believe in: Through it all he refuses to take himself too seriously, and instead focuses on rewarding projects, family, and presenting the best version of himself every day. We champion the same spirit of self-fulfillment and the never-ending pursuit of excellence. He rose from sophomoric comedies to genre challenging films and
philanthropy, and he owes it all to his hard work, integrity, and discipline. We believe those same principles are the building blocks of great routines in wellness. Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about how technology aided you in the development of your brand both product make-up and e-commerce? Details please.
Assaf Sahar: At the end we are a technology-enabled company, and this goes all the way from our product development to our digital platform. We started the development process by scraping the web and trying to find where we should focus in terms of products. This reassured our initial hypothesis. It took us a while to develop our first products, as this is a process that involves trial and error around product formulations and scents. In order to cut the times between product iterations (we went through a double-digit number of iterations) we had developed online questioners and performed statistics on a panel of respondents. Our e-commerce platform is fully customized and aims to provide consumers with all the flexibility to tailor their own regimen (later in the year you will be able to choose which products will be part of your regimen and the cadence you receive them). Our infrastructure allows us to automate most (if not all) of our marketing initiatives from restocking the products into new product offerings and through modifications in the subscriptions. Joseph DeAcetis: What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
Assaf Sahar: My focus is making sure we have: the right team at any given time, enough cash in the bank and we're delivering on our brand promise. AND helping guys be their best self every day, repeatedly. Joseph DeAcetis: In a vast sea of men's grooming products, why should we be interested in yours?
Assaf Sahar: I've tried to build something that would work for me as a consumer. From my days in the Special Forces I knew that I wanted the most efficacious products that fit into an automatic and simple regimen that could fit into a busy man's life. While I was studying, I worked as a Fashion model, during that time I had exposed to all sorts of high-end overly expensive products that had exotic ingredients in them. I was looking for top products that contain no B.S and sold in a great value for their quality. I don't think that there are others who could beat this offering. Joseph DeAcetis: Where is the product made and why?
Assaf Sahar: Some of the values that define Fabric's beliefs and values as a service provider and as a company are: Honesty & Integrity. Transparency permeates everything we do. We're open and clear with our customers about our products and practices. Therefore, our products are made in the USA.
We believe that the country has some of the finest labs and manufacturing facilities in the world. As a brand that wishes to lead a category as well as building trust with its consumers, the US was an easy choice. Joseph DeAcetis: You have the floor: Talk to my viewers about why they should try this brand now (details)
Assaf Sahar: I firmly believe in this sentence: We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. In order to take care of your skin you must ritualistically nurture it in your 20's and 30's. Doing so, you must choose excellent products and stick with a regimen you can adhere to. Fabric exists to provide you with a better start and ending for your day. Fabric is your 2 minutes to yourself when you give yourself a moment of personal growth through personal care. We developed a simple regimen, so you'll be able to use it automatically and focus on the things that really matter to you in life (not skincare). Joseph DeAcetis: What are your future projections and growth strategy for the next few years?
Assaf Sahar: We hope to be a household name among men who wish to use something more elevated than the usual skincare products. We should have 15 products by the end of 2020. Hopefully, we'll have a growing consumer base of loyal subscribers who will enjoy the greatest value. Going forward, we believe that being where the consumers are, is imperative therefore, we will have retail presence as well. I believe that within 2-3 years will start rolling out our own stores. For now, our focus is to deliver the best products in the market to our consumers and help them (in a modest way) to be the best version of themselves. Forbes >>>