Baxter of California turns 45 this year and is celebrating with a new barbershop — the recently opened Baxter Finley Barber & Shop on La Cienega Boulevard — along with redesigned packaging and special anniversary merchandise that includes a limited-edition made-in-the-USA stainless steel razor in a leather case ($325).
Baxter Finley, a former advertising executive, founded Baxter of California in 1965 to introduce male baby boomers to moisturizers, including his signature Super Shape. Finley, a New York transplant to Los Angeles, thought moisturizers were necessary in Southern California's dry climate and couldn't find any made or packaged for men. Through Baxter of California's 1970s heyday, the company expanded into Bravado cologne and sold its products at department stores such as Robinsons-May and Neiman Marcus.
But in the 1980s, young men started using unisex grooming products and Baxter of California lost some of its luster, according to the company. After relying on back-of-magazine mail order for business, Finley sold the firm a decade ago to Jean-Pierre "J.P." Mastey, whose family had been in the salon business for two generations. Mastey's father, Marc, owned Marc Mastey Coiffure, a hair salon on Robertson Boulevard, and his grandfather had a barbershop in Mogador, now Essaouira, Morocco. Finley was an old friend of Mastey's father, who recommended J.P. as the ideal person to run a small men's-grooming product business.
Mastey, 35, said that interest in the men's grooming business goes in waves. Earlier in the decade, for instance, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and the metrosexual trend brought a lot of attention to the industry.
"There's still a growth potential for men's grooming," Mastey says. "Teenagers use products that are OK for both boys and girls.… Axe also has invigorated the industry. Then those guys graduate from the fraternity to Baxter."
More than a year ago, Mastey, who retired Finley's original lemon-lime cologne because he thought it smelled dated, introduced two new fragrances, Bravado 2 and 3, that have more complex notes ($80). Marc Atlan, a Venice-based art director who has designed fragrance bottles for Comme des Garçons and Yves Saint Laurent, designed the packaging. Mastey said that Baxter of California had a vintage appeal through its heritage and logo, so when they were updated this year by local designer Chris DiGiacomo, the signature griffin was retained.
The interest in vintage can be seen elsewhere as the American brand heritage trend chugs along and young men continue to discover brands such as Filson, a Seattle-based outerwear maker that recently partnered with Levi's. Baxter Finley Barber & Shop is next to Craft, a menswear store that sells classic American heritage brands such as Alden shoes and Red Wing boots.
The four-chair barbershop has antique fixtures, including Koken White King barber chairs circa 1910 and an antique cash box. Barbers, including lead barber Jason Simao from Freeman's Sporting Club in New York City, give haircuts including classic Sinatra high-top fades and choppy hipster looks and shaves ($40 each or $75 for both) while wearing gingham shirts from Steven Alan.
515 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 657-4726. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Frederic Fekkai Sunday, Aug. 29: Fekkai wants you to have the red carpet experience, whether you're attending the Emmys or not. Book three signature services — blow-out, polish change and makeup — for $75 (regularly $170). Clients also get free glasses of complimentary champagne.
8457 Melrose Place, Los Angeles. (323) 655-7800. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kristinit and Anita Arze Sunday, Aug. 29: L.A. designers Kristinit and Anita Arzé host a one-day sample sale at Being in LA Spa with a percentage of sale proceeds to be donated to Oceana, an oceans' advocacy nonprofit. Locally manufactured brand Kristinit was picked as a women's collection to watch by Lucky magazine. Choose from the designers' tops, sweaters, dresses and jumpsuits, priced from $50 to $95 (regular prices $225 to $450). Perfumer Sanae Barber will be selling her custom scents, while Being in LA is offering spa services such as facials and massages. RSVP to email@example.com.
2016 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 428-3221. 2 to 8 p.m.
Camarillo and Desert Hills Premium Outlets Friday through Sept. 6: Pick up a back-to-school or back-to-work wardrobe for less. Outlet stores are adding additional discounts to fashions already marked down 25% to 65%. Camarillo features new boutiques from Tory Burch, Talbots and K-Swiss, along with deals from stores such as Chico's (buy one, get one 50% off on Additions by Chico's items). Desert Hills has Splendid joining stores such as Coach, Prada, J. Crew and Jimmy Choo. An example of the weekend's deals: William Rast is offering men's printed T-shirts for $13.75 (reg. $55).
Camarillo Premium Outlets, 740 E. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo. (805) 445-8520. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Monday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Desert Hills Premium Outlets, 48400 Seminole Drive, Cabazon. (951) 849-6641. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday.
WE TV Wedding Mall Tour Saturday: WE television wedding expert Diann Valentine, author of "Weddings Valentine Style," shows brides-to-be how to create a celebrity-style reception on a tight budget. Attendees can also enter a national sweepstakes for a $1,000 shopping spree at Glendale Galleria or other General Growth properties, plus a drawing for a KitchenAid mixer or Williams-Sonoma gift card, among other prizes. The first 150 attendees will receive a gift bag. Mocktails will be poured at noon, one hour before Valentine's appearance from 1 to 2 p.m. Other wedding experts and vendors will be displaying around the mall all afternoon.
Glendale Galleria, 100 W. Broadway, Glendale. (818) 240-9481. Noon to 6 p.m. http://www.glendalegalleria.com