Fashion-forward, modern, diverse, no-nonsense — words that easily describe the fast-moving world that’s New York City, but just as easily define one of the fastest-growing beauty brands, ECRU New York. The brand’s CEO and Founder, Carmen DePasquale, attributes this smart, city-chic viewpoint to two things: his love, appreciation and proximity to New York City; and his stylist background showcased at his salon and spa, DePasquale The Spa in Morris Plains, New Jersey. “New York is the city we live and play in, year after year,” says DePasquale. “And every idea or product that comes from ECRU New York is born in our salon. We service over 2,200 clients a week. They tell us how they want to look and feel, and we develop products to meet that need.” That means everything — from their new Curl Perfect and Texture Collections, to their latest Velvet Air Lipstick and Runway Lash Mascara — has his salon clients’ stamp of approval. We sat down with DePasquale and learned more about his decidedly New York state of mind.
The brand’s CEO and Founder, Carmen DePasquale
Q Why the word “Ecru”? What’s the brand’s connection to New York City?
A. Ecru is a clean, crisp, luxurious color with a blend of whites and beiges, but with much more depth and character. It’s timeless, like a strand of pearls. New York City is the melting pot of all cultures. It’s full of diversity, creativity and artistic inspiration. This gives us our drive and energy. New York is part of ECRU. Perfect for everyone. That’s ECRU New York.
Q How did you customize the brand for the professional beauty market?
A. Throughout my career, I experienced firsthand the confusion many product lines had. The stylist had too many products to learn, and the clients had too many products to buy. I wanted to create edited collections that would target different lifestyles. “Less is more” would be our philosophy. The ECRU New York Signature Collection has nine products, the Acacia Treatment Collection has five, Curl Perfect and Texture have four products each, giving stylists the ability to target all lifestyles within a smaller portfolio. And all of our collections must perform at the highest level, while always protecting the hair’s integrity.
Q ECRU New York has such a deep understanding of the fashion world. What do you attribute this fashion connection to?
A. ECRU New York has always worked with fashion houses that featured up-and-coming designers. The raw talent they possess is inspiring to our creative team. Many of these designers today are featured in the top fashion magazines throughout the world, such as Daniel Silverstain, Derek Lam, Phillip Lim and Rebecca Minkoff. ECRU New York transforms each season’s runway trends into wearable styles for every client who enters the salon.
Q Why is education so important to the brand?
A. ECRU New York believes that a company’s foundation is built on knowledge and experience. Whatever your knowledge was yesterday makes you who you are today, and only the knowledge you learn today will make you who you are tomorrow. Amanda Jenkins, our Global Director of Education, and Lisa Lobosco, our Creative Director, are continually working on programs that will reach every stylist. In 2018, we’ll be opening two ECRU New York academies: the first, our flagship location in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and the next in London. Covering all the basics—cutting, coloring and styling—the academies will also feature specialty classes in business and social media. We’ll also be launching a guest artist program, featuring some of the industry’s top educators.