It is often said the route to success is indirect. For Maria Cavard, General Manager of DESSANGE & Camille Albane USA, that could not be truer. Maria’s beauty story began in the 1990s, when she was a hair model for luminaries such as Arnie Miller. Her passion for skincare led her to a career as a successful esthetician and salon owner. Maria moved to the South of France, where she worked as a hotel chambermaid in order to become fluent in the French language (très romantique!). She continued to cultivate her expertise as an esthetician and became one of the first in France to use the Dermalogica skincare line. Not long after, Dermalogica elected Maria as their ambassador and Regional Sales Manager. Additionally, Maria fulfilled the role of Spa Director before being handpicked by DESSANGE International to establish the celebrated luxury French salon franchise Camille Albane in the United States.
Maria Cavard, General Manager of DESSANGE & Camille Albane USA
In 2012, DESSANGE International acquired American salon chain Fantastic Sam’s. Already operating in 41 countries with thousands of employees, this acquisition will significantly increase the Dessange network and Maria Cavard is set to pioneer a massive and rapid expansion of luxury salon environments throughout the United States. Maria has already opened the flagship Camille Albane on Newbury Street in Boston, with more locations to soon follow nationally.
I was lucky to sit down with Maria while she was in New York City. Maria’s multifaceted understanding of the service and beauty industries is an obvious asset in the very ambitious assignment she is on and it is with warmth and sophistication that she leads her talented team into this new frontier.
MODERN SALON: You entered the beauty industry as an American-born esthetician in France. How does your history as a skincare professional inform your current role as General Manager of a luxury salon chain?
MARIA CAVARD: I actually started my career as an aesthetician in the US in 1999 in Salt Lake City running my own business with a hairdresser, shortly thereafter I moved to NYC. I continued working as a master aesthetician at a Spa on Park Ave and was a hair model for various brands, it is then that I gained a great respect and passion for the hair industry and hairdressers. I moved to France in 2005 where I launched an American skincare brand for three years. Afterward I was Spa director for an organic make-up brand as well as skincare, giving me a wonderful insight into the world of global beauty. Launching an American brand in France allowed me to see how the two countries are so different, yet any brand can flourish with the right concept. I believe that hair care, skincare and make-up are all part of global beauty, which is exactly what the concept of Camille Albane and DESSANGE is all about.