Interview: Franck Riviére and Ariane Boulogne, Davines

Franck Riviére, Director International Hair Division was in Auckland recently as part of the Davines World Wide Hair Tour which kicked off in Paris 26-28th of May. He was accompanied by Ariane Boulogne, Davines Business Development Manager. Both are based at Davines headquarters in Parma Italy. We had the pleasure of interviewing them after the Davines WWHT Show at the Stamford Plaza Hotel.


Tell us a little about Davines, its beginnings and philosophy?

Franck Riviére: Davines has been around for 30 years. It’s a bit like a young woman. She knows what she wants, she has experience but on the other hand she is still very lively, yet still has her whole life ahead of her. That’s a little bit where Davines is at. We have been around a long time but on the other hand we are still fresh, dynamic, young and very likely great! This is what you see knowing our innovation, the new lines, the concepts and services we have launched recently.

Talking about innovation, you attended our launch event for ‘More Inside’ so you saw our new styling range. That is totally hot off the press from Paris to Auckland. We presented it internationally in Paris on the 26th May. So it’s very fresh. Its a big innovation for styling and yet very much in line with our values at Davines. Our last big innovation last year was a big show in Christchurch with our International Master Trainer Brain Suhr and there we launched ‘Our New Color’ being Ammonia Free.

Davines originally started as a research laboratory, that is our strength, R&D and innovation! We used to manufacture for big Italian labels and it wasn’t until the early nineties that we created our own brand Davines and a few years later in 1996, Comfort Zone. So that’s where we started and that’s why innovation is still very much at the heart of the company. Also artistic creation because you know our mission is that we want to inspire hairdressers by bringing them new exciting concepts and products. We do this by innovation and by partnering with big industry names like Angelo Seminara who is our artistic director and has been British Hairdresser of the year three times. ‘More Inside’ was developed in conjunction with Angelo along with ‘Flamboyage’.

How many Countries are you in at the moment?

Franck Riviére: Well to be honest we are in 75 countries and counting and are actually launching into Myanmar (Burma) at the moment. We are a fresh young dynamic company and the world is a big place and are growing year after year. We successfully launched into Brazil last year, a big market! We have also been successful in Russia. Looking forward to launching into China later this year. In the end we are a family business and what is important for us is to have sustainable business growth. We make and take everything step by step in a sustainable way! So far this concept of sustainable growth has worked quite well for us with Davines being one of the fastest growing companies worldwide in our industry.

Davines, is there any significance to the name?

Franck Riviére: You know we talked about being a family business and that is completely where it came about. Davines is derived from the names of the children of the founders; Davide the son and his sister Stephanie. We used her letters to come up with the ‘nes’ at the end. I think what is important to know about Davines is that as a company we are very committed to beauty but also to professionals. Which means that as we are dedicated to the professional channel, that’s why you will not see or find us in supermarkets or Pharmacies. Our channel is hairdressers and we are very committed to them, and we feel that this is very important!

Are Davines products all made in Italy?

Franck Riviére: For us this is important - the label ‘Made in Italy’. Worldwide this label stands for quality, beautiful design, also maybe to a certain extent hand-crafted or artisan and premium! That is how we see ourselves. We see ourselves as artisans and that’s what sets us apart from the big corporations. We have this commitment to ‘Made in Italy’ because that’s where we come from. We think it’s in line with our values and it’s where we get our inspiration, mainly. We take inspiration not only from Italy but the world. We are a cosmopolitan multicultural company with over 24 nationalities, working at our Headquarters in Parma.

What is the Davines Vision for the future?

Franck Riviére: In terms of where we want to go we are a young and fresh company and we have so much potential ahead of us. We are really focussed on our brands and we feel there is so much potential in them. We go to where we can support the trade... Hairdressing is everywhere. Hairdressing has different facets worldwide, so much diversity! We think our vision and our mission is relevant in the whole world and that’s where we are going! We want to be; not the biggest, but the most admired beauty company in the world... That’s our exciting vision! Being premium! You see here in the quality of our distribution here in New Zealand with Boutique Brands. Mike Beauchamp is doing an excellent job, totally in line with Davines values, bringing the concept and the brand to life in the most beautiful and sustainable way!

How did Angelo Seminara become involved with Davines?

Ariane Boulogne: We met Angelo through Facebook! He was at the time, Artistic Director for Trevor Sorbie. In fact our marketing director contacted him through Facebook because first he was ‘Italian’ and then arranged to meet him at our Academy in London. We had a discussion with him and made him aware we were searching for an Artistic director and Angelo said; let me try the products and I’ll come back to you. He tried the products, he was so happy about it he said; It’s OK I’ll do it! This was two and half years ago!

So how much input does Angelo have into your product line?

Franck Riviére: Angelo has clear ideas and a strong vision in terms of what inspires him and what could inspire others. What is in fashion, what is the next big thing! He is a big source of inspiration! Angelo is quite in tune with our values so he can really involve himself. He obviously tests all the products, every single one. He was able to really put his mark on the new styling range ‘More Inside’ and contributes so much, which was very exciting for us! Angelo is such a big talent, you can see it in magazines, you can see it onstage.

How did the unique packaging of ‘More Inside’ come about?

Ariane Boulogne: The concept came from our creative director Maria Vittoria Mangiarotti who came up the idea while on a trip to Japan. What really struck her was the ‘care and love’, people put into wrapping whether it’s something expensive or something cheap. This concept of gifting to others puts so much love into it. Even if you buy a little thing like a sweet, they have a first wrapping, then they wrap it again then they close it. The beautiful thing is, there are messages inside and you open it up to see! Everything we do at Davines is very different! We don’t think that you will see anything like ‘More Inside’ on any shelf anywhere in the world! Each product is handmade by artisans, the handwriting is Maria’s and the design inspired by Russian Church Mosaic tiles in Moscow.

The Davines World Wide Hair Tour, What’s it all about?

Ariane Boulogne: We had hundreds of people that came from all over the world, including New Zealand, which is pretty much the furtherest place you can come from! We had people from Australia, South Africa in fact all the continents. This year 1500 people attended, the biggest number ever! The event was sold out last November! The first in 1996 was in Rimini, a small town in Italy close to the sea. This year was the 17th edition which was held in Paris. It’s an annual event for the Davines community, a chance to exchange ideas, introduce new products and connect with each other.