The Aquage Academy held at Chicago's McCormick Place on June 26–27, 2016, invariably provided wide-ranging and valuable education through the impressive amount of talent available to attendees. 130 stylists were stationed at tables of 10 or fewer, with an Aquage educator at each table. The group alternated between watching demonstrations on stage by Luis Alvarez, Eric Fisher and other educators, and then returning to their tables for hands-on practice and individual instruction.
"We jam pack these academies with talent," Fisher says. No matter what it is, whether it’s business—I did a business program this morning—or salon hairdressing or cutting, we want to share our passion and keep the energy going. Our mission is good will, elevating and loving the industry."
Day 1 of the Academy focused on creating modern, timeless special occasion hair, emphasizing fast, one-of-a-kind techniques to achieve on-trend updos. Alvarez wrapped up the day with an image-making and branding class. Day 2 begins with a class on best business practices for owners and stylists led by Fisher. Next, attendees participate in a hands-on cutting class, featuring razor cutting techniques from Aquage's new 1One Blade DVD. Stylists learn how to diffuse cuts and create texture with structure. By the end of the day, each had created three modern, salon friendly haircuts with a touch of edgy style.
"Our motto has always been 'to show how, not show off,' and we strive to embrace our fellow artists regardless of their skill level, so seasoned veterans and young hairdressers alike will benefit," Alvarez says.
Throughout the Academy, Dennis Lubin, president and co-founder of Aquage, could be found weaving through the tables of working stylists, snapping photos of their work as each look progressed. He took the stage to recognize four of Aquage's top 20 salon accounts for purchases who were in attendance and were presented with their awards.
Vanis Salon & Spa in Schereville, Indiana was presented with a Top 20 Award. "This award is very special since Vanis didn’t start with Aquage until mid-2015," Lubin says.
Another Top 20 Award was presented to Zano Salons in Naperville, Illinois, which has received awards every year since inception.
The Top Single Location Salon in the USA Award went to Salon 01 in Carmel, Indiana for the third year in a row.
The Top Salon in the USA for overall performance was presented to Eric Fisher Salons in Wichita, Kansas. "Not only is Eric a charter member of the Aquage Educational Team, he runs some of the most successful salons in the country," Lubin says. "His cosmetology school, Eric Fisher Academy also received a Top 20 award for their purchases."
MODERN SALON Editors Elizabeth Jakaitis and Jamie Newman discussed ageless color with Alvarez, the stylist behind MODERN's July cover shoot. Watch the interview here:
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.