Oribe Is Going Back to Its Roots With a Limited-Edition Product

President and co-founder Daniel Kaner explains the swagger behind the special version of the beloved Dry Texturizing Spray.

BEAUTY BOSS: Oribe/Daniel Kaner
Photo: Courtesy of Daniel Kaner

In haircare, looking back is often a means to move forward. Stylists are often inspired by the trends of past decades when creating new looks, and brands will reinvent their most beloved products with fresh packaging.

That's exactly what Oribe has done with its trailblazing Dry Texturizing Spray. The brand has launched a limited-edition bottle in celebration of its late co-founder, legendary celebrity hairstylist Oribe Canales. The artwork features an illustration of Canales with his coiffed hair, signature sleeve tattoos, and comb in hand, ready to style supermodels like Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford backstage at fashion week.

This illustration by New York-based artist Alvaro was originally commissioned by Canales in the '90s for a collection haircare products he was making, the first being a pomade. And the rest, as they say, is history. While Oribe's muscle man didn't remain on the luxury haircare brand's packaging, the stylist's legacy has lived on in the products themselves and the influence his work has had on the art of hairstyling.

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Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

But with so many of the current beauty trends rooted in nostalgia, it's never been a better time for a brand like Oribe to revisit its roots. Ahead, Daniel Kaner, president and co-founder of Oribe, shares all the details on the limited-edition Dry Texturizing Spray, how the spirit of Canales continues to drive the brand forward, and how the brand stays at the forefront of the luxury haircare space.

Why is 2022 the right moment to pay homage to Canales with this limited-edition bottle of Dry Texturizing Spray?

We call this image we're using "the muscle man." It was an artist named Alvaro, who did a lot of work with Oribe. They even had a comic book series back in the day. When Oribe opened his salon at Elizabeth Arden in New York, there were drawings of mermaids with faces of Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, and Naomi Campbell on them. And the salon in Miami used to be in a coral house that had a giant aquarium. When you would look through it, you could see a giant six-foot by eight-foot illustration of Oribe's eyes. Since Oribe's passing, we've begun to tell more of his story. We're bringing the muscle man in because I think it introduces a swagger that was so endemic to who Oribe was.

So many of today's beauty trends — especially haircare — are rooted in nostalgia. What Oribe look or moment do you think has influenced current looks.

Journalists always used to say that he was the go-to guy for big hair. Many of his shoots that appeared in magazines look like they could have been from today and still hold up. Oribe and Judy Erickson, his assistant of over 20 years, were really wizards with hair. They were able to take models from Amy Winehouse-like looks to other sculpted looks quickly. He wasn't a one-trick wonder, but he'll be remembered in the hair world because you're always able to tell when a style in a photograph is one of his.

The Dry Texturizing Spray is the first of its kind and created a whole new product category when it launched in 2010. What memories from the development process stand out to you?

Back in the day, session hairdressers didn't have complimentary products they could use. They would make their own using olive oil, seawater, Nivea Cream, KY Jelly, etc. They would use things with different textures to achieve desired finishes and would use dry shampoo to add volume and create that piecey look, but they always had that film or powder. So Oribe, being such a practitioner and artist, designed robust stylers on that perspective. A lot of people didn't initially understand what he was after, and he worked with a really good developer that developed some of the best hairsprays in the world, and he got it right away so it didn't take long to formulate. He was testing these products on models, like Cindy Crawford on a Versace shoot, and they didn't know.

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How do you go about creating new products for the brand that are innovative, but still stay true to Oribe's point of view?

Oribe's one non-negotiable was the performance of the products. Instead of working with one laboratory, we work with a number of chemists and our biggest team is probably product development. We have multiple packaging engineers, regulatory in-house, so we take a look at trends and what's happening in the marketplace, but we're very unusual in that we have over 50 high-caliber, technical educators all over the world. So they're testing products and we have tons of session hairdressers that are also using the products and reporting back to us.

The skinification of haircare is old news now, but when we started we were really focused on making products that wouldn't strip the scalp. We were able to work with a lab in Italy that made skincare products to make haircare products for us with those skincare ingredients in them. We're always on the hunt to make something extraordinary, and I think that's part of Oribe's legacy that he's left with the team.

This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

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