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Choose Beauty: Antoinette Beenders

Victoria Wurdinger | July 10, 2011 | 11:22 PM
For Antoinette Beenders, love is work and work is art. The spirited Brit shares her passion for hair and education.

Antoinette’s Surprising Secrets

Favorite Music: The early ’90s. “Ministry of Sound and Massive Attack; I was a club queen.”

Guilty Pleasure:
Collecting fine art photography. “I’ve a bit of a habit and like to go to Reflex Art Gallery in Amsterdam.”

Biggest Challenge on Set:
Finding models in the middle of Norway. “One girl showed up, so I had her take me all around the village and introduce me to her friends.”

Life Changer:
Visiting Nepal. “They have nothing, and it made me realize I don’t need things. This makes you powerful as a person; you can do what you need to do.”

Choose Beauty: Antoinette Beenders

Antoinette Beenders, vice president of creative and global creative director of Aveda, is one of those people who makes it straight-up obvious why they’re so successful. She lives and breathes hair, design and image creation.

Unaware that not everyone’s so hard driven, she pegs herself as boring: “My hobby is my work; I eat, sleep, drink it. My top beauty rules are sleep, eat healthy organic food and exercise. My guilty pleasure is to stay home.”

Centered and focused, yes. But boring? Anything but. The 2004 British Hairdresser of the Year and nine-time nominee has traveled the globe and worked with the world’s top creative talent. She currently spends most her time creating images for Aveda, developing new products, photographing models and designing ads. What she’d most like to do next is win an award for an Aveda ad campaign, and she probably will.

“My job encompasses so many things; I’m never in a rut,” says Beenders.

The Roots of Success

Born in Holland, Beenders says her mother was an accountant and her father was a photographer who showed her how to see things. She got the best of both, she adds, but more importantly was raised to have confidence: “There’s a lot to be said for that.” Apparently so, because there’s not question she can’t answer with ease:

How do you create a collection?

“Go to history and juxtapose. Do Bardo with a twist. Go matte not smooth. Add the opposite of what’s expected; if sepia was photographically hot last season, try neon. Then show the looks in short, medium and long variations with altered textures.”

Where do you get new ideas?

“Everywhere! Get out of the salon. Go to a museum. I love the New York and Paris fabric exhibitions, which translate into length and texture. I’m not a Facebook girl but online, I like the fashion gone rogue website.”

Dream makeover?

“The Queen of England. She needs a good cut and a blow out. I actually looked into it but apparently it’s rule of the monarchy that she has to look as she does on the currency.”

A tad cheeky that, but only natural coming from a woman who says if she hadn’t been a hairdresser, she’d have been a detective.

“I like to suss things out, research and fix problems,” says Beenders. “Right now, I have enough ideas for the next 10 years.”

Choose Beauty: Antoinette Beenders
Antoinette Beenders, shooting at the Trona Pinnacles in California’s Mojave Desert.

Choose Beauty: Antoinette Beenders
Beenders’ fave image is her newest one for Aveda, inspired by the 1980s blow out and the financial news, transformed into sassy fashion.

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