New Frontiers: Elisa Fischer

Elisa Fischer had worked for L’Oréal Professionnel, Logics, Matrix, then Redken/Pureology, since 2002, and she loved her job and was very happy. Then last year TIGI made her an offer she couldn’t refuse, and she jumped ship to become General Manager TIGI Americas (United States, Canada and Latin America). “TIGI was the brand I always admired—colloquial copy, great packaging, a very distinct image and way of talking to stylists and consumers that wasn’t available to me before. TIGI knows who it is,” says Fischer, who was also anxious to partner with Anthony Mascolo and help move TIGI into the future. Still, it was also important to her that Toni&Guy was connected to the brand. Tom Monaghan, Worldwide President, TIGI, had already re-established a relationship with Bruno Mascolo, CEO of Toni&Guy USA, who appeared onstage with his brother Anthony at TIGI World Release 2015. Relations between TIGI and Toni&Guy had been fragile at best since Unilever bought the TIGI professional hair product business in 2009. But as Fischer points out, TIGI was born out of Toni&Guy. “TIGI was created because Anthony couldn’t find the products he needed to create the looks he wanted to create. Toni&Guy exclusively uses TIGI,” she says. “Every Toni&Guy student who leaves those schools is a disciple of TIGI. These are loyal users I can use as educators and the future of not only the industry but our brand. What could be better than that?”

Education is Fischer’s number one priority. In her first few months on the job, Fischer took the time to listen to people, especially the educators. “I put Thomas Osborn in a new position immediately,” she says. “He’s head of education for the Americas as well creative director for TIGI.” Osborn had always worked with Anthony on the collections, but Fischer knew she needed a role model for all the educators in the U.S., Canada and Latin America and to lead the team into the future. 

“Our business has evolved significantly over the last year, and we also needed someone to manage field education so I also created a role to lead field education and appointed Julie Lindstrom.” TIGI has also re-established their partnership with BSG, which gives the company access to a wider range of hairdressers than before. “Our direct sales team offers a distinct point of difference and level of support, espeically for color,” says Fischer. “And we will continue to sell direct, but now that we’re back with Cosmoprof, which has over 1,000 stores, many more stylists can access our hair color and styling products.” TIGI also has a significant chain salon business. “Fantastic Sams is my number one color customer,” says Fischer, who has worked very hard to solidify that partnership as well as ones the company has developed with Salon Innovations, Regis, JCPenney, Beauty Brands and Ulta. 

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Fischer’s challenge as she sees it is to make sure that TIGI is viable well into the future. That means raising the profile of Catwalk and S Factor so that they become as synonymous with TIGI as Bed Head and continuing the growth of Copyright Colour. Still, she’s stoked by the fact that “we still have the same family-owned values at TIGI plus the big company opportunities and support that Unilever provides. It’s the best of both worlds.” 

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