Marking the official launch of R+Co in Australia, distributors Rogue Beauty pulled out the big gun – flying co-founder and director of the youth-directive haircare line, Howard McLaren into town – informing and igniting the mindset of one of the most high profile industry gatherings we’ve seen in a long time.
I guess that’s what happens when you present something new and exciting to an Island of (geographically) isolated creatives always ready to embrace and interpret the next wave of cool. And with a man of swag like Mr Howard McLaren at the helm, there was never any doubting our industry frat pack would welcome the R+Co (life) style with open arms and session kits – the future is indeed bright for the brand that refuses to chase and loves to collaborate.
Held at Darlinghurst’s tucked away fusion of old and new, Eternity Playhouse, Rogue Beauty Managing Director Jared Fisher and Head of Education Chris Hammond welcomed the likes of Alan White, Jenny Kim, Paloma Rose Garcia, Kobi Bokshish, Frankie Endersbee and Stevie English among others – a full house of legends ready to take it all in.
While perhaps unknown to a handful of Australian stylists, Howard McLaren’s global reputation is a prominent one. He has influenced as Creative Director for TONI&GUY and Bumble and Bumble, and collaborated with the pinnacle of the profession in Eugene Souleiman and Orlando Pita – elaborating the designs of Balenciaga and Moschino as a start. Following a formal introduction from Jared and Chris, Howard was free to do what we believe he does best, create, entertain and engage, always ready to learn, openly. With Howard it feels like no two styles would ever be the same. Building with an open mind and innate respect for hair, Howard creates based on his current environment, his vibe, his model, the hair fiber – always a masterful result, always powered by R+Co.
Creating a series of editorial styles including fashion-to-salon-ready haircuts, Howard pleased with his down to earth nature and plain disregard for ego – the entity openly idolizing the likes of Eugene, Ward and Orlando – feverous for challenge, fickle for imitation. A thought process invested deeply in the R+Co DNA – from packaging to formula, the products challenge the cookie cutter approach to hair and dictate with an aesthetic that represents what they believe in, and what they believe in only.
“Working with Ward and Orlando, they can do things in the most severe way but it’s still sexy. It’s so important to challenge yourself and challenge your eye, but you can’t rip people off, you can only take an idea and then take it further,” he said.
And when doing so, Howard recommends ditching the mechanical approach, rather listening to the senses and first and foremost, your canvas of choice: Hair.
“Styling shouldn’t be a mechanical process, the information is coming from your hands and eyes – the hair tells you what to do. You have to train your eye for that. Don’t allow your ego to determine what kind of hairdresser you will be. In that case you might be rich, but there will be no excitement,” said Howard.
And it’s beliefs as simple as engaging the senses and listening to the hair that have worked to build perhaps one of the world’s most exciting product portfolios to date – how so? Because they’re formulas based on exactly that, the senses of the hairdresser – how you work, how you feel and what you want to do next. And importantly, how the hair works – what it wants, how it moves. No top-tier scientist can offer that, no matter how much he’s paid.
“R+Co complements what I do more than anything I’ve used in the past. Instead of mixing products to get something, it’s already there. The products allow you to flow, to get to what you feel is right,” shouted Alan White in enthusiasm.
The results are in. R+Co is the way forward for aspiring Australian stylists.
We have the pleasure of sitting down with Howard this Friday and look forward to bringing you further insight into the man and the brand in INSTYLE Nov Dec.
For further information on R+Co, contact Rogue Beauty on 1300 725 122 or visit roguebeauty.com.au
Photography by Daniel Knott
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