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In the late 80’s one of my clients as a makeup artist was the divine Dawn Mello, the President of Bergdorf Goodman.
One day she asked me if I knew of a great, appealing hairdresser to open a new Hair Salon at Bergdorf Goodman. Since I was recently working with Frederic Fekkai on photo shoots it was only natural to suggest him, a charming good looking man from Aix-Provence. She fell in love with him, naturally, and he opened his first salon atop Bergdorf Goodman in New York.
Since then Frederic has taken his sensual practice of hairstyling and moved into creating products and salons that all women have fallen in love with.
Cut to the present – women will fall in love with him all over again to discover the new company, Bastide, that he and his lovely wife Shirin acquired from a 25-year-old brand based in Frederic’s home town of Aix-en-Provence.
I sent some questions to Frederic about his new company that I will share with you. I hope you take a minute to explore for yourself and breathe in the wonderful aromas of scents they have created for Bastide. All products are molded by local French artisans using rich, good-for-you ingredients.
Come Discover Bastide
We love to share our favorites. Our products are luxuriously simple, naturally potent, so clean that we can enjoy generously without worrying about what’s inside.
Q – You and your wife, Shirin, acquired a 25-year-old brand based in Aix-en-Provence that made bath/body products and home fragrance…..how did you come to making that decision?
I met the founder of Cote Bastide (former name) in 1995 and loved the brand. Then in 2015, Shirin and I decided to acquire it and develop it more authentically and work more closely with artisans and family enterprises with 100% NON-TOXIC ingredients from Provence.
Q – You are also staying true to the local artisans in this area to help create the products that you now have…..will that still be possible by volume if the success of the company grows into large numbers? How will you keep the integrity of production?
Indeed, although there are not industrial companies, these small enterprises can help us grow our business globally.
Q – Are you only selling online, or do you plan to be in retail stores as well?
We are now selling online on www.bastide.com. Bastide is opening its first flagship store in Aix en Provence in June the birthplace of both the company and I. It will also be distributed this fall in some department stores and specialty stores in the US, Canada, UK, and France.
Q – Did you and your wife choose to keep the same Amber fragrance that was so popular, or did you alter it slightly for this new company?
We made sure to keep the link with the heritage of the brand to develop Bastide’s products more relevant to today’s formulation and regulations.
Q – How long did it take you and Shirin to make a decision on the scents available in your line? How many scent choices are there?
There are actually 3 EDT scents Rose Olivier, Neroli lumière and Ambre Maquis with 3 others coming this fall. We wanted to first edit the line and grow it organically.
Q – Did you both design the packaging?
It has been a team effort with our talented creative director.
Q – If a consumer is ordering online and has a real sensitivity to scents, but enjoys them, will you send samples before an order if the request is made?
We are offering free samples of EDT with only $10 shipping fees
Q – Do you create hair products as well?
Q – What inspires you the most about creating products – be it for bath / beauty / home or hair?
Creating products is for me about the story and the reason so I am happy with any categories.
Q – Do women ever stop you on the street to ask you beauty questions?
It is very often that questions about beauty arise at dinners or meetings.
To see the line – go to Bastide.com
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