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April 13, 2016

Adelaide’s Davroe hair care heads to NY Fashion Week

The long-established brand's change in approach is paying off in spades.

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  • Words: Sharmonie Cockayne
  • Pictures: Nicky Mellonie
  • Art direction: Louie Quilao

You’ve heard of Davroe before.

It’s the South Australian haircare brand that’s been around for over three decades. Your grandmother used it, your mum probably used it, and now those trendy kids on Rundle Street are using it too because it’s vegan, it’s well-branded, and it’s good quality.


Davroe is SA based and manufactured, Australian owned, and 100 per cent vegan.

Fashion Palette is in its 5th season, and this year will feature, among others, SA designer, Stephanie Chehade.

Last year, Davroe’s Creative Director, Janelle Zara, travelled to New York as a part of SA designer Simmone Standing’s glam team for the Australian-centered event, Fashion Palette New York Fashion Week (FPNYFW). This year, Janelle has stepped it up – she’ll be travelling to New York to head her own Davroe team as the official hair partner of the whole FPNYFW event.

Even though Davroe has been around since 1984, it’s huge step for the company, which has undergone a massive rebranding since changing hands in 2007.

At a time when it was still rare to encounter a vegan, incoming CEO, Mary Centofanti removed all sulphates, parabens, chemicals and animal testing practices from the formulation of Davroe products, transforming the company into a 100 per cent vegan whole wellness brand.

“It was pretty hard the first five years – it was virtually a new company,” says Mary.

And now, nine years later, Mary is pushing the boundaries even further. Just this February, Davroe began exporting to the US.

“Fashion Palette for us is a way to get a bit of exposure for the brand over there,” says Mary. “It is about branding and brand awareness. People don’t know the brand, they don’t know us, they don’t know Davroe.”

At its core, Fashion Palette is a platform that elevates and celebrates Australian fashion. It functions as a springboard for independent Australian labels in the US market by offering designers extraordinary opportunities, tools, and contacts.

But this year, it seems like more than just designers will be benefiting from the event. Janelle and Mary will be teaming up with a host of Adelaide locals and Australian expats who are showing a lot of interest in being a part of the show, which might explain rumours that the make-up artist will be Australian too.

“It’s almost got that whole ‘Aussie Invasion’ aspect to it,” says Mary.

It seems to be the perfect next step in the plan Mary started rolling out in 2007. By moving up into the world of New York Fashion Week she’s making headway in a niche – the fashion industry – that could take Davroe to the next level.

“Hair is about fashion – even down to the smell of the product and the packaging, it needs to be fashion forward,” she says.

Forwards, onwards and upwards.

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