Estetica’s International Publisher, Roberto Pissimiglia, in an exclusive interview with Intercoiffure Mondial President, Mr Peter Pfister, at the Intercoiffure Mondial World Congress in St. Tropez during the first weekend of July.
Intercoiffure Mondial represents hairstylists who live and breathe authenticity, identity, international flair and individuality. 42 nations have committed to the same values and created regional structures around the international exchange between Europe, Asia, North & Latin America, Nordic and Oceania. The future of beauty, fashion and hairstyling is in diversity. Peter Pfister has been its President since 2021.
So, Peter Pfister, you have been President of Intercoiffure Mondial for 2 years now. What legacy was passed down to you from its long and prestigious story?
Having been a member for 39 years, I was already aware of how creatively inspirational Intercoiffure Mondial is and how inclusive it is of hairdressers from all over the world. I would say its enduring legacy since its foundation in 1925 is the way it can overcome difficulties in a spirit of togetherness. This is especially true in testing times such as those we’re living through at the moment and have endured in recent years.
Tell us something about Intercoiffure Mondial as it stands today.
We have nearly 2,000 members across the world. A few departed during the pandemic, but they are now re-joining. We are also seeing some new countries joining, such as Peru and Vietnam. We now count 42 countries in total, so we’re a truly global organisation. The first big change I made, was the caption under our logo to ‘the world’s leading hairdressers’, so it is inclusive of all our members, rather than just mentioning to founding 5 cities as it did before. This was a simple, but very important change. To support me in my role as President, I have a 3 excellent Vice-Presidents – Junji Yamano (Japan), Frank Gambuzza (USA) and Markus Herrmann (Germany), plus an outstanding team of professionals supporting us, including our Treasurer, Martin Peterer (Switzerland).
If I felt I were a leading hairdresser, what would you say to me to motivate me to join Intercoiffure Mondial?
I would say that although we’re not essential to the current success of your actual business, an organisation like ours provides you with a window on what’s happening in the hairdressing world on a global scale, at the highest level. It also helps put you on the map internationally, opening up opportunities to network and exchange views and ideas with likeminded professionals on a global scale. This exchange of knowledge is priceless and is done in the spirit of friendship laid down when we were founded almost a century ago.
Training and education are also continuing to grow in importance as an aspect of the organisation…
Yes definitely. I helped launch our Intercoiffure World Academy 7 years ago, before I become President, to provide educational opportunities to our members. Initially we held seminars in Paris, but they are now spreading wider and taking place in other countries, too. Ours are different to other technical seminars insofar as we don’t talk about or promote the products we are using. We focus on conveying the skills and techniques, not the characteristics of the hair products. Furthermore, we not only have some of the best trainers in the world, but I believe we have more of the best than anyone else.
We also have an outstanding online programme of educational seminars, which we launched during lockdown. It now includes an App, which enables students to engage directly with trainers and provide their own feedback. It has really flourished over the last 3 years. There are new technical and business seminars, including our latest offering, the ‘Master Barber’ seminar for a full men’s service.
Thinking to the future and leading up to your centennial celebrations in 2025, what events are you planning over the next 2 years?
Well, it’s all beginning this weekend at Intercoiffure Mondial World Congress, here in St. Tropez. We’re now working on an important event in Cape Town, South Africa, this coming October in conjunction with Intercoiffure South Africa together with Oceania. We’re then continuing with our digital New Year networking event in January 2024 to all member to tell them what’ll be coming up in the following year. Then, in Spring 2024, we’ll be holding regional events in Toronto, Canada and Tokyo, Japan. Next year’s Intercoiffure Mondial World Congress is to be held in Barcelona, Spain on 25 – 26 May 2024. In Autumn 2024 we will be in Finland for our Nordic event. That will take us up to 2025 and our 100 years’ World Congress event, which will be held in Hamburg, Germany.
What is your dream for Hamburg?
I think the dream is that we will have a full house, which would be 1,300 – 1,400 attendees! This would be a record for us, but as more and more new members are joining, I feel it’s possible. The reason we’re in Hamburg is because our founding city. We’ll be in the superb Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall, a truly wonderful venue where there’ll be a programme of outstanding hair shows. The most important thing is that when visitors are travelling from all over the world to attend, they feel what they’re taking away with them afterwards is worthwhile. This will be our pledge to them for our centennial year event.
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