Known for its $ 1,000 haircuts and premier clientele, New York-based luxury salon Julien Farel has seen a post-pandemic surge in demand for its services. At one point he had a Waiting list of 1,200 people. But it’s not just humans who flock; well-heeled salon clients are joined by their pandemic puppies.
“We have lots and lots of clients who have new dogs,” said salon CEO and co-founder Suelyn Farel, who has noticed a wave of clients coming in to have their hair cut or dyed with their new fur babies. “There seems to be a real craze. Common breeds include French Bulldogs, which “seem to be taking the market by storm right now,” as well as Golden Retriever puppies “and doodles,” she said.
As the new owner of a Samoyed puppy herself, Farel also noticed her clients pampering their new dogs, bringing in puppies with “nice leashes and collars” and Goyard carrying cases. So she decided to add a new product line to the salon’s hair care line in June: the dog grooming brand Pride + Groom.
At $ 54 for a shampoo and conditioner set and $ 85 for a gift set that included a fragrance, Pride + Groom was launched in April of this year by Vogue alumni Regina Haymes and Jane Wagman, with Heather Perlman and the chemical engineer Patricia Machado. They founded the brand for pet parents who wanted more than the standard pet shampoo offering.
The timing has been successful, as pet adoptions increases during the pandemic and consumers increased their spending on their pets. Categorizing itself as a “dog beauty” brand, Pride + Groom offers products for different types of fur, including heavy hairs, non-shedding and animals with sensitive skin. The ingredients shown are what you’ll find in a premium human shampoo, including avocado oil and calendula extract.
“There is this huge tendency to humanize your dogs,” Wegman said.
Haymes added, “You’ve seen all sales of dog supplies increase, from fresh food to these beautiful crates that look like beautiful furniture. [People] wanted to make everything in their dog’s life better because dogs were our calming therapists during the pandemic. But when it comes to grooming products, the options were limited.
“We realized that there really isn’t a dog business that’s a beauty business,” Wegman said.
Farel heard about the brand when Haymes, a salon client, came in for a haircut. “It’s nice to be pampered, because the products work; they give the results for the dog and they smell really good, ”said Farel.
The Farel trade fair partnership is not unique to the Oprah’s Favorite Things-approved brand, which is stocked in luxury retailers and more well-known salons for human beauty products. Besides conventional retail channels such as Amazon, Chewy.com, and premium groomers, Pride + Groom also sells through New York-based Fekkai, Bloomingdale’s, Selfridges, and Onda Beauty salons. For Mother’s Day, the brand launched a giveaway with celebrity hairstylist Harry Josh. It’s also sold in fitness guru Isaac Boots’ summer pop-up retail store in the Hamptons.
“People seem open to purchasing dog cosmetics when they are about to get their [own] services rendered, ”said Haymes.
This follows a trend of high-end human beauty brands launching pet products at high-end retailers. This includes Yeah, who recently launched its pet shampoo permanently at Sephora. Aesop, Kiehl’s and Pink Moon also offer dog shampoos.
Pride + Groom’s bold black and white branding is designed to deliver an upscale feel. The founders wanted to create bottles that pet owners would “leave on the [bathroon] counter and not feel pressured to hide it, ”Wegman said. “The goal was that it is as beautiful as any other beauty product you are proud to display.”
Dogs “want to feel good; they want to be glamorous, ”said Haymes. “When you love something, you humanize it.”