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Estetica's Exclusive Interview: UNITE's CEO & Founder Andrew Dale

Sunday, 13 September 2015 15:41

The UNITE brand has a key word and it is passion: for fashion, for hairdressing, and for education. CEO Andrew Dale explains the trajectory he has planned for this luxury brand.

Everyone working for the UNITE brand has been infected by CEO Andrew Dale’s passion for fashion. At age 16, Dale began his apprenticeship with Vidal Sassoon in London. His career quickly excelled, and he became a sought-after stylist, educator and session worker for Sassoon, which eventually transferred him to the United States. After working a short period in the New York location, he was moved to the world-renowned salon on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, where his clients consisted of Sting, Faye Dunaway, Carol Burnett, Rue McClanahan, Elvira and Vanessa Redgrave.

As a hairdresser himself, Dale is convinced that there are core values and ambitions that in fact “unite” them into one big family... hence the name of his brand. These luxury styling and hair care products are the focal point when fostering creativity through fashion week runways, education, and the brand's Global Session event. Having won over a bevy of celebrity stylists and their clients, Dale remains a hands-on entrepreneur, the self-made man behind the brand, whose very presence embodies his “I think I can” philosophy.

Let’s open with one curiosity: why UNITE Eurotherapy?
“UNITE” was named in reference to our mission to “UNITE Hairdressers to make the industry a better place”. As far as the “Eurotherapy”, it came from the combination of hair and fashion infuences or Europe combined with the American technical expertise and innovative technology. Although “Eurotherapy” is still in the roots of our brand and culture, we technically have discontinued the use of “Eurotherapy” from our logo/name in order to simplify it for the consumer."

What is it that pushes a hairdresser to take the life-changing leap into entrepreneurship?
"I think that all hairdressers are entrepreneurs by heart, but not everyone has the b**** to do it!"

Where do you see UNITE expanding geographically-speaking over the next five years?
"Our goal is to expand in every country around the world."

How are you planning to add leading stylists around the globe to your roster of international fashion week successes?
"We look for hairdressers that push themselves in their creative expression, whether it be through editorial work, education or previous runway work. We incorporate UNITE stylists into each and every fashion week team we have. We look to use those with experience as well as to give new opportunities to those looking to get involved for the frst time."

How important is it for products to be paraben-, gluten-, sulfate-, etc.-free today? What breakthroughs are on the horizon for using more natural essences in hair products?
"It is vital in today’s industry. Products no longer need to contain old, popular ingredients. With today’s technology, new and innovative ingredients are constantly being released that make the hair healthier, are safer to use and provide performance that is equal to or greater than that of its predecessor. I think as technology continues to grow, we will continue to find even more ingredients that will be multi-beneficial and multi-functional."

Will there ever be UNITE color?
"No, not in the foreseeable future."

Why did you opt for a separate men’s grooming brand with GO24.7 rather than a UNITE men’s line?
"Men want a standalone brand of their own, not grooming using their wife/girlfriend’s products in diferent packaging. The GO24.7 includes skin and body care products for men."

Do you envision skin and body or make-up products for UNITE as well?
"With UNITE our focus is strictly hair products."

What inspired the concept of your UNITE Salon/Academy in San Diego?
"My roots have always been in education since my beginnings with Sassoon’s. It has been important to me since day 1 to have an Academy and our goal is to grow this Academy structure throughout the mid-west and east coast of the USA and in London."

You champion the causes of at-risk animals and children. Why are these two causes in particular so near-and-dear to you?
"UNITE is passionate about much more than just hair, we believe in giving back to our communities and supporting those without a voice. This is why we have selected to partner with and provide support for animals and children in need with the San Diego Humane Society, the San Diego Center for Children, as well as Dogs Trust in the UK."

Can you tell us more about your childhood, how you came to settle in the United States, and what led you to hairdressing in the first place?
"Traditionally in the UK you are through with school at age 16, rather than 18 like here in the US. I had always known that I wanted to do hair and I knew that if I was going to do it, then I wanted to work with the best. So the first and only place I applied was Sassoon’s, which is what later brought me to the US with their education team. Afer two years in sunny California, there was just no going back."

As CEO of a multinational company, do you still get behind the chair and in front of the class as much as you’d like?
"As CEO, I wear many hats and have a lot to focus on in order to grow the brand. I have learned that it is best to have a strong team, which is why UNITE has a full Education Program of the industry’s leading educators, including Gary Baker, our Creative Director. You will find me teaching every Paramount Business course we offer though."

Click here to learn more about Paramount Business – created by CEO and Founder of UNITE, Andrew Dale, always striving to make the hairdressers life easier.

By Marie Scarano

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