Function of Beauty builds out new C-Suite

Hair-care brand Function of Beauty has an entirely new C-Suite.

After Alexandra Papazian was appointed Function of Beauty’s new CEO in Sept. 2021, the former Laura Mercier exec has been busy building out the rest of her team. Since the beginning of the year, Function of Beauty has brought in Matthew Eberhart as its new chief digital officer, Boyoung Lee as chief creative officer and, most recently, Marianna Trofimova as chief marketing officer. All roles previously existed in the company.

“The brand is in an exciting place and primed for growth with this new leadership team in place,” said Papazian in an email. “Beyond driving breakthrough product innovation and new growth channels, we’re setting the brand up for stronger connectivity between all facets of our business, from product to the consumer experience across our DTC and retail business.”

Papazian declined to share current subscriber or revenue figures. The 7-year-old brand raised a $150 million Series B led by L Catterton in 2020 and reportedly sought a $1 billion valuation. In 2020, the digitally-native brand, which offers people the chance to create customized hair-care formulas and subscribe for a discount, added Target as its first brick-and-mortar partner and expanded into body and skin care. In 2021, it acquired personalized skin-care brand Atolla for an undisclosed price to further drive its customized skin-care abilities.

Given the brand’s trajectory to date and reported annual revenue of $100 million, it is in a prime spot as a potential acquisition target or even a public offering. The building out of a new C-Suite team also signals the maturity of the brand’s operations. Zahir Dossa, co-founder and former CEO of Function of Beauty, stepped back with Papazian’s appointment but still remains executive chairman. Papazian declined to speak on potential IPO or acquisition plans, stating, “We have a lot of work in front of us, but we are very focused on the exciting opportunities that we have in the works.”

Trofimova said her primary goal as CMO is to amplify with every product launch that Function of Beauty’s customization means it can solve unique beauty challenges that customers experience. She said the diverse ethnic representation of Gen Z is also worth paying attention to as Function of Beauty looks to capture a new generation of customers. Gen Z is the most diverse population in U.S. history and new hair-care brands like Nou are poised to address those diverse hair needs.

“There are a lot of opportunities for us to lean into the diversity of hair types, not only with shampoos and conditioners, but also in the treatment section and styling [products],” Trofimova said.

She said that she believes there are two areas a brand needs to do well in to succeed: products and brand love. Products are at the heart of any consumer business and need to perform better than their peers, but having authentic messaging and being able to foster affinity to the brand is equally important, she said. Being able to customize brand messaging, alongside other brand education and engagement, is also an area she is interested in.

“In the future, we’ll have opportunities with people that are looking into augmented [product] performance to show them how customization can achieve that,” said Trofimova. “We’ll [also also have the opportunity to customize the brand] experience itself, like choosing how you pay, what kind of content you receive from the brand and how far you want to go in taking the [diagnostic] quiz. There are a lot of opportunities for us to deliver customization in more areas than just products.”