Set in sunny San Diego in the city’s urban playground the Gaslamp Quarter, the Westin Hotel was host to this year’s UNITE Global Session.
The sixth assembly of the UNITE family, this year in its hometown of Southern California, also celebrated the brands’ 16th birthday. Guests flew in from all over the world, some from as far as Australia, to attend the event and be inspired by all the techniques, tools and creations we were destined to see.
On arrival UNITE held a Welcome Reception, a chance to mix and mingle with UNITE and the Global Artistic Team.
Sweet Sixteen-themed (tiaras and everything!), the party was set under the stars and the fairy lights on the Westin’s rooftop terrace. As the kick-starter for the Global Session the nibbles, drinks, dancing and of course photobooth did not disappoint.
The following morning, Global Session VI began! Guests arrived at the historic Balboa Theatre for a jam-packed itinerary of cutting and styling inspiration and education. CEO and founder of UNITE Andrew Dale (known as Dale) opened proceedings, welcoming guests and commenting on the special UNITE milestone.
“What makes this Global Session so special is that it’s our 16th birthday! 16 years! Isn’t that crazy! People thought I was crazy for starting a product company, said it would never work, but look at us now!”
First up on stage was Karine Jackson, UNITE Global Creative Director Gary Baker and Diego Miranda, beginning the conference with an Editorial Styling Session creating red carpet glamour looks and giving the audience hair up tips. The rest of the day was filled with a Cutting session from Paul Stafford, Melissa Timperley and Jesse Gaines and another Editorial Styling session with Brendan O’Sullivan, Shaun McGrath and Matthew Curtis. There was also a Men’s seminar, another Cutting and another Editorial Styling seminar.
Then it was time for the evening bash; a huge Halloween party at Parq Nightclub! Guests dressed to the nines in fierce and frightening costumes. CEO Dale came as Captain Hook! With drinks flowing and the music pumping the UNITE family partied into the early hours.
With a few sore heads in the audience, the second day of the UNITE Global Session VI kicked off with a panel of tastemakers; Dominick Serna, Graham Nation, Marissa Marino and Michelle Zeller Porumb, who talked about everything from work and home life to using social media to market your work.
The rest of the final day featured more Editorial Styling and Cutting seminars from UNITE Ambassadors and culminated in a stunning Avant Garde session with Shaun McGrath, Gary Baker, Renee Africa. Shaun created an absolutely awe-inspiring ocean themed look, fixing coral pieces to his model’s hair before bringing out a ladder to add fish.
The result? An almost three foot tall underwater masterpiece.
Bringing Global Session VI to a close, all the ambassadors piled onto the stage in an eruption of cheers and applause from the audience for what was a truly an educational, thought-provoking and inspiring insight into the world of the UNITE family. For even more insight, check out the recap video on our website…until next time San Diego!