Chicago-based holding company New World Natural Brands has acquired men’s grooming brand 18.21 Man Made. The bootlegging and American prohibition era-inspired brand was founded by Angel del Solar, Aston LaFon and David del Solar in 2014. Its distinct and natural grooming blends gained traction with stylists, barbers and consumers by delivering performance while delivering artisanal ingredients and custom-crafted aroma profiles, including the brand’s signature Sweet Tobacco.
Angel and David del Solar and LaFon will continue in their roles. "We will now have more opportunity to focus on the big picture of the brand and direct more time and attention to areas of the business that rely on our respective expertise," said LaFon. "With expanded resources, we envision increasing support capabilities for our distribution partners which, will pass thru to the salon professional and barber customers via educational initiatives, business programs and new product offerings," he added. Of course, greater resources means the business will be able to scale quicker and more efficiently as well.
New World first discovered the brand at a 2018 tradeshow and was immediately impressed with its strong identity and compelling exhibit booth. “They had a great booth that we couldn’t help but stop at–a full bar build out featuring their products. In addition to the booth, their unique packaging and branding, and the founders immediately drew us in. We had previously identified men’s grooming/personal care as a category we wanted to be in, as men’s is outpacing the growth of the category. We look for brands that have a deep understanding of their consumer, and 18.21 was a perfect fit,” said Kim Ryan, vice president of Brand & Product Strategy at New World.
“David, Angel and Aston are experts when it comes to product development, branding and men’s grooming. We see the biggest opportunity as taking some of the back-office responsibilities off their plate so they can focus on what they really love. Additionally, like most indie brands, capital is key and by partnering with New World they will be able to take on a more opportunities,” Kim added.
While 18.21 has focused more on performance and product quality than its natural formulas, the brand fits falls within the definition New World has set for natural, which includes five main categories: natural, safe, sustainable, cruelty-free and mission.
The deal marks New World’s fourth acquisition in the beauty and personal care space since 2018. Previous acquisitions include digitally savvy Baetea and Baebody, as well as skincare brands Nügg Beauty and Suki Skincare. New World Natural Brands’ executive team includes Shannon Curtin, CEO; Stacey Quince, CFO; Tom Ryan, Vice President of Business Development and Operations; Kim Ryan, Vice President of Brand & Product Strategy.
Photo (L to R): David Del Solar, Angel Del Solar and Aston LaFon, cofounders of 18.21 Man Made.