A Weekend of Inspiration!

Flex Collection Event

This last weekend a very significant hair show was presented here in Winnipeg by Schwarzkopf Professional. I will give you a report on this event below but first I want to say that it was significant not just because of how spectacular it was or the quality of the show per se (and it did have that in spades) but because of what it signals about our hairdressing community. Having been a Winnipeg stylist through the 90’s and 2000’s; working behind the chair I’ve also been fortunate enough to travel to other parts of Canada and get a sense of what hairdressers are like in other cities and communities. The slow decline in attendance at hair events over the years has happened nation wide with the smaller cities like ours seeing almost a complete pull back of these events in the last five years. I could go into detail about why I think this happened like education moving online or to smaller hands on classes but the important thing is that while event organizers were struggling to refocus and reformat the industry moved on. Hairdressers got into social media in a big way and the effect on the industry has been revolutionary. A new generation of stylists have come along too with different goals and vision. Their attitude is more immersive. Lifestyle, art and fashion are fused into their craft much more now and the apathy that may have contributed to the decline in attendance at shows is gone…for now.


The level of production for this event was quite high. Three big LED screens mixed flashy videos to segue each segment of the show with roving cameramen capturing all the angles for the audience of over 500. The event started with the main stage show on Sunday evening at 7 pm at Club Regent Event Center. The following Monday more education from the stage from 10 am till 2:30. The first segment presented by Kathy Simon and Rossa Jurenas was the trend collection in three parts: Genderless, Kool Blonds, and Athleisure, each one representing a different trend from androgynous crop cuts to dusty cool blonds to fashionable undone styling. They talked about the inspirations for the trends but most importantly they explained how we might adapt them for our salon guests. On Monday they started the program again but then they actually did models on stage to go over the techniques that were used.

The second segment was called the Bold and the Beautiful. This showcased the talents of Jean Sébastien Lacombe doing the Bold looks and Michelle Finlayson doing the Beautiful looks. These two apparently have never worked on stage together before but they complimented each other really well. They had such beautiful hair to work on too. Monday they had a longer segment and did more amazing styling.

The last part of the show was dedicated to men’s styling presented by Matty Conrad. This talented man had everyone’s attention. He brought up three groups of models to demonstrate the different eras of men’s styling and talked about why they’re important now…the gist of which is that they made men look handsome. He closed the show on Monday too with also a longer segment in which he did a hands on demo. Men’s barbering is so much back in fashion for men and even though most hairdressers are dedicated to the salon repertoire they love changing gears and picking up the clippers too.

The Headliner, if you will, was celebrity stylist Kim Vo from LA. Although they made us wait until Monday to bring him out he didn’t disappoint. His personality is very outspoken but he has the knowledge and insight to back it up. How he captures the client-hairdresser relationship and gets you to understand it is amazingly powerful.

Events now have to have a lot going on to satisfy; high production, polished presenters, fashions, trends, and also hospitality. The Schwarzkopf event this last weekend here in Winnipeg had all of it and then some (presenters even mingled with the attendees during cocktails and during lunch on day two)! I talked to many of my colleagues after and during the show and everyone had only good things to say about it. Way To GO Schwarzcopf Professional you nailed it! Thank you for a great event from all of us!

by Renn VanDyck


Élan Hair Studio

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