Posted by: Kristy | April 7, 2010

Chicago beauty show broadens students’ perspectives

America’s Beauty Show 2010: TONI&GUY students gain insight, learn tips and meet an industry visionary

Less than five minutes in the presence of one man invoked an “anthem” among a group of TONI&GUY students.

Students from the Toledo, Ohio TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy pose with Anthony and Pat Mascolo.

Adrenaline radiated from the more than 20 students, clinging to their smiles and tinting their overlapping chatter as they shared a moment of awe after meeting Anthony Mascolo during the first day of the 2010 America’s Beauty Show (ABS).

“[Seeing Anthony] just helped me realize that TiGi is big and we’re lucky to be a part of something that huge,” senior student Cara Cooper said.

The hot lights, myriad of colours, pulsating music and constant activity of the show, held March 27-29 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Ill., set the stage for networking, exploring techniques and products from across the industry and diving headlong into layer after layer of education.

“It’s like any other industry – what’s new today is old tomorrow,” Mascolo said after posing for photographs with the Toledo academy’s students.

Repeat British Hairdresser of the Year and London Hairdresser of the Year award winner, Mascolo casts and develops the creative vision for the TiGi side as the TiGi international creative director. An industry trendsetter, he said the constant ebb and flow of hairdressing trends is why students should take advantage of opportunities such as the conference.

“They get to see the event, see everyone,” Mascolo said. “It’s showing what their future is going to be.”

Students spent time in the TiGi trade show booth, watching stylists such as TiGi International Art Director James Morrison demonstrate cut and colour techniques, discuss product knowledge and share tips for building successful careers.

“As a student it’s easy to be insular, and only see what’s around you,” Morrison said backstage after he demonstrated a cut representing the S-Factor product line. “Coming here lets you see what’s going on in the bigger picture.

“The great thing is they get to see what’s new from everyone,” he said. “Not only do they get to see what’s new, they also have a chance to see the great education they’re getting.”

Morrison encouraged stylists, including student stylists, to learn as much as they can about how to use the right products to personalize a client’s look and style.

“One size fits one,” Morrison said of the necessity to provide clients with individualism. “That’s why we have so many [product lines]. It really speaks to that client in your chair.”

Students from TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy put Morrison’s words into action while at the conference, working behind the counter as TiGi representatives and selling products. Those who participated said having the chance to practice their sales techniques and to network with TiGi Talent stylists and cosmetics artists gave a boost to their confidence and to their desires to continue refining such skills back at their academy.

“I feel like I’m really a part of the show itself,” said Spencer Dickens, a senior student who worked at the booth all three days. “I love cutting hair behind the chair but I know I want to be behind the runway and behind the scenes. This just gives me the opportunity to start that.

“It’s going to make school, for the next week or two until I have to go back to my mannequin, more exciting,” Dickens said with a laugh, moving away to help a customer with the Rockaholic line. “I’m more comfortable with the products I’m selling.”

Salon Ready student Taylor Conkle, who is scheduled to graduate the week after ABS, attended the 2009 beauty show before she enrolled in classes, a decision that pushed her into starting a cosmetology career. Her perspective changed drastically in the last 12 months. She went into the weekend determined to take away knowledge from other companies in addition to TONI&GUY.

“Now I can actually appreciate everything and learn something,” Conkle said. “It just broadens your horizons.

“Everybody does it differently,” she said. “They might have a hot tip we don’t know.”

The trade show floor encompassed vendors and demonstrations including African drum beats encouraging the model with and upswept mop of curls sashaying down the Mizani runway to the classic elegance of Pureology’s Wendy Belanger demonstrating textured long-hair styling. Attendees could learn colouring tips from Matrix, or purchase colour-matched, clip-in hair extensions from various vendors. Even non-hairdressers such as recruiters and salon managers could attend marketing classes or explore new technology in Web-based salon management.

One of the highlights of the weekend for students was Cirque de TiGi, a runway show wherein Mascolo and his team demonstrated cuts and styling techniques from the new BedHead “Anthems” collection – inspired by the past without looking retro – and showcased a circus-themed runway show.

The life of carnival workers and pageantry of the circus ring came to life with avante garde styles, eclectic costuming and Pat Mascolo’s innovative makeup.

Cirque de TiGi’s fanciful tone ranged from bright and sparkling to grainy and slightly macabre. Models dressed as distressed carnival workers performed hip hop, crunk and almost tribal dance routines, while other sleek, glossy models dressed in black or white “harnesses” and long horse’s tail wigs gave an equestrian bent to the S-Factor line. A cage dancing panther, a fierce lion with a wild blond “mane” and a preening cheetah brought a mee-ow factor, and at the end Anthony Mascolo was introduced as the “puppet master,” who designs and creates and brings life to the runway.

For a newcomer to the hairdressing world, America’s Beauty Show and the boundary pushing Cirque de TiGi could have been overwhelming and chaotic. For TONI&GUY students, the weekend was an intense, hyper-stimulation of colour, creativity and thrilling entertainment reminiscent of, well, of a circus.

Kristin Reichardt is the recruiting director for the TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy Toledo campus.

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