The City of Lights once again hosted the Paul Mitchell family, with 2500 international hairdressers congregating in Las Vegas for The Gathering 2018. Over July 9-10, hairdressers from 25 countries showed up to the Aria Resort & Casino for an event dedicated to artistry, philanthropy, professionalism and the global community that is Paul Mitchell.

The theme took on many facets, titled ‘Learn. Earn. Thrill. Chill.’, touching on the networking, educative and holidaying opportunities on offer through the event. Performances, presentations and parties of the highest calibre were all on the agenda, while the mainstage hosted cutting-edge hairstyles, bold fashion and important speakers in equal measure. The event was hosted by Paul Mitchell co-owners John Paul DeJoria and Angus Mitchell.

Paul Mitchell’s Aussie brood were well represented, with team members, the 2018 Color Outside the Lines Australian winner Kaylee Ditchfield from Kawsa Hair Studio and numerous Australian Paul Mitchell salons all in attendance.

The guests undertook a unique education experience, being able to customise their own experience at the event with the choice of 5 out of 17 hands-on and Look and Learn workshops offered over the two days. Renowned presenters showcased their skills and insights on a range of topics, from business intel to trends and techniques for colour, cut, barbering, red carpet styling and more. Attendees could pick the skills they needed to work on most and pursue them entirely.

John Paul kicked off the event with a 73 question style interview, presented on a 170-foot, curved LED screen, with fun, snappy answers that gave insight to his inimitable daily life. Then, Jason Yates and Michaeline DeJoria formally announced newly appointed Creative Director Lucie Doughty as head of the Creative and Media departments for Paul Mitchell. Lucy debuted the brand’s all-new Live Beautifully campaign, complete with live models and inspiring campaign images.

In celebration of 20 years of the brand’s professional colour, Artistic Director of Education Angus Mitchell, Lucas Doney, Chelsea Litchfield, Heather Ka’anoi and Jason Reyes showcased Paul Mitchell blondes, with live models and simultaneous cutting demonstrations on stage. Beyond the stage, the personalised workshops ensured attendees were learning, creating and developing their skills at every moment of the day.

On day two, the day began with an inspiring motivational talk from bestselling author and speaker Agapi Stassinopoulos, who shared excerpts from her new book Wake Up to the Joy of You: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life. Attendees were able to gather important wellness techniques that optimise working conditions for greater success.

Next, John Paul DeJoria, Michaeline DeJoria and Corporate Culture Ambassador Mara Gourdine took to the stage to reiterate the company’s core commitment to the professional beauty industry, philanthropy and to Paul Mitchell’s cruelty-free pledge to never test its products on animals. This ethos remains true to the brand’s core and is a vital value for the community at large.

Green Circles Salons founder Shane Price announced their partnership with the brand and championed sustainability, providing a message for how greater sustainability can be achieved. The group pioneers solutions for repurposing, recycling and capturing 95 per cent of salon and spa waste. Thanks to Green Circles, the leftover colour, mannequin heads, foil, colour tubes and bottles, hair and packaging used throughout Gathering were recycled.

Next on the agenda was a panel discussion about the power of social media, hosted by Hairbrained CEO Gordon Miller, with barbers John Mosely, Fern Andong. Jason Reyes, and Jacob Khan sharing their thoughts on how to grow social media presence and build up salon and barbershop clienteles. Next, Paul Mitchell Schools Dean Winn Claybaugh shared his insights into the future of the brand – explaining the passion and promise in the school’s graduates, fund raising efforts and more.

The grand finale was a closing ceremony of note, kicked off by a business seminar from inspiring salon coach Antony Whitaker, who tied up the event by ensuring attendees took stock of what they learnt and made actual plans to implement these insights into their careers. Five bold, inspiring and creative showcases then ended the event on a high note, providing and educational and theatrical final touch to the festivities.

The date is already set for the next Gathering, which will take place at the Venetian in August 2020. Is it too early to start counting down?

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