EXPO 18 REPORT: In Brooklyn, A New Collective Emerges 

EXPO ’18 has come, wowed, and gone. Authentic, fearless, inspired by Brooklyn street style the show gave 350+ hairdressers new trends to try, techniques to master, things to think about. 

We kicked off the weekend with a welcoming cocktail party at our Williamsburg studio. Guests enjoyed flash tattoos, a pink Paloma bar sponsored by Partida Tequilla, and a mini hair show, hosted by our Brooklyn stylists, featuring inventive ways to create texture and visual interest by sewing different types of yarn into the hair.

On Sunday we went to Brooklyn Bowl for a day of inspirational presentations,  followed by a night of celebrations. Kicking off the daytime, ARROJO Education Director Carmel Lawless displayed her prowess with the razor, and her styling savvy. 

World-renowned editorial stylist Peter Gray started his presentation by putting metallic sheets through a paper shredder. His point: hair is like fabric and treated as such there are no rules to creativity. He used household items such as steel wool, string, and chopsticks to create a variety of one-moment-in-time, Vogue-worthy looks.

Next, the men’s grooming presentation. With celebrity sports barber Cifredo flanked by editorial icon Paul Merritt and ARROJO Barbering Educator Grace Vega, the high-minded exhibition spoke of the resurgence of men’s grooming while demoing a gamut of techniques, from shaving to styling, scissor to razor. 

Goldwell's color presentation centered on their new Pure Pigment technology. Offering easier applications and best-ever iridescence, the bold tones are a winning formula for EXPO’s color enthusiasts.

After lunch, motivational speaker Paul DiGrigoli made guests move with an energetic entrance to “Lets Get Loud,” followed by an inspiring speech on finding career success though entrepreneurial spirit. 

With energy soaring, Creative Director Lina Arrojo and Senior Colorist Zoe Bill gave a preview of ARROJO’s new trend release for 2019, COLLECTIVE. Touching on the cut and color techniques that stylists go on to learn in the hands-on portion of EXPO, interest piques as the model’s hair sways with effortless wonder, and soft gradient effects.

Ginger Boyle––LA stylist extraordinaire––took the stage to demonstrate cutting with a grungy, west coast attitude. Ginger and her associate create three choppy, shaggy, and messy rock and roll looks personifying the feel of the modern LA woman. 

The daytime closes with Sonna Brado. Sonna transformed three classic up-styles into exquisite, modern, high-fashion constructions. She inspired the crowd with her entertaining speaking style and easy to digest styling tips.

After a short power nap, attendees returned to the venue for the release of the Trend ’19 runway show. An open bar sends the crowd’s spirits soaring as performer Ariel Beesley, with Blondie-esque music and attitude, took the stage to take them up some more.  

Three songs later the tone is set for a punchy, dynamic catwalk full of ARROJO’s street-style flavor. COLLECTIVE, the new collection pioneered by Lina Arrojo, features colorful shaggy mullets, wild curls, vibrant reds, full fringes, and swooshing, carefree mid-lengths adorned with statement fashion. An eye-catching smorgasbord of color, glitter, style, beauty, texture, and sex appeal it’s an epic finale the celebrations.

On day three attendees split into groups: those taking hands-on education, those on the Ambassador Art Team training, and a business symposium for salon owners and decision-makers.

The hands-on includes a cut and color from the new trend COLLECTIVE, taught by ARROJO stylists. The cut, called Swag, marries two classic ARROJO techniques, the Swing Layer and the New Shag, as means to blend asymmetry and disconnection in the name of seamless movement. The new color technique, Foiliage, incorporates full saturation backcombing, classic foiling, and hair painting, working together to produce soft gradient effects.

For those on the Ambassador Art Team (ARROJO Ambassadors who teach in our distribution territories), an advanced, train-the trainer class facilitated by Paul Merritt, Carmel Lawless, Stephen Adams, and Derek Anthony brings more looks from COLLECTIVE into sharp focus.

At the Business Symposium, salon owners and managers gathered into the cozy HERE Theater to get intimate about salon business. The ARROJO leadership team took turns to talk about the things that can rehab your organization, including: The new expectation for high touch service; salon training programs and employee growth and turnover; and how to choose a compensation model that fits your business model.

After a short break, Karen Gordon took us into the world of salon specialization. Talking of her own experience as a hair loss specialist, she offered ideas of how to differentiate your salon from the one across the street.

In a heartwarming moment, Karen introduced Nick Arrojo by addressing his unwavering work ethic and dedication to bettering the industry.

Nick then spoke on the trials and tribulations that he faced in this time of change for salon owners. Honest, real, and vitally insightful he charts a path to success built on craft, creativity, hard work, nimble thinking, and investment in yourself.

Presently, Nick was joined by Ambassador Salon Owner Edda Coscioni––to share her story of her total salon transformation. The conversation smacked of the realization that our struggles as owners and stylists are universal, and best tackled as a community.

“Together, we go further,” said Edda. “As a collective grows, the strength of the group emerges, and multiplies,” concludes Nick.

To the guest speakers, attendees, and Ambassadors who spent the weekend learning, growing, and celebrating the craft we love with us, THANK YOU!

Swipe for some more EXPO highlights & sweet EXPO moments.

Photo Credits: Jena Cumbo, Serichai Traipoom, Robert Lynden