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The Wrap: Goldwell Global Zoom Barcelona

Taking over a city defined by culture, creativity and art, Goldwell Global Zoom 17 showed bustling Barcelona just how the hairdressing elite like to compete, celebrate and learn from the best, writes Cameron Pine.

It was the biggest Global Zoom competition to date, with close to 3,000 attendees spread across a highly energetic spectrum of new innovation, better business practices and leading artistry – all the elements to a successful and colourful career. Goldwell struck just the right balance to ensure there was something for everyone – a sell-out show with all 38 countries.

But before we got to the real reasons why competitors and guests travelled hundreds or thousands of kilometers to connect – we need to take a moment to re-live the smorgasboard of education, inspiration, networking and learning that only travelling abroad and becoming a Global Zoomer can provide. It’s an almost priceless experience for all involved and you have to be present to realize that Global Zoom, as the name suggests, will make you feel like you’ve packed years of hairdressing prowess and power into just two days. Two days that will continue inspiration and learnings for months to come.

The resounding appreciation for Goldwell for continuing to invest at such a high level in the power of connection in such an incredible city invaded the event with an infectious energy.

From concept to entry deadline and then onto combining the best of each country’s approach to hair into two full days on October 8 and 9 gave every single Goldwell network colourist a reason to be and also a pathway for the salon owners to what’s next with the release of the 2018 trend – Elemental – the competition’s coveted creation ready to set another year of hearts on fire.

Elemental promises to take us back to nature in a complicated world, rid us of the artificial – inspiring the audience with a softer range of ash, blondes and a more neutral colour palette. Elemental plays between rawness and refinement. Tone on tone colours play with contrasts and modern minimalistic shapes for future-forward styling where technology enhances rather than distracts.

At the Welcome session on the Sunday morning Kao Salon Global Creative Director John Moroney kept bringing it back to the palpable passion of the Goldwell network, before sharing the latest news from Goldwell and KMS – a sure promise that will lead the way for another year of growth and success in 2018.

During the Artistic Sessions, guests from all over the world were given the opportunity to experience the excellent mastery of their craft – from the Master Design Team and Global Artist Ambassador Jay Mahmood to stylists from various countries including our own Ali Holmes from Wild Life and Garreth Lenagh from Prema on-stage for KMS ‘genderless grooming’. We then saw ‘Australia’s Most Awarded Hairdresser’ Shane Henning’s incredible showcase of creativity in his own artistic presentation – a refreshing change from global campaigns and product performance.

Shane’s models created an angelic aura of feminine beauty and true hairdressing skill from shorter to longer and highly textured and sculptured styles reminiscent of a ‘hair hat’. “We went for a very 80s power dressing vibe for one section – the second section pretty flowers, embellishment and accessorizing hair,” Shane said.

“Aaron did the colour and we wanted pastels that looked more natural than vibrant,” Shane said.

Elemental Collection

Each year the Global Zoom gathering is a culmination of much more than just two days work, it reinforced countless days prepping and carefully curated craftsmanship that sets the scene for a mastery of education on offer throughout the days, all united by one of the world’s best colour brands and a promise to be the ultimate salon partner.

The Gala Awards is undoubtedly the night to truly celebrate and the reason for many to put in countless hours of prep. It was after witnessing ‘Europe’s sexiest dancers’ on a truly global-scale production –the shirtless men and sexy senioritas appropriately piqued the interest of a very fussy audience. With so many leaders in the room, serving up B grade entertainment would have only tarnished the night’s reputation. Global Zoom definitely stepped it up a notch in terms of entertainment and encouragement – exceeding the expectations of highly engaged global group.

Before the awards were handed and the tears flowed we were taken through a heartfelt speech by Kao Salon Division CEO Cory Couts about the special nature of hairdressers and how Global Zoom is such a unique celebration of creativity. It was here that Kao promised their main goal – alongside producing products that exceed expectations is to remain focused on the needs and desires of salon owners.

Next up it was the Kao CEO from Japan, who couldn’t wipe the smile off his face following his attendance at the 2016 Global Zoom in Stockholm has perhaps made him one of the industry’s biggest fans – instilling the audience with the custom and hospitality only the Japanese know how.

“We promise you that you can continue to rely on us, as your business partner and partner in innovation. We are very proud of the special talent in this profession and are very happy you have chosen us to be your partner,” said KAO President and CEO Mitchitaka Sawada.

Prior to the action packed days of zoom madness, Goldwell held a Press Conference at the famous Oleum Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya where they announced in a truly awe-inspiring setting, a new innovation in colour set to land in Australian in the second quarter of 2018. The event also provided an opportunity to press from all corners of the globe to network, again another example of their investment in the industry. This dedication to innovation and bettering the lives of salon owners is a promise Kao Salon continued to make throughout the event.

Elemental Collection

In Addition to the exciting innovation yet to be seen in Australia, KMS shared some exciting and empathetic updates to their ‘genderless grooming’ campaign – featuring three new hybrid finishing products and a new update from Kerasilk – a Kerasilk style range to complete the luxury brand portfolio.

Following the welcome presentation on day one at the Placa de Espana, the frenzy began as all 97 National Finalists competed for not only the winning trophy but also the priceless opportunity for each of the global Gold Winners to become part of the Global Color Zoom Creative Team.

In 2016, Australia was lucky enough to take home top global awards in all three categories – a style standard that has now been set for years to come.

This year, there were 24 Australian finalists chosen for the 2017 in-flux themed Color Zoom National competition in Australia which then afforded a handful of winners the once in a lifetime opportunity to compete in Barcelona.

The Influx theme truly celebrated the versatility of Goldwell Color with entrants transitioning between light and dark, soft and strong aesthetics. We saw length and shorter textures juxtaposed alongside some seriously impressive but somewhat more commercial work. That’s the beauty of Color Zoom – the creative playing field is far reaching.

There’s nothing quite like the anticipation that builds for a world premiere and every year takes on a level of excitement as progressive and original as the last – Barcelona’s Placa de Espana, beachside clubs and restaurants and character laiden laneways all played home for a host of hair artists, passionate not only about the world of colour but also hairdressing business. The Australian group certainly had the royal treatment from Goldwell with a nine course degustation at one of Barcelona’s leading restaurants, a seafood dinner on the final after party evening, right down to the simple things like a local market lunch that gave the opportunity to experience Barcelona just like the Spanish do.

The Global Winners from 2017 in the Gala show set the scene for further outstanding moments with the announcement of the Global Winners who had all demonstrated outstanding hairdressing skills not only in their photograph but right through the live final.

Maarten Schapendonk from Netherlands (Partner Category) won the Stylists’ Favourite Award, together with Futoun Ahmed Hakim from the the United Arab Emirates (Creative Category) and Lydia Wolfe from the UK (New Talent Category).

Elemental Collection

The special feature of these awards is that anyone from anywhere in the world is able to participate and vote for their favourite style. Although Australia didn’t take home any major awards this year – the standard was set and the passion for 2018 has already begun, as a new round of stylists set out to achieve their best.

Congratulations to the winners:


Creative Colorist: Dylan Tung, Singapore
New Talent Colorist: Maxim Sotnikov, Russia
Partner Colorist: Mio Sota, USA


Creative Colorist: Lauren Kocman, USA
New Talent Colorist; Sam Lim Sze Shien, Malaysia
Partner Colorist: Velette Huang, Taiwan


Creative Colorist: Caroline Brand, United Kingdom
New Talent Colorist: AyakaTanioka, Japan
Partner Colorist: Sean Chiu Hong Kong

Judges had an incredibly arduous task to narrow down key winners from such a big talent pool of artists – each country showcasing their strengths but also being given the ability to learn from their peers makes it hard to pick just a handful.

With new talent encompassing colorists who have less than five years’ experience, Creative Colour for those with more than five years and Partner for those who have worked for Goldwell as a freelance, trainer or artists – Color Zoom is a competition with something for every level of hairdresser – couple this with education it has become an annual gathering for those who may not compete but wish to enjoy the magic of such a energetic few days.

One thing is certain and that’s our talent in hairdressing needs to be celebrated, and Goldwell do a mighty fine job.

So what are you waiting for? Well I probably should mention that the 2018 Global Zoom will take place in a city where truly individuality is celebrated – Toronto Ontario Canada. The time is now to start planning.

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