Led by the uber talented LUIS ALVAREZ, the lucky 80 attending got A LOT for their $450.  Yes…not a typo….$450.

We all met in Miami Beach and most stayed along Collins Avenue at the Park Central Hotel, a two minute walk from the venue.  I actually giggle when I call the Paris Theater a “venue”. This place is simply amazing. A former real deal theater, the multi-level building is now used for photoshoots, films, commercials, fashion shows, events…cool things. That Calvin Klein ad with the hot guy in his undies was shot on the roof.  The building, both inside and out, is all white, top to bottom. Peppered with sturdy antique-ish furniture, the Paris has a very historic, retro feel. Luis “worked out a deal” with the owners to get Aquage in there. It was an honor just being in this classic Miami Beach institution.

The group was split in two to make the education more intimate and to allow the educators to circulate easily.  Eric Fisher, owner of the famed Wichita salon, led two cutting classes offering the intricacies of blunt and layered cutting.  His incredibly informative business class was “optional”.  Everyone showed.

Aquage:  The Amazing Masterclass

The Eric Fisher Cutting Class

 

Aquage:  The Amazing Masterclass

The seminar held at the "inspiration wall

Ann Bray, OMG, held an “Art of Backcombing” class that taught even the most incredibly inept (me) how to create a breath-taking updo. I spoke to several people working on mannequin heads saying they hadn’t done an up-do since beauty school. These cutters felt that they couldn’t wait to give it a shot for real in the salon. I am forever impressed by talented people. Ann Bray had my jaw on the floor.

In my chit-chats with those attending, I found that many were there to attend the photo class. Luis, a fantastic photographer, performed an actual photo shoot for the crowd. (check out our March 2008 issue. Luis did the cover and multiple inside pages!) We saw the model prepared from start to finish, including wardrobe and make up. Luis then demonstrated, right before our eyes, how he can (and does) manipulate his images to perfection via photo shop.

Aquage:  The Amazing Masterclass

Eric Fisher and Luis Alvarez kick off the Aquage Masterclass

These classes will be held in Miami Beach and Chicago several times each year, but I’ve learned that for obvious reasons they sell out quickly. The next dates are: September 28th & 29th in Chicago and Nov 2nd & 3rd back in Miami. (for more, go to www.aquage.com and select "Aquage Academy" from the top navigation bar). According to Luis “I want this Academy to create an environment where other salon professionals can come and be inspired, learn, grow and at the end of the day become more successful both creatively and financially.” At the end of the second day I interviewed 10 “graduates” of the program.  All felt the two days went above and beyond their expectations.

Luis told me he will probably have to up the price at some point, but really, the value here is nothing short of INCREDIBLE. It’s worth it for any and everyone to go to. I mean, really. Great education, great crowd, great place. This academy delivers.