US electronic goods manufacturer Remington launched Lektroblade, the world’s first ‘vibrating blade wet shave’ in the Eighties. A brilliant idea, but one whose design execution made it look ‘menacing and tacky to say the least’, according to Lyons Ames partner Kerrin Lyons.
The product was copied rampantly by other manufacturers, forcing the price to plummet and Remington to rethink its approach.
Remington Europe then brought London product design group Lyons Ames on board to redesign it and introduce a women’s version. ‘They were trying to make something which was totally friendly but does a very efficient job and is ergonomic,’ says Lyons.
And as well as looking good, it had to house a motor, a battery and a switch. ‘We wanted it to look as light and as neat as possible,’ says Lyons, with the women’s razor given an aquatic, wet feel and the men’s being more chrome. Both also had to be completely waterproof.
The women’s version has been tested by ‘intelligent women’ and is wedge-shaped so it can’t slip out of your hands in the bath. It has a switch intended to look like a water drop and at the moment comes in just one colour.
Meanwhile Lyons himself tested the men’s version, with his eyes shut. The chrome body had to be given up because it was impossible to weld ultra-sonically. Instead the consultancy added a hint of chrome and a metallic fleck to the plastic.
Both razors, now renamed Acti-Glide, are coming on to the UK market next week.
Designer: Lyons Ames
Client: Remington Europe