France Luxe Hair Barrettes
One beautiful hair barrette is sometimes the perfect accessory and few companies make high quality barrettes as beautiful and functional as France Luxe. The company has been manufacturing hair ornaments – barrettes, combs, ponytail holders, sticks, jaws, bobby pins, and headbands – for more than a century at their factories located near Geneva, Switzerland.
High quality hair barrettes are scarce in the United States – most tend to break rather easily – which makes France Luxe barrettes stand out as they seldom break (I have some that are 20 years old and work just as well as the day I bought them) and there are no gobs of glue on the back holding the clasp onto the hairpiece. Stylish, colorful, and exquisite in design and function, France Luxe barrettes are timeless.
The company has three brands: France Luxe, L. Erikson, and L. Erikson USA – all of whom make a wide variety of hair barrettes for all types of hair. France Luxe tends towards the traditional with 178 styles offered, while L Erikson offers a more trendy selection of nearly 300 styles, and L. Erikson USA offers young, fashionable, and often preppy barrettes among their 178 different styles. In all, the company offers nearly 700 different hair barrette styles.
There are no clear delineations between the brands as each barrette collection has both the understated and the formal. The barrettes are made from a variety of products – plastic, wood, metal, and fabrics – silk, satin, silk charmeuse, silk shantung, velvet, wool, cotton, leather, grosgrain, dupioni (a thick silk), denim, and decoration – crystals, sequins, and beads.
Hair barrettes have been a part of my life for decades and although there is always a place for my standard Goody barrette, I have come to rely more on the barrettes made by France Luxe because they are so pretty and they don’t fall apart after use.
For years, France Luxe barrettes were only available in Europe (in virtually every hair salon window and department store) but since the company opened an office in North Bend, Washington, the products are now widely available in the United States through the company website (www.franceluxe.com), fine department stores (i.e. Nordstroms, Saks, Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor), chain stores (i.e. Anthropologie), and even Whole Foods.
The barrettes vary widely in price depending on the size and ornamentation. Prices start at $4 but most of the barrettes are between $12 – $30 and make a thoughtful gift. The company website offers the full selection for on-line purchase with free shipping and for every three barrettes purchased, the company will choose and send a fourth barrette free.
Postscript (9/15/12): France Luxe just announced a big sale on about 360 of their hair accessories (free shipping, too). Go to this link: http://www.franceluxe.com/c/sale/sale.html