Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of Surf Spray’s launch. I was recently going through my photo archive and stumbled upon a collection of photos from a pre-launch shoot we did in Miami in 2000. There was a certain texture of hair I’d always liked that was perfect for showing off the way we cut hair at Bumble. Our razor cutting technique, created by Howard and Raymond McLaren and myself, seemed to go together with this idea of a salt spray. Howard perfected this technique way beyond the scope of anyone else, and it became part of the Bumble arsenal. Part of the Bumble mystique was that we married the cut with the right product – like finding a specific ingredient to enhance a recipe.
We were already calling the product Surf Spray, and we were going to Florida to shoot the content for the launch. We had these sample bottles, which the terrific, amazing product development person, Frederic Pignault, had sourced that felt like neoprene. We didn’t have time to do the official artwork, so we took a bunch of metallic sharpies with us and actually made it like a fun day at the beach, with all the models and the crew drawing on surfboards, on t-shirts, on bottles, and even on each other. Just scribbling all over the place. It was very spontaneous and very fun.
We cast those girls in Miami, and one of the boys was a production assistant who served as a model – we used to drag anybody into modeling if we thought they looked good. It was a very low budget shoot, but extremely effective, and we got so much great material. Howard was giving these girls amazing haircuts, he was really getting into his stride with the razor. As you can see in these photos, the razor cuts, the styling technique, and the product all work so well together, and I think that’s part of the reason Surf Spray was an instant hit. There’s something about the cuts and the styling that feels timeless – it’s hard to believe these were taken 20 years ago.
In fact, the name ‘Surf Spray’ was so powerful that we barely needed to do any marketing material, everybody just understood it immediately. These photos of a group of kids on the beach captures the mood.