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Redken Get Inspired: Future Challenge Accepted

A brand forever linked to the heartbeat of sharing inspiration, leveraging better business and building a tribe of collaborative thinking like no other, Australia’s Get Inspired education event heralded the everlasting legacy of Redken and the leaders of our next generation, writes Cameron Pine.

The Star events centre was an epicentre of enthusiasm over a three day schedule where sleep became secondary and education was as much about the entertainment of the craft as it was built on making new connections and learning skills. From a business boosting Sunday session to a hands on look and learn masterclass with local and long-travelled legends, Redken reminded the industry of what they stand for as a brand and how uniting a culture of ‘learn better, earn better and live best’ runs through the veins of their every move.

A theme of Future underpinned the transformative powers of Redken and transported guests into a world of technology driven desire – a galaxy of hair beyond the everyday but ultimately inspiring the audience with a daily dose of real community spirit like only Redken knows how.

For the Get Inspired Sunday night show more than 350 guests arrived to a Gala dinner style set up, feeling like more of an entertaining version of the Oscars rather than hair show – table and chairs gave every guest a prime vantage point over the impressive Star event stage. It could have been a musical, hair show or Sydney’s biggest club – the decision was yours and Redken mastered all elements.

Guests were granted the ultimate and customisable weekend in hair, taking their pick and pushing the limits of what interested them the most from a weekend of creativity or business or even to soak it all up to go back into the salon better armed and more aware. Ultimately, the culture of Redken from the artists right down to the salon stylists is the endless ability the hairdressing community has to get out from behind their smart phones and truly share education in a live and energetic format.

Combining the bi-annual Redken Connect business event with Get Inspired, Redken made a stance to enhance the salon experience and the consultation with leading guest speakers. This included NYC based father daughter duo Peter and Tess Millard who gave invaluable insight into the real effort both the interior and exterior design has on your salon, having worked with the likes of Ralph Lauren, not to mention the L’Oreal group as a whole for more than 15 years –they showed stores under their renovation guidance increased by 50-60 per cent almost instantly.

Leading salon entrepreneur Gary Rom, who is the owner of 10 leading salons in South Africa, gave insight into service vs hospitality revealing so many myths and perceptions we make in business. His group’s proven strategies, for retail right down to the detail of his individual sound proof treatment rooms and how beating 37 per cent retail is a constant target in his busy salons, was just a tip of the iceberg to how much business knowledge Redken was willing to share.

George Gougolis then talked about a huge problem in the industry – the inadequate consultation and the biggest insult we can make – to take our regular guest for granted. He ultimately revealed that it doesn’t matter how good you are at your craft, the guest experience is key. Redken’s more local hero, Richard Kavanagh, crossed the divide from business to creativity demonstrating the wonders of a the Piiq consultation technology for the ultimate connected salon before hitting up the stage with the rest of the incomparable Redken artists.

But with endless take aways from a day of savvy business minds, it was really all about the impeccably choreographed show, where the Redken tribe more than quadrupled in size, craving that high energy face to face experience we so often now miss in hairdressing.

Bringing in Redken International Guest Artist Justin Isaac for the show from Los Angeles (although he’s really a NYC Redken exchange guy at heart) we always expected a high octane festival of colour – after all as a veteran of Redken chaos and colour is what he is known for. The show was broken up into five distinct universes; Glow, Beats, Brews, Blonde and Gels – a distinct Redken DNA and a collective of some of our favourite artists in each.

Beats (Justin Pace, Rachel Busby, Kristy Hodgson and Richard Kavanagh), Brews (Dmitri Papas, Ben Martin and Anthony Staltari), Blonde (Sheree Knobel, Marie Cain, Richard Kavanagh and Justin Isaac) and Gels (Justin Isaac, Ben Martin and Philip Barwick) set the agenda with constant creativity all night.

With Redken Education Manager Karen Strano and General Manager Erwin Santos hosting the event’s formalities, it was all about ‘Destination Redken’ and a smorgasbord of more than 100 models across the full program, uniting more than 50 stylists but touching so many more.

This relaxed culture of individuality with a strong corporate backing is why so many artists still choose Redken. Everything from men to commercialism morphed with individuality, fantasy taken to the extremity and not a moment to stop and look away, guests were glued to the stage without a moment to spare. Length, layers, wigs, men’s haircuts and loads of texture hit every hairdressing halo on the map. We love the neon faces and mint green fused with blonde we saw Richard finishing up as well as some true session shapes from editorial to Avant Garde.

“Redken hasn’t given up on its culture to be completely learner focused. The culture of education is the rock that keeps us all together. Social media has helped the brand, but when you see it alive and cracking and a community of hairdressers modelling the behaviours, that’s the ultimate reward and that’s why we are here,” Justin said.

“Everything we do is a remix and a colab,” he continued. “Different cultures around the world is what Redken is, but it’s the experience of the brand that makes us all come together and form our next path.”

“In a world of online, the live experience is key and that’s where my power is. We need to share the creation and that’s the heartbeat of Redken and events like Redken Symposium. We are all a family and our message is a human message not just a hair message.”

Bringing the future here now in a three day format, guests were able to preview some of the brands key innovations for 2019 and realise the experience of  trying out proven ideas, skills and techniques from others, even if just one. This is the heart of what Get Inspired aims to do.

“The primary reason we pull together such a significant event like Get Inspired is to inspire and educate. Being an education event our key objective is to connect with people through our salons and live our brand’s mission statement of ‘learn better, earn better and live best’,” Karen said.

Underlying the show’s high impact themes and impressive audio visual support, there was a deeper message and connection to the evolution of growth and the transfer of knowledge. Following several team brainstorming sessions Redken set out to make a deeper connection to the evolution of what a tribe really means – the sacrifice of a lead tribe and the ‘induction’ of a new generation of tribe members into the Redken fold was the underlying message that had as many layers as the creative eye would allow.

“The biggest feedback for us is all the artists saying over and over again having the support and learning from each other is the ultimate and this year with a shorter more digestible format as well as being back in Sydney was a real advantage. For every inquisitive hairdresser, Redken satisfies your desire,” Karen said.

With Redken at the helm, the future is now and it’s never been brighter.  No matter how long we do what we do there’s always endless ways to Get Inspired.

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