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In Conversation with V76 by Vaughn Creative Director Jesse Taylor

“Let’s just have a discussion, I won’t pick up any instruments, I’ll just tell you what I see. I’d like to talk about your hair, talk about your beard, I’d like to talk about your hair ritual and I’d like to talk about your face ritual.”

This is how US professional men’s line V76 by Vaughn Global Educator and Creative Director, Jesse Taylor starts a men’s consultation. We know, because we witnessed it firsthand. It’s a dialogue and perspective that almost perfectly sums up this fresh modern men’s brand – it understands men, how to talk to them, engage them and importantly, how to groom them.

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Jesse Taylor

The latest to join the cool-kid stable Rogue Beauty – they’ve brought us Oribe, R+Co and Smith & Cult to date – V76 is right at home among its fellow innovators. Just for the lads, V76 by Vaughn entered the world like all game changers; organically with serendipity at the helm.

A passionate barber first and foremost the Vaughn in V76 was picked up as a model in his youth prompting a shift from salon to studio and around Europe for four or so years. Throughout this time, Vaughn became increasingly frustrated with session stylists’ inability to style hair for camera, and in particular the products and tools of choice, so he gradually shifted from before to behind the flash, building a profile as a high-fashion session stylist as he went. His penchant for barbering never flailed, and so emerged the V76 line – Vaughn’s legacy and a game changer for the men’s market.

Reuben Carranza, CEO of R+Co and V76 by Vaughn, Jesse Taylor and his Uncle slash V76 General Manager David Peterson were recently in town for the Australian launch of V76 – executed flawlessly by the Rogue Beauty crew and including a look n learn-style session between Jesse and Australia’s leading stylists.

“For so long men’s grooming has been segmented into two different worlds – people either go to a barbershop or a salon – and we’re merging the two. I feel like this needs to happen for the industry,” said Jesse, in our own, private one-on-one at salon James William, Rushcutters Bay.

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Two worlds in that when educating for many high end salons, Jesse noticed male clientele were their second priority and within a barbershop context, it was that ‘in-and-out’ mentality.

“So there was never a full service for a guy to really enjoy himself, and I felt terminology was so important to elevating this as well,” said Jesse, King of vernacular for gents.

And that’s why Jesse jumped onboard with V76.

“With a full men’s grooming line we had the opportunity to go into both of these worlds. V76 is built around the consultation, and we understand there’s no set way of doing this – from the traditional barbershop to high-end salon, there’s so many ways to groom a man and our education caters accordingly,” said Jesse.

At V76 it’s not about dictating an approach, but more a suggestion as to what every man’s salon experience should be like; what the result should be, and how you talk to a man is imperative.

“I like all this length, I could see you getting it longer,” the live consultation continued.

“At the moment there is just surface change around the perimeter, if you want to change something it needs to be internal. And I would create some shorter pieces up here.”

“You don’t tell a guy you’re going to layer his hair, the first thing that comes to mind is his girlfriend’s haircut.”

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Jesse really does have a masculine terminology for every technique in the chair, and V76 has a product set to match.

Categorised into three skews – Well Groomed, Boldly Barber and Face Forward – the creators of V76 have formulated and marketed with not only every guy in mind, but every salon. The strategy is not to be one type of man’s brand, but appeal to everyone from the ninth grader to the corporate thirty-something and maturing tradesman. They want to be a part of every man’s life, and therefore every salon’s business model.

Well Groomed is all about everything that has to do with your hair. From Energizing to Brightening Shampoo for Silvering Hair, Tonic Hair and Scalp Spray and hero product, Tex Texture Paste. While Boldly Barber reps the likes of Hydrating Gel Cream, Smooth Shave Cream and the line’s versatile Beard Oil (Jesse uses it as a styling product), Face Forward hosts the V76 Body Wash, Lip Balm and Detox Bar Soap.

“Unlike some men’s brands that have been around for 10 – 20 years, all V76 formulas have been created in the lab over the last 2 – 3 years so the products feature super new technology. Everything moves so fast now, literally when we’re in the final stages of product development, the baselines are being redone because a newer technology has been released,” said V76 General Manager, Dave Peterson.

All American, V76 is manufactured and all ingredients are sourced in the US. So honorary, even the three distinct scents (designed specifically by independent fragrance houses) reflect the red and blue.

“V76 is defined by three signature scents, Desert Lime, American Rivera and Blue Cedar and they are each inspired by different regions of the US, and with a unique story to tell,” said David.

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Not unlike the V76 man, always at the fore of an exclusive journey and helm of a standalone future – and the V76 branding presents this with ample engagement. Rather than the clean, cropped, Abercrombie-style dude, V76 features everyone from the salty high-schooler to cold-pressed hipster, countryman and corporate cat.

And for this, you’re going to start noticing V76 not only at salon reception desks (cue: Detox Face Bar, the perfect entry point for men and women), to the Lip Balm-ready checkout desk at fashion boutiques such as Incu, humble barbershop and high-street salon.

“In order to be alive in the men’s market you have to be out there like that. Take Incu for example – it’s such a well curated store you instantly feel like you need everything, and this only aids the credentials of the professional salon,” said David.

But what you won’t see so often is a space stocking the entire portfolio of V76 products, another important part of the brand’s strategy.

“V76 doesn’t ask people to carry the entire line,” said CEO of V76 by Vaughn, Reuben Carranza.

“We’re not rigid like that. You have to be able to let it live where it needs to live at an edited version. The more that men see the brand and in different iterations, the more comfortable they are that they’re making the right choice.”

V76, the right choice indeed.

For more information visit roguebeauty.com.au

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