It was all hands-on-deck at Oribe’s two-day Journey to Mastery Educator Training, which was held stateside for the first time ever in NYC’s Canoe Studios. Oribe gathered some of its top educators (Global Ambassador James Pecis, Creative Director Ronnie Stam, Director of Training and Content Kien Hoang, International Training Lead Educator Nicci Welsh, and Educator Davide Marinelli) to lead the event, where they taught 30 international educator stylists their Journey to Mastery knowledge. The goal: These educators will then pass that knowledge onto salons and stylists in their respective countries, which will streamline Oribe’s Journey to Mastery education program worldwide. “It’s about quality, perfection and holding yourself to a certain level. We’re building a sense of pride,” says Pecis. The educators, who went through a stringent video interview process to be chosen, hailed from 11 different countries across the globe. Think: from Australia to Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Canada, UAE and the UK.
The curriculum was jam-packed with demos, some of which were followed by hand-on workshops with live models. On Day 1, Pecis demonstrated how to craft five extreme looks in one hour: manipulating wigs to create fake layers and an asymmetrical design, romantic knots, a spin on a beehive, and a look he crafted for Comme des Garcons’ book at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “I wanted to show what you would do on a normal day on set when you’re going from look to look and how to understand products so you don’t back yourself into a hole,” says Pecis, who also demoed a look that involved sewing hair into place.
Welsh chose to demo a fresh take on cornrow braids to showcase the simplicity of creating the look. “It took me a long time to figure out how to teach it,” she notes. “We’re not just teaching the educators, we’re also teaching them how to pass that information on [to stylists and those stylists to their customers].” Welsh stressed the importance of this trickle-down effect. “If we don’t start at this level trying to trickle it down, how is the consumer ever going to get that knowledge of which product to use where and when? You’re doing an injustice to your client if you don’t explain what you’re doing [with their hair]. They’ll have no chance of redoing it themselves.”
In one of the looks Hoang demoed, a rocker-esque Teddy Girl, the educators were shown a multitude of techniques: how to use a braid base to conceal length, how to cup locks to create a natural S-style wave, and how to create a square-shaped pompadour. Hoang noted that this event doesn’t solely focus on teaching the educators a slew of techniques. Also on the agenda: product application; good practice on how to be with clients; how to use hard tools, wet tools and hot tools; forming and shaping foundations; and understanding how to create more wearable looks. “What I hope to get the most out of today with teaching our international educators is that we keep everything as consistent as possible,” he says. “[I want] everybody to understand our brand and share it throughout the world in a precise teaching manner, which can be brought back to the salon with ready-to-wear looks that clients do actually understand [so they can] style their [own] hair with our products.”
[Images by Molly Church]