In my line of work i meet many amazing people, some fail to inspire meanwhile some leave you with that feeling of wanting more.
Few people impressed me as much as Patrick Kidd, the owner and creator of Patrick's (my favourite hair products brand). His stories and view on life made me want to explore further into this mans amazing life and his brand.
TS: Tell me the story of how it all began?
PK: I was an electrician for 10 years and I was sick of getting a shit haircuts so I remortgaged my house and put $280,000 into a concept mens salon and in 2007 my wife Aimee and I opened Patricks, even winning Australian hair salon of the year! I didn’t brand it as a barbershop it was kind of a cult place, it had this air of sex, drugs and rock n roll. It had a super minimal modern aesthetic with plasma screens a full bar with a lounge area and couches. People could plug in their own music if they wanted to, everything was black, the windows were all blacked out, I wanted it to feel luxurious and I also didn’t want men to feel self-conscious when coming in. It was expensive at the time and our clients were chasing a high end product to match the service we were offering but nothing existed so we decided to develop our own!
I traveled half way around the globe (Miami) to partner with one of the best formulations companies in the world then tested and re-tested the products for over 5 years until we had it right. I think having the combination of being an industry outsider but also experience running a business for many years, enabled me to develop a product range that was completely new but also performed best in class. I take the performance of each product very seriously so we gave our formulations company a limitless budget to create a super product that was the best of everything available at the time from packaging to ingredients and fragrance. It had to do what is said it was going to do and I did not want to be confined by what had been created before or what I was told was possible, I wanted to push boundaries. So we re-engineered the formulations for maximum performance, re-designed the packaging to combine luxury and efficiency, and set a new standard in active ingredients and haircare fragrance. After 5 years of R&D, relentless testing, corporate sabotage and raising a bunch of capital and hell we finally launched the Patricks brand in 2015.
The research and development stage took a really long time as I am a perfectionist. I think I was a pain in the arse with my constant tweaks and need for perfection. I pushed our chemists, engineers and designers to their limits, but I believed in my vision and didn’t want to settle. I am sometimes torn between being the nice guy and being a business guy. Negotiating hard on margins or asking for a design revision for the hundredth time but still remaining friends is always challenging!
TS: How did you come up with the design for the packaging?
PK: I wanted something that would set us apart both on the shelf and from a functionality point of view. Being an industry outsider meant I was not constrained by industry norms and I draw inspirations from my love of luxury cars, watches, Apple products and architecture. If I had listened to everyone we would have released a product that was no different to anything else on the market. I think I drove the packaging company crazy with how perfect I needed to get everything and really had to fight for the high level of quality I expected. I was not prepared to compromise on anything even if it took several years, countless re-works and exceeded our budget!
Our award-winning packaging was specifically designed for travel and combines luxury and efficiency for the jet set. Sleek and intelligent, functional and beautiful, our packaging takes pride of place among our proudest achievements. I was heavily influenced by the designs of Lamborghini, Apple, Audi and Aston Martin. I think all these companies have a perfect balance of form and function. One of the key elements of the design was the double lock system which we designed primarily for travel, whether it be to the office, gym or around the world and ensures the package will not open in transit. The size of the package also complies with carry-on and hand language regulations for all commercial and private airlines.
I also used the fibonacci sequence (Golden Rule) to design the dimensions of the packaging to give it beauty and feel natural in your hand. 98mm x 68mm x 35mm are the dimensions and I even de-bossed them into the side of the packaging. The packaging also features exactly the same angle on the top of the package as the side air intakes of the Lamborghini Aventador.
Real aluminium has been fused into the latch and base plate to provide strength, durability and beauty. The labels are laser etched directly onto the aluminium eliminating the need for paper, stickers and glue. The matte finish on the outside of the container is tactile, practical and beautiful. A thin rubber inlay seamlessly integrates under the aluminium base to prevent slippage in wet areas, protect bathroom surfaces and ensure a gentle audio when putting the package down.
I’m also a massive James Bond fan and as a tribute I included 007 in all of the barcodes and even named the company Patricks Universal Exports (James Bond’s company when he’s undercover). I have pushed really hard to make the Patricks brand the best it can be in every area whether its design or performance. The branding is still evolving but it is definitely an aspirational brand due to the price point and packaging.
TS: When did you decide to expand internationally?
PK: At the time of our launch Australia only accounted for 1% of the global luxury market so we decided to launch the brand in the US and UK at the same time with Mr Porter. The UK really took off so we concentrated on that market in the beginning becoming stockists for Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, END Clothing and many more high end mens stores and websites. Over the past 3 years I have travelled around the world meeting with buyers from all the major department stores to have the brand stocked. A lot of the time it’s the first men’s grooming brand these high end men’s stores have stocked, I think this is the quality of our formulas and packaging design.
TS: What’s your personal grooming routine?
PK:Teeth, shower, wank, hair wash and condition, non marking deodorant (because I pretty much only wear black and white T’s), hair styling product then cologne.
I’m actually a grooming freak, I have to test everything on the market to see what the others are up to and who/what we have to be better than, there's really not much I don’t know about anything grooming!
TS: Who’s your style inspiration?
PK: Keith Richards!
I really like that kind of rock n roll style that Saint Laurent, Amiri, Ksubi and The People Vs do! I’d like to dress like an ageing rock star. I love Hedi Slimane-era Saint Laurent, Amiri skinny black jeans, classic black or white tees and a leather jacket. I usually wear Saint Laurent sneakers, or boots if I’m going out. I like expensive shit! And I’m kind of known for wearing all black all the time. My nan loved Johnny Cash and used to listen to his albums when I was young. He was such a badass back then and I’ve always loved the rebellious attitude, I guess that rubbed off on me! My dad was also a drummer in a band so that musician style is in the blood.
TS: Your a dad, how do you manage fatherhood and running a business?
PK: To be honest it’s tough, I have a relentless travel schedule but luckily I have a really cool wife, Aimee (also the CEO of Patricks), who takes a lot of parenting bullets for me! Because we are still a relatively new brand, we do not have a massive infrastructure set up around the world yet and I’m always traveling internationally. Trying to find the balance between being reactive and always ‘on’ in the business world and being a good dad is hard and I do struggle sometimes but I’m starting to get it a bit more dialled in now! No emails on the weekend and when I’m in Sydney I never miss bath time, story time and bed time!
I’m also conscious that if I keep doing what I’m doing now, even though sometimes it’s a big sacrifice, I could really give my daughter, family and friends much better opportunities in the future!
TS: Has your life/ style changed since having your gorgeous daughter?
PK: Massively haha! You re-evaluate everything that is important to you, I was obsessed with becoming successful and all the material shit that comes with it and I kind of still am in some ways, but now I cherish nothing more than some daddy-daughter time! Sounds cliche but it’s the truth, I love that little human more than anything on this earth.
My style hasn’t changed much really, I often think about what Sylvie (my daughter) must think of me and the way I dress as it’s a bit different to the other dads but I think she gets it, some of the kids at her daycare are wearing ripped jeans now haha, I’m very influential! I do buy better quality pieces now with a view to passing them down or Sylvie finding them in the closet one day, I think the classic or permanent collection stuff will always be cool and I love finding cool vintage gear in my Dad’s cupboard. We listen to a lot of rock n roll together too, trying my best to educate her on all the good stuff, she can change a vinyl record and not wreck anything - very proud!
TS: What’s next for Patrick’s?
PK: Skincare - As luck or fate would have it about 4 years ago I met a guy in a sauna in Chicago (long wild story) and he turned out to be one of the most famous and successful neurosurgeons in the world! 'In the sauna' I told him a bit about my concept mens brand and he loved it and decided to invest in the business as well as helping me develop the first medical/pharmaceutical grade cosmetics line for men!
The guy turned out to be Professor Matthew During who has expertise in the fields of neuroscience and genetics specialising in skin cell renewal and scar minimisation. He served as a Senior Manager and Researcher at Bridgewater Associates, served on the faculty of Yale University, Cornell University and University of Oxford. He had also been working on active ingredients and drugs to combat anti ageing, solutions for transporting organs for transplants and reducing scar tissue after surgery.
After 45 minutes in the sauna and awkwardly trying to explain to the concierge at the hotel that I met a naked guy in the sauna and couldn’t remember his name but he HAD to be given my business card, about 6 months later he finally emailed me and he has spent the last few years helping me develop our new skincare products that are formulated with highest concentrations of pharmaceutical-grade active ingredients clinically proven to make a significant improvement in the health and appearance of the skin. You never know who you’re sitting next to right!
We are now in the final steps of stability testing our new skincare line launching in the next 3-6 months. We’re committed to disrupting the market and our skincare line will be the no exception.
I only sucked the guy off once...
TS: Why did you decide to join the Iconic?
PK: The menswear director Tom Simpson has always been my style icon and body Inspo so it was a bit of a no brainer really! No, in all seriousness that was the real reason.
Everyone I know shops and loves it! We are extremely conscious of who we let stock the brand as we want to maintain the highest brand positioning and the Iconic has really excelled in everything we want to be associated with. The new designer destination is right up my alley too.
TS: What’s your take on the Australian menswear scene?
PK: It’s definitely come a long way in the last 10 years, unfortunately the weather dictates a bit of a limited fashion scene, it’s hard to layer up in the heat! But that said I’m seeing a lot more LA style fashion creeping in, ripped jeans and distressed denim jackets, I think the internet and with sites like the Iconic offering (insert better spin) fast delivery and extremely well selected outfits and recommendations it is getting easier for the time poor people out there like me to get it right!
TS: What are you 3 key wardrobe pieces?
PK: Saint Laurent Leather jacket (many tax returns), Amiri black skinny Jeans and Saint Laurent suede boots or sneakers.
TS: Favourite restaurant?
PK: Chez L’Ami Louis in Paris, I NEVER remember leaving...
TS: Favourite bar?
PK: Original Soho House rooftop NYC
TS: Favourite place in the world?
PK: South Coast of NSW and I do love Paris, NYC and London