Kicking off the event, RUSH Co-Founder, Stell Andrew, spoke about the salon group’s new partnership with the Kao Corporation, outlining the particularly exciting year that lies ahead for the two brands.
“All of us at Kao Salon are so proud to have RUSH back onboard. Our long-standing friendship and ongoing support for each other mark the start of what will prove to be one of the industry’s most successful and talked-about partnerships. We’re so proud to have joined Stell, Andy and the RUSH team here at the RUSH Academy for their After Dark event. Bringing together team members from across the salons for a night of creativity and inspiration, it was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our new partnership and we cannot wait for a brilliant year ahead!” – Julie Winchester, General Manager, Kao Salon Division UK & Ireland
Following Julie, Mitch Lucas of Goldwell explained how strong the bond between the two companies has always been, before Co-Founder Andy Phouli announced that 2023 is certain to be RUSH’s best year ever.
RUSH International Art Director, Andy Heasman, was brought on stage and a short video introduced the latest RUSH team member to join the Art Team. A very surprised Sophie Chandler was honoured to being joining the team, describing her incredible journey from being a 15-year-old RUSH Saturday girl to leading her own team at London Fashion Week.
The informal and immersive evening continued, with the audience encouraged to move around and interact with the team who were dotted around different points of the room. Kirsty Judge and Tina Memhi – both members of the Rush Colour Team – demonstrated salon-friendly techniques that elevated haircuts by clever colour placement.
Head of Assistant Education and Art Team member, Michael Rackett, cut a stunning brunette box bob to showcase the strength of a haircut and his technical approach to it. Sophie Chandler created a stunning editorial look with black braids and chopsticks. New Workshop Team member, Nicole Appadu, also demonstrated an intricate Avant Garde look using different-sized plaits to create a style reflective of the work the team have created previously at Fashion Week.
The evening finished with Editorial Director, Tina Farey, taking centre stage. Her model was an homage to the late Vivienne Westwood with a nod to John Galliano. “Vivienne Westwood was an incredible influence on me. She was a Punk, loved the classics and was a disrupter who fought for the causes she believed in,” said Tina. “She has left a tremendous legacy and along with one of her close friends, John Galliano, they have been instrumental in shaping the fashion industry. I want to celebrate them both with this look.”
Epitomising both designers, Tina used victory rolls to create the shape, backcombed heavily, incorporated Galliano-inspired newspaper accessories and created a powdered effect with pale blue and pink spray – the overall result excellently reflected couture looks of the 90s with a contemporary twist.
“What an incredible night. It was fantastic to see so many RUSH team members here to network and learn from their colleagues. The work the team showcased was on point and I’m sure the attendees have lots to take back to their salons. The range of work was so diverse, and it shows our younger team what can be achieved by attending the courses we offer at the Academy. I can’t wait for the next one.” – Adam Bryant, RUSH Academy Director.
Photo Credits: @thecontentcreators for Kao Salon