Backstage

  • Cassandra Huysentruyt Gray in the Violet Grey store in Los Angeles

Cassandra Huysentruyt Grey

With the tagline “The Industry’s Beauty Edit” and a slew of celebrity fans and contributors, Violet Grey has quickly become a go-to destination for those who want to know the latest and greatest in beauty products. Violet Grey includes an online magazine called The Violet Files, which documents Hollywood’s beauty culture through profiles, articles and tutorials from leading artists; a highly curated e-commerce section, The Shelves; and a gorgeous store on Melrose Place in Los Angeles. We talked to the woman behind the brand, former marketing consultant and fashion entrepreneur Cassandra Huysentruyt Grey, about her strict set of standards for the products she carries (including new addition Oribe Hair Care), what she learned about beauty from French kissing and her signature hair look.

What's the meaning behind the name Violet Grey?


Violet was the color of Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes, forever making it the color of Hollywood’s
old guard glamour.

Tell us about your earliest beauty-product related memory.


When I discovered French kissing, I learned that a spot of perfume in my hair could be quite
beneficial.

What draws you to the beauty industry?


It’s the self-esteem industry.

Who or what inspired you to launch Violet Grey?


I was inspired by Tom Ford, Guy Bourdin and Steve Jobs.

What sets Violet Grey apart from other beauty e-tailers?


We don’t consider ourselves a retailer/e-tailer but a collective point of view on a mission to
give women what they want.

Can you tell us more about The Violet Code? How did it come about?


The Violet Code is a strict set of standards that all of our products must adhere to make The
Shelves. The Violet Code is our seal of approval. Once a product has been approved by the
code, we know that it is best in class, vetted by those who know beauty best and, therefore, is
good enough for our clients.

Violet Grey just started retailing hair products. In your opinion, how does hair help create an overall look?


We just spent the last year curating hair and launched The Violet Code-approved
products this month! Hair is very powerful. Real or faux. A woman’s most powerful asset is
her will, her hair and her hairdresser.

What are three beauty rules that you never break and every woman should live by?


1. Do not neglect your skin.
2. Own your age.
3. Own your body type.


Where do you find inspiration?


Everywhere. All the thoughts in my head tend to be trying desperately to connect inspiration
with strategy.

Who’s your current muse?


A girl called Ford.

What's one non-beauty item that you're coveting right now?


An oversized swan inflatable for the pool

You've opened a brick and mortar flagship on Melrose Place. Tell us about the customer experience there

.
It’s meant to feel like the inside of the dressing room you always wanted, with the beauty
team you always wanted, with the petit couches you always wanted.

Where do you hope Violet Grey will be in 10 years?


To have earned the trust of our clients as the go-to source for women who want to always be
prepared for their date with destiny

Do you have a favorite Oribe product? If so, what is it and what do you love about it?


My hair looks its absolute best when it appears as if I have done nothing at all. To achieve
that, I squeeze a small dollop of Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream onto hands and then run the product through damp hair with my fingers. My hair is left smooth, soft and tousled.

Do you have a signature hairstyle?


My hair is cut like Mia Farrow circa Sinatra.

What’s your signature scent?


I wear JAR perfume.

Running a business can be exhausting! How do you like to unwind?


Cuddled up on the couch with my man.
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