New Frontiers: Basim Shami

When your father is an industry icon, how do you make your mark when he hands over the reins? If you’re Basim Shami, who was named CEO of Farouk Systems, the company his father founded in 1986, you think out of the box. Case in point: Kardashian Beauty, a complete line of professional hair styling products, tools and chic accessories that launched in spring, 2015. “We were seeking celebrity partnerships with people who are not only popular but are also known for their trend-setting hairstyles,” Shami says. “The Kardashians fit perfectly as they’re famous for changing their look and having their hairstyles duplicated by women and teens everywhere.” After a creative meeting with sisters Kourtney and Kim—“They actually contacted us,” he says—Shami developed a line with key ingredients, including black seed oil. The line has been an overwhelming success. “We are currently in 27 countries and growing,” says Shami, who points out that the line has received several major beauty awards and 30 billion press impressions. Currently the company is working on expanding the line with a whole new set of products and tools.

At the company’s global conference in Cancun, Mexico this summer, Shami announced his latest venture: a men’s line of grooming products developed for Esquire magazine that’s slated for release late in 2016. “We did a consumer gap analysis and found that this category was a missing component in our business,” Shami says. “So we reached out to Esquire because we are fans of their prestigious magazine and felt they would be the best partner to reach the male audience.” The products will be distributed through prestige professional salons only and will be promoted in all Hearst magazines, including Esquire. “Men’s hair care is one of the fastest growing areas in our business, and we want to be at the forefront creating a line perfect for their needs and style changes,” says Shami, who is working on numerous other licensing deals. “For now, we are still in negotiations, so it’s too early to make any announcements,” he says, “but stay tuned as we will be making a lot of news in the coming months.”