Oh, Ricky's, 'You're So Fine'

photo: Corina Zappia

Yep, we were shocked by this too: Ricky's—the mega New York beauty supplies chain that stocks enough flammable hair products to torch a small African village—has just gone crunchy. Ricky Kenig's 16-year-old company will be pursuing Mother Nature's higher objective with the addition of Ricky's Natural. Devoted purely to all-natural and organic makeup, skin, and hair supplies, the new shop on Mulberry is not wholly different from the original Ricky's—if Ricky went on six-month sabbatical with Ravi Shankar. Dark wood bookcases hold selections of beeswax candles, incense, and organic shampoos; in place of walls of fuzzy slippers and novelty keychains, there's a fridge of energy drinks, a yoga section, and ersatz shrines to Buddha.

While the store is an obvious attempt to cash in on the booming market for organic products, Ricky Kenig (yes, Ricky himself) also claims it's a return to the store's roots. "We've always had natural sections, and as time has gone on, they got diluted. We use to have eight to 12 feet of natural products only. Now, if you want, say, Tom's toothpaste, you have the toothpaste section." Ricky's Natural, according to Kenig, is merely an expansion of the many organic products regular Ricky's carries. "All we did was go back to what we were doing before. Where before it was eight to 10 feet [of natural products], now you're able to have 1500 square feet of natural products."

It sounds like a new world for Ricky, but there's still a "twist," as Kenig calls it: the sex-toy section in the back remains. (And yes, all products here are gloriously, gloriously artificial.)


Ricky's Natural
235 Mulberry Street

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