The World Comes Together: Kao Salon Virtual Experience

The World Comes Together: Kao Salon Virtual Experience

Hosted by Kao Salon, this has been the virtual event that has laid down the foundations for the future of global creative events of this kind in our industry.

Over the past 2 days, the Kao Salon Virtual Experience has seen around 20,000 hair industry professionals from around the world come together to experience 48 hours with the same high level of artistry and creativity that they have come to know and appreciate in previous years. The fact that it was a virtual event did not in any way diminish the excitement and inspirational importance of witnessing work of such a high calibre. The occasion also presented the debut of the Goldwell Couture Collection, the world premiere of the new Angelo Seminara Collection, as well as news and developmental updates from all Kao Salon Division brands.  

“In a year where it would have been easy to simply forego the event, we felt compelled to make the considerable investment in creativity by bringing the quality of the live event to stylists virtually,” said Cory Couts, Global President, Kao Salon Division. “Our commitment to our Kao Salon Family is to celebrate creativity…not just the creativity of our craft, but the creativity to plan and to build and to rise.  The creativity to create a new future out of an uncertain present and an outdated past.” John Moroney, VP of Creative & Communication added: “When we decided in April to cancel the live event, we made the commitment to our Kao Salon Family that we believe that #creativityneverstops and for that reason, we decided to transform our event into a virtual event. As such, we reimagined the event in a digital space in order to still provide with the same quality of visual artistic experience that they would get if they came to the live event – the Artist Sessions, the excitement of the Gala Show and of course Brand Experiences with Goldwell, KMS, Oribe and Varis.”

Artist Sessions: Global Excellence 

The inspiring Artist Sessions gave guests from all over the world the opportunity to experience excellent mastery of their craftmanship. 

Mario Krankl is Global Brand Ambassador of Goldwell and one of Austria’s most distinguished hairstylists. Mario’s unique cuts and color creations, up-dos and avant-garde styles have created worldwide excitement, while his stage shows with a fashion attitude turn the heads of stylists and artists everywhere. This year, Mario Krankl presented CELEBRATIONS – inspired by the 25th anniversary of the Mario Krankl Salon, as well as 30 years with Goldwell. Coupled with his signature avant-garde hairdressing, this season everything is sparkling and glam, with a touch of darkness to it – GLAM NOIRE.

 Internationally renowned J.7 Creative Team from Stuttgart, Germany represents the best in hairdressing artistry. They combine experience and talent to form the J.7 salon concept. The philosophy of the J.7 salons is unique, because they believe training is the basis of excellence and it should be direct and uncomplicated education by professionals for professionals. The J.7 Artistic Team presented BOOST – their collection for 2021. Designed to be salon usable, the collection is all about blondes and texture, done in J.7’s signature, cutting-edge style.  

Since 2002, the icono academy has represented the creative pulse of the icono Salons, in the heart of Berlin. Led by Goldwell International Artist, Sascha Haseloff, the icono creative team has been inspiring stylists from all over the world. At the Kao Salon Virtual Experience icono presented their new concept collection. This 80s-inspired collection is all about how you can create commercial natural colours with Elumen Play coupled with precision shapes and beautiful textures that have made icono famous worldwide.

Hare & Bone is a multi award-winning salon collective based in London’s West End. Founded by Sam Burnett, they are renowned within the industry for their instinctive, fashion-focused and trend-conscious style. Hare & Bone presented “A Plastic Ocean”. This season, inspired by The Ocean, tropical fish and the effects single use plastics are causing, the H&B Team shared a collection of technical cutting and colouring, editorial styling and avant-garde looks. 

Shane Bennett is a three-time winner of Northern Ireland Hairdresser of the Year and the youngest UK stylist to become a member of the renowned British Hairdressing Hall of Fame. Located in one of Belfast’s city center location of Lisburn Square, his salon really reflects the creative style of his team. They were crowned both Artistic Team of the Year and Northern Ireland Hairdresser of the Year in the 2015 British Hairdressing Awards. For Retro Reality, Shane Bennett looked back to look forward for his Spring/Summer 21 Collection. Texture, curl and softer shapes take center stage while colours remain cool, all coming together to showcase Shane Bennett’s signature “Session to Salon” esthetic.

For over two decades, Mazella&Partners has represented the best of hairdressing education and creativity. Their training programs have excited stylists globally, teaching a universal concept that makes cutting education accessible and relevant to hairdressers at all levels. Mazella&Partners launched their new collection “SPARK” during the Kao Salon Virtual Experience. Goldwell colours are the epicentre of this collection, bringing a SPARK to this dark period while being accentuated by M&P’s renowned precision cutting techniques.

To kick off the Oribe Hair Care Team virtual presentation, Daniel Kaner, Oribe President and Co-founder, spoke to the brand’s professional heritage, commitment to creating high-performing products, best-in-class education and the legendary Oribe Canales. James Pecis, Oribe Global Ambassador, introduced the educational segment by discussing how he finds creative inspiration on the streets of New York City to use in his session work. The Oribe Education team, including Coby Alcantar, Adam Livermore, Nicci Welsh, Kien Hoang, and Ronnie Stam, then took attendees on a journey to the different cities that they call home. Inspired by the local culture in New York, Copenhagen, San Francisco and Miami, each artist crafted dynamic looks and lent their perspective on how the street-style that surrounds them ultimately informs high-fashion and editorial trends. 

Special Interest: Experts On-Hand

During the 48 hours, the guests had the opportunity to watch various specialty discussion panels about such topics as Salon Business, Social Media, Product Development and Sustainability, including:  

A Social Media Panel featuring Instagram experts, Jacob Kahn (@jacobhkahn) and Sydney Lopez (@sydneyannlopezhair) who gave insights about how hairdressers can develop their Instagram skills and make a maximum impact with their Instagram feed. Maggie Mulhern, a journalist in the beauty industry with over 30 years’ experience gave her unique and valuable perspective on what works on social media;   A Sustainability Expert Panel in which Dr. Elmar Mussenbrock, Kao Salon’s Director of Sustainability spoke to three globally-recognised experts in different areas of Environmentalism and Sustainability; A Sustainability Salon Panel: also featuring Dr. Elmar Mussenbrock, in which he talked to four Salon Owners from around the world who have transformed their salons into ”green salons”; Salon Owner Business Panels: covering new ways of serving clients to increased sanitation & safety regulations, salons have had to rethink and reinvent their daily businesses; Product Development Panels:  with the Kao Salon Division Product & Development Teams giving insights into how products are developed for brands like Goldwell and KMS.

The Gala Show  

Over 10,000 hairdressers were excited to discover the new Goldwell Hair | Color | Style 2021 Trend Presentation: ESSENTIALISM – Goldwell’s annual trend forecast for Hair | Color | Style. Essentialism’s color palette showcases the on-trend shades for the coming year. Debuting as well is NIGHT MOVES, Goldwell’s Couture Collection that takes Essentialism into the realm of Escapism by updating classic shapes and styles from the Seventies disco era and giving them a cool modern edge Furthermore Angelo Seminara, Goldwell’s Global Brand Ambassador, presented his new collection Glance. He envisioned the Glance Collection to be the embodiment of flawless, boundary-pushing brilliant colour, with looks for diverse hair types and textures. Each look in the limited-edition collection was fine-tuned to very deliberately be suffused relentless energy while radiating unending vitality.