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Heaven Marc Jacobs x Bleach London hair dye collection
Courtesy of Bleach London

Exclusive: Heaven Marc Jacobs launches hair dye collab with Bleach London

Taking inspiration from The Fifth Element, No Doubt and Isabella Burley, a new collection of hair dyes makes it easier than ever to feel like an apocalyptic teen. Bleach co-founder Alex Brownsell gives us the first look at the collab

It’s a match made in grunge heaven, almost literally. Today, Bleach London and Heaven by Marc Jacobs reveal that they have combined forces on a new hair dye collaboration that will make it easier than ever to live out your Gregg Araki fantasies.

Celebrating innovation and connection between the worlds of fashion and beauty, this collection marks the first time a luxury fashion brand has ventured into a hair colour collaboration. And the inaugural launch couldn’t feel more natural. With a love of 90s grunge, apocalyptic teen aesthetics and subcultural deep-cuts in common, Bleach and Heaven feel like the beauty and fashion sides of the same coin.

“I think our brands share some DNA, with irreverent ideas and grungy nostalgic aesthetics, so when a product collaboration was suggested, we jumped at the chance,” says hairstylist Alex Brownsell, co-founder and creative director of Bleach. “We wanted to create a colour collection with futuristic tones, unlike anything we’d seen or done before.”

Ava Nirui, creative director at Heaven and Bleach fan, agrees that the collection felt like a natural collaboration. “There are so many parallels between the MJ/Heaven brands and the Bleach ethos. We are both super focused on alternative forms of self-expression and we draw from the same subcultures/scenes,” she says.

The new hair dyes come in three shades: an ‘eye-popping pink’ with a metallic sheen, a luminous ‘electric green’ and a rusty ‘bloody valentine red’. Drawing inspiration from 90s classics like The Fifth Element and Ghost World, as well as more niche cuts – Channel 4’s As Ifthe dyes represent the innovative and rebellious nature of both brands. Dazed’s former editor-in-chief and founder of Climax Books, Isabella Burley, also played a role, acting as a muse for the shade of bloody red. The formula of the dyes, which took 18 months to develop, differs from the classic Bleach London range of semi-permanent shades. With provitamin B5 and UV protection, the collection is ultra-shiny and super conditioning, and can be used on hair whether it is bleached or not.

“The colors Alex and the Bleach team and our teams worked on are so unique. They really reflect our collective worlds/vibes — you also can’t get these colors anywhere else!” says Nirui. “They are totally innovative and special, and we feel lucky on the Heaven side to delve into the world of beauty as it’s an important part of the overall Heaven ‘look.’”

Heaven has been steadily growing its influence in the beauty industry since it launched in 2020. Last year, the brand worked with Japanese hairstylist and wig maker Tomihiro Kono to create hand-painted hair extensions and released a book of temporary tattoos with graphics designed by the likes of Harmony Korine and Bladee.

Here, we spoke to Brownsell to get an exclusive first look at the shades and the behind-the-scenes stories of the collection.

How did the collaboration first come about? 

Alex Brownsell: We’ve been fans of Heaven by Marc Jacobs since it started and have a lot of connections in fashion and friends who come to our salons. We’ve wanted to collaborate with Heaven by Marc Jacobs for a while. Our LA stores are just round the corner from each other and when we heard there was a new Heaven by Marc Jacobs store opening near our Soho salon too, it felt like the perfect time to create something together.

This is Bleach Londons first collab with a luxury fashion brand, why did Heaven by Marc Jacobs feel like the aligned brand to work with? 

Alex Brownsell: I think our brands share some DNA, with irreverent ideas and grungy nostalgic aesthetics, so when a product collaboration was suggested we jumped at the chance. We wanted to create a colour collection with futuristic tones unlike anything we’d seen or done before. This range is more premium than the semi-permanent dyes: The formula took 18 months to develop, is ultra-shiny, super conditioning, has provitamin B5 and UV protection, all in luxury glass packaging.

Could you tell us a bit about the three shades?

Alex Brownsell: There has never been a hair colour collaboration between a high fashion and beauty brand before. Each shade has been carefully curated to represent both of us under a single aesthetic, with colours not available on the market. The red’s a blazing rusty red, the pink has a metallic sheen and the green is really luminous. These dyes have been formulated to the highest standard and can be used on lighter hair for full coverage or on darker hair for a glossy tint, whether it’s bleached or not.

We referenced a lot of youth culture from the 90s and early 00s. Some of this came from the Marc Jacobs archive as well as films, zines and music: The Fifth Element, Keith Flint, Geri Halliwell, Evangelion, No Doubt, As If on Channel 4, The Tribe on Channel 5, Ghost World, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind etc. Isabella Burley from Climax Books (who curates Heaven’s book selection too) was also a muse for the red. We wanted to create something that felt fresh and almost obnoxious. The final three colours really speak to that apocalyptic teen aesthetic we love.

In your personal work, you have worked as a stylist and colourist for many fashion labels. Where do you see the future of hair dye within the high fashion space? 

Alex Brownsell: The rate at which historic subcultures are referenced has sped up to such a rate that by the time something’s going out of fashion these days it’s basically already coming back. As a hair stylist, this makes my job more fun because trends move much quicker, meaning I’ll never know whether people want me cutting, colouring or creating a 20-foot wig. Hair’s not going anywhere, so neither are scissors or dye or any time soon.

Do you have plans to release more colours with Heaven or any other fashion brands? 

Alex Brownsell: This crossover feels really special and we’re excited to see what people create with it. We’re lucky to be able to be really reactive as a brand and business so who knows what the future will hold?

Heaven has become quite a cult label among Gen Z – in your youth did you dye your own hair a lot? What was the first colour you tried and what advice would you give to your teenage self about experimenting with hair colour? 

Alex Brownsell: I actually think I’d be better off taking advice from my teenage self than giving anything back. I grew up dyeing older ladies’ hair in my mum’s salon and just took the same skill set and applied it to people my own age with colours that weren’t commercially available at the time. 20 years later here we are. The experiment’s never over. If my teenage self could see Bleach London on the shelves at Boots, CVS and Marc Jacobs I think her brain would explode.