Industry News

Cuban Salsa, Industry Awards and Marvelous Hair at the ABS BeautyBash

Lauren Salapatek | March 16, 2016 | 9:45 AM

On Saturday night, March 12th at America’s Beauty Show in Chicago, the ABS ballroom was transformed into a chic, decorated room that resembled the nightlife and Whispers of Old Havana – where cocktail hour escalated into a performance venue ushered in by The Havana Dancers. Starting like a flash mob, the dancers wowed attendees (more than 800!) with their amazing technique and athleticism heralding the start of the BeautyBash's “Fashion Peek” evening.

Denise Provenzano, President of Cosmetologists Chicago, presented the first award of the night – The Jerry Gordon Salon Business Leadership Award. “We lost Jerry last fall, our hearts are broken but we do have the opportunity to live on with what Jerry has taught us all,” said Provenzano. To honor Gordon’s passing, Provenzano invited his wife, Karen Gordon to say a memorial speech on stage. Karen presented The Jerry Gordon Salon Business Leadership Award to Nick Arrojo, renowned celebrity hairstylist based in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City.

Intercoiffure America/Canada honored long time member Mario Tricoci that evening with its coveted Heart & Soul Award. There was also an appearance by Nick Viall from ABC’s The Bachelor, arranged by Quality Beauty Supply.

After the presentations of these prestigious awards, Celebrity stylist Tabatha Coffey and Matrix Artistic Director Chrystofer Benson took the stage to announce their creative partnership.

“Tabatha and I have been friends for a long time – she went away and did her thing, I became Matrix Artistic Director, did a couple NAHAs, and then we thought we would come back together for nothing more than the art and the industry,” said Benson.

“Hair is my favorite thing to do. I love it. I love hairdressers more than anything on the face of the planet - I think we’re amazing. I love doing hair more than anything else; it’s my therapy, my pleasure my joy. When Chrystofer called me one day and said, ‘you know what, it’s been awhile, not saying you’re rusty or anything, but you should come and join me at the studio and I think we should just do a little something.’ I felt like I was back on the road – the rest is history and here we are!” said Coffey.

Kenny Kahn, CEO of Beauty & Pinups, a sassy, luxurious salon line of products, proudly announced the brand’s partnership with Best Buddies International, which is dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Katie Meade, Beauty & Pinup’s Best Buddies Ambassador, took the stage and talked about how she lives her life “fearlessly.”  

Afterwards, CoCre8’s Christopher Dove and John Simpson discussed their brand and haircolor looks they presented on stage. “Hair is a canvas – we go through the whole trend, the phenomenon – I’m a mermaid, I’m a pixie, I’m a unicorn, I’m a fairy, but no matter what, I’m a colorist. With this presentation, we co-created together to give you the inspiration that hair is art,” says Simpson.

The rest of the night was full of model presentations – including a marching band act showing off hairstyles by Van Council, and an extravagant model and dancer parade through the audience to Cuban salsa and swing music.



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