In an exclusive interview with Estetica Magazine, Josh Wood talks about his role as Wella Professionals’ newly appointed Color Visionary and explains the significance of this appointment for both himself and the Wella brand. By Gary Kelly:
Estetica: Josh, we are all delighted to learn that the newly created Wella Company has appointed you as it Wella Professionals Color Visionary!
Josh: “I am so pleased to be back at Wella at what is such an important and exciting time for the brand. Wella is the top professional colour house in the world and one which embodies precision, boldness and creativity. This is such an exciting time in my career for me to be back with Wella, because in my new role as Color Visionary I will be focussing on co-creating the products that will enable hair colourists to really elevate their skill and creativity as salon professionals. In doing so, we will also be providing them with the products to develop and grow in their careers as colourists.”
At Estetica we are, of course, already well-aware of your genius at creating uniquely outstanding hair colour – a skill which has made you one of the most sought-after colourists in the world. What makes your return to Wella in this newly-created role a significant move for you and how does your new position as Color Visionary differ from being Global Creative Director?
“While I have worked with Wella in different capacities throughout my career, this is the first my role has included working alongside Wella’s leading colour experts in research and development by helping to shape the future direction of the brand, as well as to help spearhead the development of breakthrough colour technologies. My new role is very different from when I was Global Creative Director and I had a lot of input in co-creating my new position. It is less about endorsing Wella as a corporate brand and more about bringing the Wella community together by developing the colour products that our industry will love and – as I mentioned before – helping them to evolve as colourists. My new role forges a clear path towards delighting our clients by having the best products in the world, ones which will showcase their skills and creativity through the outstanding results they will be able to achieve.”
We can really see this as a reunion of two industry icons: on one hand, Wella Professionals – the world’s leading colour brand, broadly recognised for having the highest commitment to technical precision and performance mastery and one of the broadest colour palettes in the professional industry; and on the other, yourself – one or the world’s most preeminent colourists. So from more of a creative perspective, what in particular excites you about this ‘reunion’ and the prospect of indulging yourself once more in the fascinating world of Wella colour?
“Wella has really got its finger on the pulse of where we are now as an industry. This is a time in which our industry is changing at such as fast pace, creatively as well as technologically. Wella really is at the forefront of responding to those changes and my new role befits that perfectly. As we move forward and leave the challenges of the pandemic behind us, we’ll find it’s less about big top-down companies leading from above and more about us all creating and driving forwards together on equal terms. I see myself as being instrumental in that – as a visionary acting between the corporate brand and the professional, both in terms of products and of creative direction.”
Knowing our industry, no doubt you’ll hit the ground running! What are the first jobs on your ‘to do’ list when you get back into the swing of things?
“You’re right! Despite the ink barely being dry on my new contract, I already have a couple of projects that have already kicked off. The first involves new developments around Koleston Perfect. We’re looking closely at the most recent launch and working on what really worked well and what could’ve been done differently. The other big project I’m looking at is my own baby – Illumina. Having said that, Illumina is no longer a baby but has grown into something of a demanding teenager who wants to take the next steps on its life journey! Illumina needs evolving and its potential is endless, especially with the new technologies that are being developed to be able to create the outstandingly sheer and natural colour for which Illumina is renowned.”
And finally on a more personal note, what have you found most challenging about the extraordinary period of history we have just lived through and what have been missed the most during lockdown and social distancing?
“I’ve been in hairdressing since I was 17 and in all that time I have never taken a long period of time off work. As with many other hairdressers, I have really missed using my hands in order to be creative in the way I love most. Salons are communities, so it has also been challenging to not see my clients and co-workers. During the first big lockdown which began in March 2020, I felt I was just counting time, but coming back this time I really have a renewed sense of what we need to do: not only to get back to being the very best we can be in delivering premium innovative hair colour, but also to up-skill and innovate and then to drive awareness and interest from our clients in everything we can do for them.”
Thank you for talking to us Josh. I think we can all agree that this partnership reconfirms Wella Professionals’ 140 year track record of attracting some of the most talented artists in the industry and affirms the brand’s commitment to challenging convention, especially when it comes to advancing product and service innovation.