By Bailey Beckett
Frederic Fekkai is synonymous with style. His namesake salon, with locations throughout the U.S., has been a temple of beauty for years, popular with celebs, socialites, executives, VIPs, and those looking for chic transformations.
But his expertise extends beyond the sheers. He and his wife, Shirin, a veteran of Yves St. Laurent and Tom Ford, recently infused the venerated beauty brand Bastide with their exquisite and intuitive sense of elegance based around simple, quintessential virtues: water, plants, light, and balance. Their acquisition of the 25-year-old beauty line, founded in Fekkai’s hometown Aix-en-Provence in France, now broadens a vision from hair care to skincare. Since taking over, they have introduced two new products—a purifying clay mask and nourishing face and décolleté oil—that reflect the brand’s origins, rooted in the craftsmanship of French artisans and their use of rich, potent ingredients.
The couple took time from their busy lives and spoke to New York Lifestyles about their newest venture and the importance of clean, natural ingredients.
How would you describe Bastide?
Shirin: Bastide is a house of beauty and wellness inspired by the lifestyle of Aix-en-Provence. We celebrate French beauty through our fragrances, skincare, and beautiful candles.
What inspired you to take on the brand?
Shirin: When we moved back to Provence, we started eating from the garden and living closer to nature. It made our whole family look and feel amazing, and we knew we wanted to share that with the world.
Frédéric: Even when we returned to New York, we realized how important it is to carefully select what we’re eating and pay attention to the health of ourselves and our planet. This helped us define our mission for Bastide: to bring clean beauty inspired by the lifestyle of Aix-en-Provence.
How is it different than what you have done before under the Fekkai label?
Frédéric: With the Fekkai label, we created the first luxury hair care line inspired by our stylists at the salon. We were able to take this concept and scale it to be sold in mass retailers such as Target and Ulta. With Bastide, Shirin and I created a lifestyle brand with multiple categories that transport the customer to Provence through the scents, the packaging, and the sensorial formulas. We acquired the company Côte Bastide in 2015 and relaunched in 2016 as Bastide—we wanted to maintain the heritage of the brand while modernizing the packaging and formulas for today’s customer.
In such a crowded skincare market, how do you distinguish Bastide?
Shirin: We developed every Bastide product to be something you reach for simply because it makes you feel amazing—from the texture to the scent. Your beauty routine is a moment for self-care, and we want our customers to feel like Bastide enhances those rituals and pampers from head to toe.
Frédéric: I don’t believe in overnight miracles or invasive treatments. With Bastide, we embrace slow beauty by working with artisans to develop high-quality products that enhance and respect your natural beauty.
What are your plans for growing the brand?
Frédéric: Our focus is to build a community around the brand that will enter the world of Bastide and be a part of our journey as we continue to scale. We’re working on curating every touchpoint for the customer, from our website to our distribution points. We’ve also expanded into new categories recently and will continue to develop product innovations while bringing our true vision of Provence to the market.
What are Bastide’s signature products?
Shirin: The Huile Seche Epatante Brilliant Dry Oil Mist has been our hero from day one. It’s a gorgeous combination of oils that hydrates the skin and gives it that “glow du sud” that Provence is known for. It also has a beautiful orange blossom flower fragrance that lingers on the skin and reminds you of summers spent under the sun. It’s our number one seller—our customers love that they can use it on the skin, as a fragrance and in their hair for a little nourishment.
What are the trends in skincare? What are you most excited about?
Shirin: We look to our customers to tell us what they value in products and what they’re looking for next. Our target audience is females who have their pulse on what’s coming in the skincare space, so we develop everything with the understanding of how she, the end-user, will experience it. More and more women are looking to declutter their routines, which is in line with the Bastide philosophy – creating essentials that help them live more naturally.
For more information on Bastide, visit bastide.com.