The All-Star Trend Talk Panel on Sat., March 22 at America’s Beauty Show covered a range of topics courtesy of industry experts John Simpson of Goldwell, Kelly Ehlers of Evoke, Mark Hayes of Sassoon, Gerard Scarpaci of Hairbrained, Jan Nordstrom-Arnold of CND, Nick Irwin of TIGI and moderated by Fabio Sementelli of Wella.

 ABS Trend Panel 2014 Forecasts Dusty Pastels, Rugged Styles  ABS Trend Panel 2014 Forecasts Dusty Pastels, Rugged Styles

John C. Simpson, lead artistic director for Goldwell: Color inspiration through trends and success through design and placement

Simpson’s core ideal is that inspiration + education = success. He shared that much of his inspiration for hair color comes from car designs, architecture and, of course, fashion. “Every shade is something to give influence to every shape,” Simpson says.

Simpson’s presentation was peppered with humor – we think he could probably do stand-up on the side! – but still drove home that stylists will only get as far as they prepare and educate themselves. “Leaders influence their environment more than their environment influences them,” Simpson says.


Kelly Ehlers, Evoke Brands: Building your brand through social storytelling

“I think of social media as more of a telephone call with a good friend than a TV show,” Ehlers says to start to explain the strategies salons and stylists can use for branding themselves. The best strategy, Ehlers explains, is basically comprised of three phases: deciding who you are as a brand/company, figure out what your strengths/specialties are and decide how you want to get your message to potential clients (via social media).

Ehlers points out that “You have to tell a story before you get to the punchline—before you ask for the sale,” so the who of your brand is important. What’s your story and X-factor? Why are you better than the salon next door?

And the what is more technical; it’s all about realizing your strengths. Perhaps you want to be a colorist, nail tech or massage therapist above all else. That’s your what!

Finally, Ehlers says that the how is about promotion and deciding what social media platform might best convey your message. A very visual brand, for instance, would probably want to utilize Instagram.

 ABS Trend Panel 2014 Forecasts Dusty Pastels, Rugged Styles  ABS Trend Panel 2014 Forecasts Dusty Pastels, Rugged Styles

Mark Hayes, Sassoon International creative director: Forecasting trends for global inspiration

Hayes points out that a lot of hair trends are reflective of what’s going on socioeconomically and, again, in fashion. Not too long ago, Hayes says, the “urban dandy” look for men was what was trending. Now that the country is pulling itself out of a tough economic time, pioneer styles are kicking in—someone hardy to get us back on our feet.

As brands like L.L. Bean come back into popularity, it’s clear that those utility and Western looks are a big influence again. “My son is 20; his whole wardrobe looks like a lumberjack,” Hayes says.

Hair and fashion that Hayes shows draws inspiration from Clint Eastwood, Johnny Cash, Georgia O’Keefe, and schoolmarm and saloon girl tropes.

Gerard Scarpaci, co-founder of Hairbrained: Salon education trends and how to get involved in your professional community

Scarpaci also touches on how to use social media to your advantage in terms of education and your profession. He says that community trends revolve around doing, thinking and using, and education trends center more on producing, engaging and educating.

 ABS Trend Panel 2014 Forecasts Dusty Pastels, Rugged Styles  ABS Trend Panel 2014 Forecasts Dusty Pastels, Rugged Styles

Jan Nordstrom-Arnold, co-founder of CND nails: Nails as a fashion accessory

“A woman doesn’t have to be a size 2 to have fabulous nails,” Arnold says. She emphasizes that nails really complete a look and are should be fun.

CND in particular focuses on education for its nail professionals; every new line they produce is paired with an education class to help nail pros see the inspiration imagery for the line and create different, unique looks with the shades.

Spring for CND meant time-worn pastels (sounds a little like the pioneers Hayes spoke of!) and sandy tones for the Open Road collection. Summer is full of nearly neons in the Paradise collection to shake off the long, bleak winter that the country has been happening and put an eye on thinking exotic, beachy and “very Versace,” Arnold says.

Nick Irwin, TIGI global creative director: The latest from the world’s top runways

Irwin is no stranger to runways, and he and TIGI Catwalk have seen many already this year.

The runways seem to have a decent balance of both ends of the messy-sleek spectrum. A lot of braids are being produced in new and different ways—Irwin dipped some in gold for Mara Hoffman’s fall/winter line.

On the other side of things, Irwin has been styling sleeker looks for The Blonds and other brands. In general, designers seem to stick to either polished or artfully undone styles.


For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.