The Beauty Business | Flavien Abbas – Founder of Touche by Flavien
If there’s one brand that’s truly earned its place in my bathroom cabinet lately it’s Touché by Flavien. I was introduced last year and I’ve been hooked since. The sleek packaging and luxury ingredients i.e. prickly pear oil, cashmere, argan oil and jasmine speak for themselves – Touché by Flavien isn’t your average brand. And the person behind this not so average hair care brand is Flavien Abbas, hairstylist to the stars and Senior Artistic Director at Harrods’ Urban Retreat.
How did you get your start in hair styling?
From a very young age I was fascinated by the beauty and fashion pages in top magazine as well as the glamour of old black and white movies. My passion rose when I decided to start an apprenticeship at age 15 learning to do hair and make-up at a top hair salon in Nice. My training was intense with Tucco, Sebastian and L’Oreal‘s endless training and competitions. I quickly realised it was not fulfilling my ambition to work in the fashion industry so I took a one way ticket to London where all started!
At what moment in your career did you notice that you were doing well?
I realised I was doing well when one day I talked about taking a holiday to my agent. He laughed and said it was going to be difficult as I was booked up with options 1, 2 and 3. Options were in case a photo shoot was cancelled and I had two other options lined up for the next 6 months. That taught me to be organised and plan in advance. Also, working with top photographers, models, celebrities, singers or actors for top magazines, commercials or music labels gave me the clue I was doing well.
Best clients you have worked with?
Anne Parillaud, Vonda Shepard, Shania Twain , Andy McDowell, Martine McCutcheon, Charlotte Church , Charlotte Rampling, Helen Worth but I also loved working on shows for Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Lacroix. Also love traveling to meet my Levantine Princesses.
The products in your line, Touché By Flavien contain the best ingredients such as prickly pear and jasmine. How important was it to include such ingredients?
Working in top luxury salons for so long taught me that any of my clients coming from either Far East, America or Japan all are for nothing but the best. That’s why I decided to only use the best ingredients in my products. I really make a point by using as many natural ingredients and achieve maximum efficacy.
If there’s one hair product that all women must need what would it be?
I would definitely say for both women and men, my Scalp Tonic is a must. It should be in everybody’s hair wash routine. The best way to grow heathy hair with a healthy scalp with a fresh and clean feeling. The scalp tonic is packed with vitamins A, B, C, D and E plus amino acids.
When creating your line, where did you draw inspiration for the packaging?
My original inspiration for the logo was a bottle of champagne, I wanted a bottle that would look nice in bathroom – a timeless design, chic and elegant with an art deco and Asian influence. That was my brief to my design team so we tried to stick to it as much as we could.
What challenges did you face during the process of creating Touché By Flavien?
The hardest was to get the right formulation with the ingredients I wanted to use. I wanted the best without compromise and thankfully we have a fantastic team of biochemists in our laboratories.
You juggle many hats – Senior Art Director of Harrods, hairstylist as well as the hair care line. How do you manage your time and what do you do to unwind?
Sometimes it feels like I am running at 100mph but I like that. With having to manage over 110 people worldwide for sourcing, production, legal, marketing and PR I always make sure that I surround myself with very professional people. My best way to unwind is to find a place where phones, iPads and computers don’t work! Very remote holidays are my favourite and I am actually passing my speedboat license!