Ben Hudgins, founder and owner of the Novak Hair Studios, brought seven of the 40 Luxury Solo Artists from his Fort Worth, Texas, salon to New York City to take over an Artist Session, MODERN’s photoshoot workshop.
The group, along with assistants, attended the event to learn how to create award-winning photos, unleash their creativity and realize their vision while on set with MODERN’s team—photographer Roberto Ligresti, makeup artist David Maderich and fashion stylist Rod Novoa under the direction of MODERN’s Beauty and Fashion Director Maggie Mulhern.
“When we challenge ourselves to live outside our comfort zone, amazing things can happen,” Hudgins says. Although each artist works independently under the Novak Hair Studios roof, Hudgins wants to share all knowledge and knows that as a group they are stronger.
The session was held at the Goldwell/KMS Academy in the Meatpacking district to take advantage of its beautiful floor plan, balconies and amazing views of the city’s skyline.
Speakers on day one included Bradley Irion, top celebrity artist (clients include Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, Elizabeth Hurley, Leighton Meester); public relations expert Mary McConnell, communications head, Salon U.S./Kao Salon Division, and Nate Rosencrantz, who spoke about his experiences as a lead hairdresser at New York Fashion Week.
The Novak artists then each selected a model from the 72 candidates that showed up for the casting—a surprising turnout on a Sunday. To further inspire the participants, all were treated to a tour of the YouTube studios.
Day two was equally amazing. Although each artist had a unique vision, the Novak team supported one another to help make that dream come true. That reality was made easier given the great tools provided by Hot Tools in a special goody bag filled with curling irons, a flat iron, a micro crimping iron, a blow dryer and little hidden surprises such as brushes, clips and aprons.
All finishes were photographed on a classic set inside the studio and then outside on the balcony with skyscrapers and the Hudson River as a backdrop.
“At one point, I stopped and looked around,” Hudgins says. “Seeing my tribe fulfilling their dreams and working together as one solid team made my heart full. As a leader my one goal is to see the dreams of my team come true, and Artist Session did just that. Every single one of us is forever changed.“
Photographer: Roberto Ligresti
Makeup: David Maderich assisted by Jenny Thomas and Jessica Zac
Fashion stylist: Rod Novoa
Nails: Armani Je’ton
Tools: Hot Tools