ESTETICA is jumping from fashion show to fashion show in NYFW and we are going crazy with all this beautiful hair! We met up with one of the top artists here juggling various collaborations with designers all over Manhattan… Ladies & gentlemen, the one and only Kien Hoang.
Kien took some time off to share some step-by-steps with us, including Michael Costello, A Détacher and Jenny Packham, but also gave us the inside scoop explained how you can have access to his secrets at the Oribe Ateliers that are taking place throughout America!
Oribe Hair Care’s new educational philosophy, The Journey to Mastery, is a perfect blend of technical skills and inspiration that becomes a meaningful part of a hairdresser’s life-long journey of continuous learning, personal accomplishments and self-growth. This is a chance to learn the Journey to Mastery not only through Kien Hoang, but others who are also here in NYFW, creating the trends of the future seasons like James Pecis…
Whether styling behind the chair, backstage or on set, the essential foundations are only mastered when they are truly understood. Oribe created this series to assist hairdressers in elevating their artistry with the latest trend and their creators for NYFW.
With these educators you will learn the essentials in interpreting runway styles to exploring the creative processes of session styling. At Oribe Hair Care, mastery translates to becoming versed in a range of techniques over a period of time, and Oribe Ateliers have brought together the biggest talents in the industry to help you become the most versatile, confident hairdresser you can be.
Tell me about Oribe’s Journey to Mastery. How have you approached it as an educator? How has it changed you?
“The Journey to Mastery started from the first moment with Oribe’s salon education. Then the products made it in the salons and a year after, the educators dove into the network, meeting with hairdressers, owners or managers. The education department is designed to take place within their salon and after that we focus on hands-on education with the stylist.“
What else do you do to elevate the education and experience in their own salon?
“After about 8 years of doing this weekly with all our educators, we have gathered the feedback and we listen to the needs of the salons, the stylists and what we’ve done in with our education team, our creative director Ronny Stam, Coby, and also James Pecis, our global ambassador and, to really define what’s current in education as of now. We also recognized is that with the Ateliers, which take us out on the road from to the Miami Studio to the New York studio, education in our facilities, we really needed to identify the three different elements; the first is editorial inspiration, the second is ready to wear interpretations for salons and third is knowing fundamentals at a studio. So knowing that we developed Journey to Mastery, which for me is a continued education in all points of your career is going to help regardless of what level you’re at.“
Tell me about he structure of the journey.
“There are three chapters in Journey to Mastery, the first chapter is foundation class, and what’s really different about ours it’s a two day class that covers all the fundamentals of styling; ponytails, understanding textures, nailing a perfect double French twist, lacing, back combing, and all the fundamental things that are going to help you be a stronger stylist. Another part of our chapter 1 when you’re styling hair is studying. Is a two day course and it really about understanding how to manipulate textures. Being backstage there’s usually 5 products and we use those 5 products to make the hairstyle but that doesn’t necessarily happen in this day and age. It worked back then because it was more of an autopilot type of thing now, with the individualism, you’re seeing models that come in with all different types of textures of hair you really have to know how to manipulate that texture.”
Can you share about your experience about learning through the system?
“I am a salon owner, an educator, I also have my hands in editorial and also have done backstage work in many of these leading shows. It’s a different atmosphere, it’s fast paced, you have to be you have to know your fundamentals. So knowing that we create this education system with the help of educators to really build that and install that concept of foundations into stylists; to really understand what they’re doing when they’re working on somebody’s hair. So what I do is take all those notes and transform it into a program that is easy to understand but at the same time is practical and focuses on technique. I help create the content that is relevant now and looking what is out there, what is the missing link. The education is authentic, honest, direct, very to the point, and we get an intimate experience when we work one-on-one.”
Lately I’ve seen a little bit of a change with stylist, clients now use more styling products like hairspray in the 80s. How do you approach that change in general that you see now?
“In styling its always about diving into the texture and working with the texture. Looking at balance, looking at the head shape, looking at the length, adding length, taking away length and doing core bases. All the bases that help you achieve the look. That’s very different you know because it’s a different world, a lot of individualism, that’s what we are seeing on the runway.”
How do you forecast that? Because it’s so individual to each designer.
“That part is the most exciting because there’s a collaboration with designers, stylists and a team of makeup artists. We always sit down and decide what will be the best for that season but always with that team. I come with the hair as part of the whole entire inspiration. That’s how I bring and come to the table with the looks.“
And now a personal question, what’s your favorite product?
“I love the Dry Shampoo but my favorite product is Super Shine. I use it mainly to moisturize the hair before I go in and build the product up. For me its more treating the hair before you build it.“
And another personal one, what’s the craziest memory you have working backstage?
“Last season a last-minute model had big afro hair and we had 15 minutes to take it down. At that moment there were 5-10 people on one head working on taking the hair down. We couldn’t have done it without the help of our products; a loyal bow to Super Shine; the performance of it really brought it down for us.“
When did your journey as an educator with Oribe start?
“I’ve always followed Oribe since I was 18. I started 7-8 years ago when I first got to meet him and worked in Paris at a couture show. At that time, I fell in love with a product called Gel Serum and that completely changed my world. The journey started then.“
You have always liked to work with fashion, right? I think it’s something that you love or hate.
“I love it, my mom put my name on all my clothes, my dad was a designer so it’s part of me.“
Lastly is there something you want to share with our audience?
“What stands out from any other education course is that it is such an amazing group of educators, that the brand opened it up. Is that you have Coby, you have our global ambassador James Pecis, an incredible person and the work he’s doing for Vogue and leading magazines. With these Ateliers, you’ll be able to see Coby Alcantar, James Pecis, Christian Ceja-Compin and myself. What we’ll be showing is purely inspiration. We have a line of looks that we will be creating. It dives into technical pieces and inspiration pieces that people can take back to the salon and its one-on-one with us. It’s been successful throughout the year and we are totally looking forward to it, it’s going to be awesome.“