Aveda hosts its Congress every three years and each time (and I have attended a number of them) the global management and artistic teams set a new standard.
Congress 2011 was held Sunday October 2 at the Minneapolis Convention Center and was titled “Pow Wow.”
Company President Dominique Conseil welcomed the 4,000 attendees on behalf of the “Aveda tribe” and explained that the Native American word “Pow Wow” perfectly describes Congress as an event of “gathering and sharing.”
“We are all united by the Aveda mission,” he said as he shared the stage with company Co-Founder Shiv Nath Tandon who said that what Aveda means to him is “Health, Harmony, Happiness and Heart.”
The festivities began with a presentation by the Aveda North American Artistic Team of Ricardo Dinis, Allen Ruiz, Ian Michael Black and Janell Geason.
Ricardo worked his cutting magic and said that looks were moving from structure to softness with an emphasis on classics. Ian Michael Black, color director, discussed new dramatic hair color shades and Janell Geason, global make-up director, complemented the styles with the sumptuous new Aveda Jewels of the Earth make-up collection. Allen Ruiz turned to perennial favorite, Aveda Control Force hair spray to create textures and waves with a 70s influence.
Probably the biggest news at Congress was the upcoming launch of Full Spectrum Pure Pigments hair color. David Adams. Aveda guest artist and color consultant introduced the vivid new shades with models sporting each dramatic hue. During the day, two additional Full Spectrum segments featured more color effects from Aveda guest artists and color mavens Lupe Voss and Ana Karzis. Lupe concentrated on the Violet Red with ombre (or as she prefers to say “progression color”) with her butterfly foil technique. Ana used her tap and twist method of tapping on the color and twisting the strand for lighter or darker effect depending on the tightness of the twist.
Men got their fair share of attention from Van Council, co founder of the Van Michael Salons, and his team of Daniel Holzberger, Brandon Darragh, Jeffrey Goldenstein and David Munn who all swear that men’s hair “is not boring” and they demonstrated that statement with bold lines, geometrics, and cuts that go from business-like to club-like with a quick change of partings.
Peter Gray, editorial consultant and Aveda guest artist, conducted a photo shoot on stage taking his inspiration from the devastating Japanese tsunami. After showing a video of his visit to destroyed area of Japan, he turned disaster into unique beauty with intricately constructed headpieces turning the scenes of wreckage into beauty.
Jon Reyman, a fixture behind the scenes at Fashion Week, was joined by a member of each of the Aveda Institutes to demonstrate his cutting and styling techniques that are in demand on the runway, but translate well to the salon.
Celebrity stylist Tippi Shorter and her team brought the audience to its feet with her recreations of Red Carpet styles she designed for clients that include Jennifer Hudson, Rihanna and Alicia Keyes.
Throughout the day, videos showcased Aveda’s environmental and sustainability efforts that are such an integral part of the brand, especially the company’s clean water initiatives and Earth Day fundraising. Aveda and Global Greengrants Foundation raised more than $6 million through sales of Aveda “Light the Way” candles.
Team Canada ended the day’s session with a rousing show that prepared everyone of the evening presentation spearheaded by Aveda Senior Vice President of Creative and Global Creative Director Antoinette Beenders who demonstrated her cutting talent showing, among others, a cut that she kept taking shorter and shorter and yet became more beautiful with each precise snip.
Again, attendees rose to their feet and the auditorium erupted as Beenders made her concluding remarks, ending with “Let’s Party.”