9 December 2023

Masa Honda – An Interview with the Creative Director for Aveda Japan

Masa Honda is the Creative Director for Aveda Japan. Estetica recently interviewed him to find out more about his role.

While talking to Masa Honda, we were also very excited to be able to talk to him about the new “See Color in a New Light” Collection, which he has presented in association with Aveda.

Masa Honda
You are the Creative Director for Aveda Japan tell us about your role and how you came to work with Aveda?

Aveda’s mission is to care for the world we live in, from the products that we make to the ways in which we give back to society. Aveda strives to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility. This attracted me to the brand and as Creative Director for Aveda Japan I can contribute to this vision through my creative work and experiences.

What do you love about working with the Aveda brand?

Aveda offers high-performing vegan products and at its core is a creative brand so being involved in these creative projects really attracts me to the brand. I have been given the opportunity to take part in many creative projects developing designs and concepts that help bring the brand vision to life and this is very meaningful to me.

Aveda is a leader in sustainability, how do you connect to this aspect of the brand and brand’s mission to care for the world?

I personally pursue an environmentally conscious lifestyle, proactively implementing practices such as reusing, recycling, and limiting my waste. This makes me feel a connection with the brand as the mission resonates with me. It is a joy to be able to contribute to caring for our planet through the work that I do.

By working with Aveda, I believe we can raise environmental awareness and be leaders in sustainability throughout the entire beauty industry. My connection and the brand’s mission share a common goal which is to care for the world we live in, and I wish to contribute to this goal.

Your newest collection, See Color in a New Light, just launched, what was your inspiration? How did you translate this to hair color?

Light and shadow coexist… The brightness of the city with hidden spots surrounded by buildings, the changing shapes of shadows, onshore winds fluctuating scenic colors by time, and geological strata that gives us a glimpse of millions of years flown by. My inspiration came from these shades of the city and textures of nature to create a world of Aveda color for this collection.

Tell us about the behind the scenes of the shoot. What went into the shoot to make it happen?

For this collection, to portray the vigor and colorfulness of Asia, we collaborated with the Aveda Taiwan team and used a very creative approach. Together, we were able to interweave Asian sensibility and local energy into one piece of work.

Do the ideas come to you organically when creating a collection or do you use a specific creative process when you are working?

Sometimes ideas do come organically, but I also have specific approaches to generate ideas. I sometimes gain inspiration from the Aveda brand mission and vision when considering elements of nature and sustainability. Creative brainstorming, trend research, and exploration of new environments are also very important. I respect uniqueness and utilize creative methods to create an Aveda Collection.

What was it like working with Aveda’s Full Spectrum range?

Aveda’s Full Spectrum is a wonderful and customizable hair color line-up since you can create any hair color of your imagination. I can be very confident in recommending Aveda Full Spectrum because the coloring process gives beautiful results, you are free to design any color creatively, and the inspiration you can gain from the shades and finished look is exceptionally rich.

How does this technique show your idea of light and shadow?

Full Spectrum, with its naturally derived pigments, beautifully expresses the contrast between light and shadow while pursuing harmony between the two. During the color session, I was inspired by the glitter of light and the deepness of shadow, and I created the perfect color formula for each individual model. Full Spectrum is a powerful tool to bring your ideas to life.

The images are editorial, how can the technique be translated into something salon-friendly?

Through custom color consultation, Aveda artists can visually capture light and shadow, and offer the optimal color formula that best fits the facial features and framework of each of their guests. The collection teaches my specific techniques so artists can offer fascinating color services that leverage light and shadow technique.

What hair colors do you think consumers will be drawn to this fall?

Rich Brown: Rich, deep brown colors will draw attention this fall. Warm tones and chocolate browns are popular – adding highlights/lowlights will create dimension.

Color melt: A fine blend of several colors is also popular. Combining warm tone browns, caramel, honey, or gold, gives a soft, warm look to your hair color.

Ocean Blue: Cool colors will also draw attention. Hair colors incorporating ash blonde, icy grey, and cool blue tones are popular, giving a cool and mature impression.

Masa Honda
How do you dedicate time to being truly creative? What are your creative outlets?

I gain inspiration from classical and modern art, as well as nearby landmarks, and the mountains and the ocean. It is very interesting to interweave these elements to structure a story or drama to create a perspective of the world.

Why do you take the time to make collections; why are they important?

The importance of taking time to make collections is just like an artist putting their soul into a canvas. It is a time of lively creation for the designer and a time to nurture aesthetics. Creating a collection is a magical moment, gathering the threads of a message or story. By spending plenty of time, delicate details and a unique identity emerge, and the quality of the artwork is pursued. In the end, the collection garners the power to give inspiration and emotionally connect with the guest. That is why I take the time to work on collections.

How do you see the salon business – how do you see it evolve?

Salon business is a very important and attractive field that continues to evolve. Utilizing digital tools, prioritizing sustainable choices, and offering customized experiences are important. You need to be keen on trends and fashion, and constantly update your skills. The salon is a special place for the guest and fulfills the role of a total beauty advisor. The key to success is to evolve according to guest needs, to offer innovative services, and to build strong connections with the guest.

Aveda embraces artistry and education, is this a part of the brand DNA that resonates with you?

Aveda’s approach is to pursue beauty through creativity and education, focusing on respecting people and nature in a sustainable way. I believe these principles are attractive and very meaningful to many people.

What is your favorite Aveda product – why?

The Chakra sprays. The sensibility and creativity that I sense from the aromas always keep me in a positive mood. I also love the Botanical Repair line and professional treatment as it provides extra strength and damage repair during color services.

What do you like about working with hair?

I enjoy creating beautiful designs, communicating with guests, and constantly learning and developing myself. Ultimately, my guests’ smile is the source of my joy.

If you weren’t a hair artist, what would you be?

Perhaps I might have been a bungee jump instructor. I think you can provide courage and confidence to people through the thrilling experience of diving from a great height. Pursuing new challenges and adventures is my passion.


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