FLY, A GROOMING BRAND THAT BRINGS RUGGED MODERNITY TO MENS’ LIFESTYLE,
NOW AVAILABLE IN SALONS AND ONLINE
Shaving Creem, Hair Pomade, Signature Candle and Leather Dopp Kit Among First Products
Brand Evokes Attitude of Screen Legends Steve McQueen among other Leading Men
The newest entrant into the grooming market is FLY, a brand that brings a retro, classic twist to men’s lifestyle. Debuting with two hair pomades, shaving creem, scented candle and a stylish leather Dopp kit, FLY is evocative of rugged Hollywood legends like Steve McQueen and the classic masculine elegance of modern-day marquee idols. The products are available in fine men’s grooming lounges around the world, as well as online orders through FLY’s website.
“FLY Is a brand that is cool, vintage and independent,” says founder Ted Hoffman, a former hedge fund manager who grew the brand from its origin as a men’s grooming lounge in Dallas. “We see a niche in providing quality, classic products with a modern twist. Guys aren’t looking for over the top marketing or packaging. They want something stylish and a bit retro/vintage. We are looking to create more than just products but an attitude and way of life.”
Hoffman looked to icons like Steve McQueen as inspiration for his brand. “He was the arbiter of cool and the most versatile of men. He was a guy’s guy but cared about how he looked. He was rugged, but it wasn’t spontaneous. He put some effort into it. And that’s cool. Even in that time, men wanted to look their best. And that never changed – you look at celebrities like George Clooney or Ryan Gosling and see how they carry themselves with sophistication and swagger. You can look dapper and masculine at the same time. You don’t have to be a celebrity to look like that.”
Hoffman has grown FLY into a brand with a global footprint, with retailers around the world, including Hong Kong, selling its products. He has also created strategic partnerships with companies like Fossil, Equinox, Lululemon Athletica, Haagar and Trunk Club, among others.
The story behind FLY began in an Airstream trailer. Hoffman, who found success on Wall Street before moving to Dallas to run a hedge fund, was inspired to open a men’s lounge after seeing an exhibition of vintage LIFE magazine photos. The nostalgic, simple way of life depicted in the images convinced Hoffman there was a hunger for a classic, throw-back salon where guys could be guys. He put his finance career on hold, restored an Airstream and opened up FLY, a lounge offering men’s haircuts, shaves and other grooming services.
“At the time, barbering was trying to make a comeback and we felt there was a really needed an authentic, cool barbershop,” says Hoffman. “I also thought having it mobile was a great twist. I saw firsthand how men approach grooming. It’s about simplicity and style without the fuss.”
It’s convinced Hoffman there was an opportunity to create a lifestyle brand inspired by the lounge. He started with essential men’s products — shaving cream and hair pomade – and searched for ways to make them unique to FLY.
“I started with the basics: What works? What do guys need and want and how can we make it better?” Hoffman says. “You want the best ingredients from the best makers. Something that is effective, safe and will help and accentuate the hair and skin. And I tweaked it a little. Users will know and feel the difference with FLY.”
The FLY No. 4 Shaving Creem includes silicon and cocoa butter, as well as Vitamin E that add a smooth, stylish touch. “It has to be seamless and painless, but also feel good. Our Shave Creem, FLY No.4 does all that, and then some,” Hoffman says.
Similarly, the FLY Pomades No. 1 and 2 “are a great finishing touch to any haircut/hairstyle. They have a firm hold and enticing scent.” Pomade No. 1 offers users a strong hold, while No. 2 provides a medium hold.
The FLY “Transit Goods” candle arose from customers noticing and liking the scent from the Airstream lounge. “I kept getting feedback from customers, barbers/barbershops and of course all of my female friends that the fragrance was too good to not attempt in a candle,” Hoffman says. “Our signature scent, Amber Mahogany, evokes emotions and memories instantaneously. And that was important for us to distinguish the FLY brand. Our candle has a very unique scent. It almost has a taste. And it’s disarming and unexpected.”
Finishing the first collection is a leather Dopp kit to carry FLY products. “I wanted a way for guys to keep all the products together when they traveled, but in something simple and stylish. You don’t need too many bells and whistles,” Hoffman says. “Our customers are on-the-go, they are constantly moving. And in this day and age when you’re going through TSA and they’re moving items out of your bags, you want something cool. Our Dopp Kit is 100% leather, lined and perfectly sized is a head turner.”
The four products represent the first collection by FLY, but plans are already underway to introduce more into the men’s market.
“FLY will appeal to everyone, regardless of age,” says Hoffman. “Our ingredients are time tested and effective, our price points are super reasonable and accessible, our packaging is classic without being pretentious and our message and brand is inclusive.”