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Meet Harry's, a new online-only go-to for guys' grooming gear

Bearded & Tschorn

March 22, 2013|By Adam Tschorn | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
  • Harry's Winston shaving kit ($25) includes a chrome-handled razor, three razor cartridges and a tube of shaving cream
Harry's Winston shaving kit ($25) includes a chrome-handled razor,… (Harry's )

Will guys go online-only to shave a few bucks off the cost of the morning shave? Harry's is banking on it.

The Harry's website, which went live on March 14, offers a simple lineup: two styles of razor handle, exactly one four-blade cartridge option and precisely one kind of shaving cream. The sales pitch is just as straightforward: "Great Shave. Fair Price." And that's not a stretch. Depending on which razor handle you choose, a starter kit that includes a handle, three cartridges and a tube of shaving cream sells for $15 or $25.

Co-founded by Andy Katz-Mayfield and Warby Parker co-founder Jeff Raider, Harry's is hardly novel in trying to lower the cost of the morning shave by bypassing bricks-and-mortar retail (Dollar Shave Club is one company that comes to mind) but it is a slightly different animal.

A woolly mammoth, to be precise.

That's the hirsute, tusked logo that whimsically adorns each cartridge box. There's another logo too -- an uppercase H with an apostrophe (but no "s") stamped into each razor handle and emblazoned in the 3.4-ounce tubes of shaving cream. And the two styles of razor handle, each with the heft of a high-end fountain pen, have important- and familiar-sounding names: the Truman ($10) and the Winston ($20).

None of these things, of course, has anything to do with the quality of the German-engineered blades or how efficiently the proprietary $2-or-less cartridges denude your facial forest. But little of the brand positioning in the burgeoning men's grooming segment does.

Helping Raider and Katz-Mayfield brand their new grooming line with that slightly nostalgic, old-friend feel were the folks at Partners & Spade, a New York City marketing, branding and advertising firm co-founded by Anthony Sperduti and Andy Spade. I bring this up because Spade and his considerable clout in the style branding arena are the subject of a piece I've written for this Sunday's Image section.

As for the grooming goods themselves, I gave Harry's a test drive for a couple of mornings and can report that it lives up to its slogan -- it is indeed "a great shave at a fair price." Is it "the best shave at the cheapest price"? Probably not. But skimping on the cost of the steel blade a man lays against his neck every morning is kind of like insisting on the absolute cheapest Lasik surgery one can find.  

And $20 is hardly an onerous investment risk for the potential increase in face value. 

Go to harrys.com for additional product and ordering details

ALSO:

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'Mansome': Morgan Spurlock examines men's self-image, grooming

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