During his 18 years on the New Zealand national cricket team, Dion Nash learned the importance of putting in work during the day and cleaning up for post-match public appearances. After he retired from the sport he went on to work in the spirits industry and now, has once again reinvented himself by launching Triumph & Disaster, a men’s grooming line that harnesses the power of natural ingredients from New Zealand and beyond in products for men.
Together with a team of three chemists and a world-class perfumer, Nash’s aims are simple—to combine the best of science and nature with a global sensibility inspired by his Kiwi roots. Triumph & Disaster products range from Shearer’s Soap and cleanser to facial scrubs and shave creams. Infused with eucalyptus, almond, bergamot and pine, Shearer’s Soap is imprinted with the company’s trademark themes of ritual, character and fate. The Gameface Moisturizer, named for Nash’s many years as a professional athlete, offers post-exercise, sun and shave hydration. In each product citrus, cedarwood, sandalwood and other ingredients have been carefully chosen to give fresh, clean results and masculine aromas.
Dion got the name from Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem, “If”, which his father gave him when he was 13 years old. “Years later I found it and hung it in my office,” he says. “One day I looked up and saw the words ‘triumph and disaster.’ The actual line is, ‘if you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposter just the same.’ If you have a bit of success don’t let it get to your head and if your have failure don’t let it overcome you. And in the last line of the poem it says, ‘you’ll be a man my son.’ It tied in so nice with the grooming aesthetic I was trying to create for guys.” Whether your dad taught you to shave or not, Nash says, “I felt that guys want to have grooming on their own terms. Then from shaving you can extend it out.”
Triumph & Disaster products include ingredients from New Zealand, Australia and beyond. One ingredient in particular is Ponga—also known as Cyathea Cumingii—a fern that grows in New Zealand and has been used for generations by the native Maori to heal battle wounds. As one of the main ingredients in the Gameface Moisturizer, the plant holds a polysaccharide chain that is believed to tighten human skin.
“Since guys primarily use moisturizer after sun and after shaving, we want that sense of hydration,” explains Nash. “A lot of men’s products have menthols and alcohol, but they are irritants and dry out the skin and are fighting the role of the moisturizer. So I replaced that.” Also in the moisturizer is jojoba and horopito, a 65-million-year-old plant from New Zealand Nash sources from a company called Forest Herbs. Additionally, the Polynesian antioxidant Tamanu in the Ritual Cleanser is used as a local fix-all and known for being good at reducing scars.
The company aims for sustainable business practices and uses only ingredients certified as not tested on animals. Triumph & Disaster products are available online, as well as at a number of locations in New Zealand, Australia and the US, including Wooley & Bunny in NYC and LA.
Portrait Image by Minna Pesonen, product imagery by Kelvin Soh