MODERN EXCLUSIVE: An Interview with Kenny Kahn on Beauty & Pin-Ups
Kenneth Kahn surrounded by pin-up beauties at Global Beauty Masters.
Beauty & Pin-Ups, a dynamic brand and luxury hair care collection, was launched last summer by Level Beauty Group with beauty industry veterans Kenny Kahn and Brian Anderson and brand founder, stylist and designer Priel Maman. Beauty & Pin-Ups celebrates the strong, sassy, take-me-as-I-am woman. MODERN spoke with Kahn about the brand’s dedication to beautiful, healthy hair.
MS: How did Beauty & Pin-Ups evolve?
KK: When we met Priel, we realized instantly that we were working with a stylist and designer with great vision and a highly artistic mind. We’ve brought together a collection of extremely talented people with an unwavering willingness to do things that others just aren’t willing to do. We said, ‘Let’s think differently about beauty.’ The world doesn’t need another hair care line, but the industry does need to be challenged and disrupted. We’ve got some great ideas on how to energize the industry in the process. We feel like we have a purpose, and it’s exciting to be on this journey.
MS: What about the image and the story of the pin-up inspired you?
KK: The pin-up has been a symbol of beauty, femininity, sexuality and empowerment for 100 years, from Betty Grable to Rita Hayworth from Raquel Welch to Dita Von Teese. The pin-up is a symbol of confident, liberated women. We loved that message. So when it came to fleshing out our brand’s story and intention, we thought about the pin-ups of the day sending photos oversees to the men they loved. We connected the dots to the women of today taking their personal beauty and empowerment into their own hands, literally, with selfies. The selfie generation is a continuation of the pin-up generation. Good days, bad days, curves, curls and all, women still parlay their confidence into powerful images. And that’s a message we truly love.
MS: Share a bit about your partnership with Best Buddies International.
KK: Best Buddies is an amazing organization that helps people with all forms of intellectual disabilities find friendship, peer to peer connections and employment, live more independently, develop as leaders and advocates, and more importantly, to feel valued. Our Best Buddies Ambassadors were at our side when we officially launched the brand at Beauty Systems Group’s President’s Weekend. So many innovators in the industry disappeared from the market as a result of acquisitions; while our goal of disrupting the market means bringing innovations, design and technologies that are going disrupt, it also means empowering our brand with a social conscious and approaching stylists, salon owners and our customers differently. It’s important to us to build a brand with a soul.
MS: Tell us about your participation in “Global Beauty Masters.”
KK: Working with Global Beauty Masters was an extraordinary experience. Katie Meade, our ambassador from Best Buddies International, Priel Maman and myself challenged 13 global style teams to design the perfect pin-up. They used our incredible products and worked with Priel and our new tool, The Iron, to bring vintage pin-up style to life in the most modern and fresh way possible. Our episode airs in early April and we can’t wait to see the finished show.
MS: Any last words to share?
KK: This is absolutely a labor of love. At Beauty & Pin-Ups, we say, ‘Love It. Live It. Own It,’ because that’s how we approach building our company, our brand, our relationships and our friendships. There’s a genuine, organic chemistry among the people involved here and the energy continues to build and build. That’s another message we truly love.