Kim and Khloé Kardashian, Megan Fox, and JLo are among Andrew Fitzsimons’ extremely famous clientele. Now, he wants to provide a taste of the glamour he’s known for to the masses with his new namesake hair-care brand, Andrew Fitzsimons.
The brand launched at Ulta Beauty on Monday with 23 products across five collections: Body Volume, Fantasy Curls, Prism Shine, Virgin Repair and Styling. Each product is priced at $14. It was created with Maesa, the incubator behind brands including TPH by Taraji P. Henson, Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty and Priyanka Chopra’s Anomaly.
Fitzsimons has been doing hair for 21 years. He went to a Catholic boys’ school in Ireland, which he said, “wasn’t the best environment for a young, sensitive homosexual such as myself.” He found refuge in hair salons and female environments, realizing, “women were my safe space in the world.”
In a full-circle moment, he created his brand in homage to women. And he hopes it will fix some of the problems he sees in the traditional marketing of hair-care products. “I want to give back and support women as much as women have supported me. I noticed that, in hair care, women are [often] sold to in a way I don’t agree with. Women’s insecurities are either created or reinforced by an industry that wants to sell them ‘the remedy.’ And I see right through it. I see how damaging it is and how unfair it is,” he said, noting that he started work on this brand four years ago.
To differentiate the brand, Fitzsimons started with the campaign, casting trans and plus-size models such as Charlie Reynolds (aka Peachy) and Kataluna Enriquez. “I didn’t realize this, but [this makes] Charlie [Peachy] the first plus-size model to ever be featured alone in a hair campaign. And people are like, ‘Aren’t you excited that that’s happening in 2022?’ And I say, ‘No, I’m so disappointed it’s only happening in 2022,'” Fitzsimons said.
“Most brands say they don’t want to be emulated, that they want to corner the market. But I want to be emulated. I want to push hair care and beauty in the right direction. You cannot sell to women irresponsibly. Women are not dumb. You don’t have to water things down. Women are aware of how the world works and how they are treated. And I want to shine a light on the most beautiful energy I’m aware of, which is femininity.”
“Knowing that [Reynolds’ and Enriquez’s] images were going to be used as examples of beauty for the world made me proud,” Fitzsimons said.
He added, “You can say something is inclusive, but [it’s not] if people can’t afford it,” noting the brand’s $14 across-the-board price point.
As of Monday, the full collection is available at all 1,300 Ulta Beauty locations in the U.S., as well as on Ulta Beauty’s website. It will also be featured in Ulta Beauty’s styling services. “Guests will have plenty of opportunities to discover the collection,” said Jessica Phillips, Ulta Beauty’s vice president of merchandising. “We’re promoting the omnichannel launch with a dedicated endcap display, brand signage and window banners, as well as promotional emails and notifications linking to the collection online.”
In addition, Ulta Beauty will host an Andrew Fitzsimons Hair product takeover in Ulta Beauty’s salon backbar from May 29 through June 18, she said, which will give visitors the chance to try the line as part of their service.
Fitzsimons, who has 625,000 followers on Instagram, will also be showcased on Ulta Beauty’s social channels, Phillips said. “Andrew will also appear on Ulta Beauty’s livestreaming show, “Unveiling Beauty,” with host Nick Stenson, svp of store and services operations at Ulta Beauty, where he’ll discuss his inspiration for his line, the hero products and his work with the transgender community.
Although the brand is vegan, Fitzsimons was adamant that the packaging not be beige or picture someone holding “a piece of barley,” he said. Instead, the aesthetic is bold and colorful, and the font is ’80s-inspired, an aesthetic currently having a moment in beauty.
The brand’s proprietary technology is its “AF Bonding Technology.” It’s featured in all of its formulas, though it’s most heavily concentrated in its Virgin Repair collection. This is in line with current trends in the space — hair care is extremely focused on health, and bond-building plays a huge part in hair health.
“The complex is an innovative, protein-based complex,” according to a brand representative. “It helps build maximum strength from within by creating powerful hydrogen and ionic bonds inside the keratin hair structure to increase elasticity and flexibility.”
“People’s hair is in their own hands for the first time, with [new more access] to tutorials, and [people are] learning to experiment with their hair,” Fitzsimons said. As such, he prioritized coming out with a repair line.
“Protein bonding is one of the biggest hair innovations of the past 5-10 years,” he said, adding, “Hair has been boring.”
When bond-building technology first came out, the products were expensive. Think brands like Olaplex, with products selling for around $28, and K18, with its full-size flagship product priced at $75. Fitzsimons sought to make it more accessible, he said, noting that it can be found in every product across his line, though it is most heavily concentrated in the repair line.
A shine collection was necessary, too, because Fitzsimons is known for the shine he gives his famous clients. As for volume, he said, “I’m gay as fuck, so I love big hair.”