Kao Salon hosted its first ever digital event, congregating almost 20,000 hairdressers online for the Kao Salon Global Experience. Hosted over two days, the event showed off top-tier artistry in the form of the debut of the Goldwell Couture Collection, the world premiere of the new Angelo Seminara Collection and news 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 out-dated past.”

“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,” added John Moroney, VP of Creative & Communication. “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.”

The event covered a host of inspiring Artist Sessions. Speakers included Mario Krankl, a Global Brand Ambassador of Goldwell and renowned hairdresser from Austria, who showcased CELEBRATIONS, inspired by the 25th anniversary of his salon and 30 years with Goldwell in a glam, Avant Garde creative expression, anchored by a look he’s titled GLAM NOIRE. Meanwhile the internationally renowned J.7 Creative Team from Stuttgart, Germany showcased their 2021 collection, BOOST, and commitment to the professional salon, predicated on blondes, texture and cutting-edge style.

The icono academy and Creative Team from Berlin, as led by Goldwell International Artist, Sascha Haseloff, presented their new 80s inspired concept collection, based around commercial natural colours made with Elumen Play and coupled with precision shapes and textures. London’s Hare & Bone also presented, showcasing the eco-conscious A Plastic Ocean show, with an important environmental message and their technical cut, colour and Avant Garde skills straight from the West End.

Also in these sessions, Shane Bennett, a three-time winner of Northern Ireland Hairdresser of the Year and the youngest UK stylist to become a member of the British Hairdressing Hall of Fame, presented his Retro Reality upcoming collection, built on softer shapes, curls, cool colours and a balance of salon and session. Mazella&Partners then showcased their globally renowned talents, launching their SPARK collection, which educated on their well known precision-cutting skills paired with Goldwell’s famous hues.

Lastly, the Oribe Hair Care Team gave a virtual presentation, where Daniel Kaner, Oribe President and Co-founder, spoke about the brand’s heritage, products and education, all of which are pioneers in their fields. James Pecis, Oribe Global Ambassador, built on this idea of education, discussing the inspiration he finds in the city of New York, which made way practically for the Oribe Education team, Coby Alcantar, Adam Livermore, Nicci Welsh, Kien Hoang, and Ronnie Stam, to inspire with their own local cities, New York, Copenhagen, San Francisco and Miami. Each artist crafted bold looks informed by multicultural street style and high fashion trends.

Beyond these creative sessions, guests were able to watch various specialty discussion panels. The Social Media panel was led by Instagram experts, Jacob Kahn and Sydney Lopez, who shared how hairdressers can develop their Instagram skills and make a maximum impact with their Instagram feed, while journalist Maggie Mulhern, who boasts 30 years of experience, gave her insights on the sector.

In the Sustainability Expert Panel, Dr. Elmar Mussenbrock, Kao Salon’s Director of Sustainability, spoke to global environmental experts about reducing the salon industry’s carbon footprint, and how salons specifically can become more sustainable. This led to the Sustainability Salon Panel, where Elmar spoke to salon owners from around the world who have transformed their salons into green salons, offering insights and advice from that experience.

In the Salon Owner Business Panels, speakers discussed the impact of COVID-19 and new imperative ways to cater to clients. Top salons from around the world talked about the future of the industry and their advice for this unique situation. Finally, in the Product Development Panels, the Kao Salon Division Product and Development Teams (Color and Care & Styling) gave insights about product developments for Goldwell and KMS, giving attendees a peak behind the innovation curtain.

Finally, the Gala Show acted as the final highlight of the event, presenting to over 10,000 hairdressers and showing off Goldwell’s hair, colour and style trend presentation for 2021, titled EESENTIALISM. The brand also showed off their 70s disco era inspired Couture Collection, NIGHT MOVES, finished with a cool modern edge. Also, Angelo Seminara, Goldwell’s Global Brand Ambassador, introduced the new Glance collection. It was a night comprised of pure artistic inspiration.

“2020 was and is a year we will always remember,” said John Moroney, VP of Creative and Communication. “For the first time our event couldn’t take place live and we created the Kao Salon Virtual Experience. We believe that creativity never stops and therefore wanted to offer our guests an extraordinary online event. 48 hours full of creativity, inspiration and great artist sessions. Now we are looking ahead to next year when we can hopefully all be together again, in person, for the Kao Salon Global Experience.”