When it comes to salon-quality hair products, Oribe has been the standard for over 14 years. The brand, founded by legendary hairstylist Oribe Canales and Daniel Kaner, has consistently brought innovative and iconic products to the market. As you'd imagine, the brand's DNA wholly embodies Canales' point of view on beauty.
From the 1980s to the 2010s, Oribe Canales was known for his next-level hairstyling prowess. He created glamorous looks for fashion houses (like Versace and Chanel) and publications (between 1997 and 2000, he styled 36 consecutive covers for Elle US). "Oribe was always steps ahead in his visions for hair," Oribe's principal artist of global design, Kien Hoang, says. "He gave me insights on how we can push the looks of hair forward in all dimensions of styling."
The brand's principal educator of content & training, Coby Alcantar, echoes these sentiments, stating, "His love for making things beautiful and always having a vision for what something should look like inspired me."
Through his namesake hair care line, Canales was able to bring his sharp styling skills to the masses. Since launching in 2008, the brand has left an indelible mark on the industry and continues to find new ways to push hair care forward. Ahead, we're taking a deep dive into Oribe's past, present, and future.
Canales hairstyling experience and Kaner's career in beauty (he's worked at Aveda and Bumble & Bumble) provided them with insight into gaps in the market. In the early 2000s, they both saw a need for high-performance products. "We launched the brand because we wanted to bring a unique perspective to professional stylists and engaged consumers looking for tools that addressed their needs," Kaner shares. "The hair care category was evolving and open to a wider and carefully considered product offering. In most beauty categories, there are good, better, and best. We saw an opportunity to be the best in performance."
Within the first two years, the brand launched products like the now-iconic Dry Texturizing Spray, which serves as a shining example of Oribe's point of difference. In such a saturated market, the brand's luxurious, solution-driven formulas struck a chord amongst the masses. "At the time, a lot of the session stylists were using dry shampoo to get that voluminous, piece-y, slept-in look, but the powder formula left the hair gritty and dull," Kaner explains. "Oribe designed his dream product—a styler that gave the hair texture and volume while leaving it touchably soft and shiny."
Oribe took great care to ensure each product provided the most elevated experience, thoughtfully refining details like fragrance (another element the brand has become known for). "Oribe was working with Jennifer Lopez at the time and loved how her fragrance trailed her—he said you could smell her down the hall, and it was an intoxicating experience," Kaner notes. "Our ambition was to create this custom perfume so that after you're done styling your hair, you have this beautiful, fine fragrance left behind to signify the overall Oribe experience. This fragrance became our signature scent, Côte d'Azur, which runs throughout our entire line of products."
Kaner reflects on Oribe's early days of development of Oribe fondly, describing it as one of the most exciting times in his career. "It was such a grassroots effort," he says. "We were all out in the field, on the phone sharing our brand story and traveling the country in an old van doing in-salon education events. We would pick Oribe up after he'd flown in from an Italian or French Vogue shoot and would drive to a small town in the U.S. and do hair demonstrations with the products. The stylists loved him, and they loved the products."
For 10 years, Canales and Kaner worked in tandem to grow the company. They built Oribe into a household name, releasing several best-selling collections (like the Gold Lust line) and becoming a staple in the kits of hairstylists. So, when Canales passed in 2018, it impacted the brand immensely. However, Oribe has committed to continuing on in his honor.
The most recent tribute to Canales came earlier this year with the debut of the limited edition Dry Texturizing Spray, which features many nods to his likeness. "We wanted to bring to life the remarkable story of Canales with the limited edition redesign," vice president of global marketing Andreea Diaconescu says. "The retro-modern packaging pays homage to him with a wink, an element that was very much part of Oribe himself. The 'muscleman' illustration shows Oribe with his coiffed hair, signature sleeve of tattoos, and comb ready to transform a supermodel backstage."
The Oribe team says creative components, like the design of the limited-edition spray, have been a focus as of late. "The rest of the year will showcase the design side of our brand," senior vice president of product development Jessica Friedman says. "For our holiday sets, we collaborated with another incredible artist on the design, and the results are visually stunning. We are also introducing a new collection of high-performance brushes and combs made with a custom resin that makes them incredibly covetable."
In addition to aesthetic-related initiatives, sustainability is one of the brand's top priorities this year and beyond. "Oribe is reimagining what obsession means in the context of sustainability," vice president of packaging Jennifer Smith notes. "We are harnessing our creativity to realize a genuinely sustainable experience that contributes to long-term positive change and nourishes hair, people, and the planet."
The brand recently rolled out a few eco-conscious launches—like the 1000 ml Shampoo, Conditioner, and Hand Wash Refill Pouches, which use 71% less single-use plastic than Oribe's liter bottles. Similarly, the Cote d'Azur, Valley of Flower, and Desertland Replenishing Body Wash & Restorative Body Crème 300 ml bottles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic with a recyclable, mono-material plastic pump.
Oribe is also looking to reduce its environmental impact this holiday season by using boxes made from 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) paper and internal trays made from 100% biodegradable and renewable plant fiber. "We will always strive to do better and be the best—relentlessly innovating new materials and approaches, harnessing our creativity to reinvent luxury packaging, evolving our formulations, catalyzing carbon reduction, and amplifying diversity, equity, and inclusion," Smith adds.