Saturday, July 2, 2011
5 Minutes With David Adams of redCHOCOLATE
It was David Adam’s lifelong love of artistry that led him to a career in hairdressing—and ultimately, as a globally known and respected specialist in color. In both his past position as technical artistic director for Aveda Corporation and his current role as cofounder and president of the newly formed redCHOCOLATE, David sees his role as twofold: To create work that speaks to the hairdresser through inspiring images, and to provide education that sustains the artist within him or her.
Alongside his world-renowned technical and educational work, David Adams is also held in high esteem among the art, fashion and music worlds, garnering an enviable list of celebrity clients that includes Björk, Brenda Blethyn, Cher, Claudia Schiffer, Heather Graham, Jude Law, Kylie Minogue, Peter Gabriel, Sadie Frost, The Spice Girls and Sting. David has also worked for such fashion greats as Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan, Balenciaga, Miu Miu and Prada.
David’s goal with redCHOCOLATE is to inspire and develop the hair color professional while supporting salons with the holistic systems required to expand their hair color and texture businesses.
Q1. What was the first record you bought and did it change your life in anyway?
I came from a music loving family. My grandparents ran a traditional English Pub, sing alongs at weekends and Bank Holidays. Grandad on the mic after a few... Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Englebert Humperdinck, Tom Jones etc.
My Uncle was only 10 years older than me and had a large collection of 7” singles, Beatles, Stones etc. (Which I now own!) Music was all around.
The first single I bought was T.Rex ‘Hot Love’ I was 13. It certainly did change my life!
Bolan with his feather Boa, Pink Satin Jacket, Curly hair looking like a Cherub. Then Mickey Finn connection... The whole thing absolutely confused me. But I wanted a pair of Red Clogs too!
Q2. I know you really are into music, having owned record stores yourself. Do you think we've reached over kill with every fashion designer/hair stylist/ claiming music as their inspiration?
This whole ‘Music was my inspiration’ can get a bit old if there is nothing to back it up.
I think most people site music as inspiration when they are are looking to reinvent something from the past.
Sometimes just the music in isolation does not work as inspiration. It needs the the social and economic framework of the time as well.
When I look back at the different Musical eras I have lived through it is not just the music, but the Fashion, Night Clubs, Films , TV Programmes and Politics of the eras that I remember as well. Buying a Vinyl LP was an experience. Take it out the sleeve, put it on the turntable, read the lyrics and sleeve notes as you listen, taking time to hear what the song writer was saying.
Today music is download and listened to on the go on the ipod or as background music on digital radio, or cable TV.
The way music is marketed today it almost has a disposable quality about it.
Andy Warhol said “Famous for 15 Minutes”, I think the digital era has made it “Famous for the time it takes to download – 15 seconds”!
Q3. How did you get into the hair business?
I just fell into it really. I remember seeing a job advertised that said “Would you like to meet a different person every hour of the day? Do you like to make people happy?” I thought that sounded like a great job. I turned up for the interview and it was a Ladies Hairdressing Salon. I had never even been in Ladies Salon before I had always had my haircut at the Barbers Shop.
I took the job and here I am today.
Q4. Thank god you can't get your hair cut or colored online, since digital editorial and e-commerce are really changing the way we live and receive information. How has this affected the hair industry?
The digital revolution has really changed the hairdressing industry. Not always for the better. As hairdressers we can get Education and information on line from websites and through webinars etc. At redCHOCOLATE we work with hairdressers on a one to one basis in their own Salons and continue the education process on line in between Classes. Professionally it is great, we can connect with other hairdressers all over the world and share information through the internet.
The other side of this is that the consumer has access to so much information about Hair, Fashion and Beauty. They think they know more than us!
Another negative is the Home Hair Coloring business. Famous Hairdressers are now selling their companies to large manufacturers who are coming out with name branded Home Hair Color, supported by on line videos of how to color your hair at home with their product. Of course many do end up in Salons having it corrected.
The outcome of this is Salons today have to work harder to keep their Clients inspired in order to retain them.
Q5. Finally, do you have a really funny celeb story you can share?
Being a Colorist I have had quite a few that have asked for ‘Carpet and Curtains to match’. I also remember the time I was asked to Color Naomi Campbell’s fringe for an ad campaign. They were going to do a tight shot of her face with a full fringe.
An appointment was made and I turned up at the Salon an hour early. 3 hours later I am still waiting, then a call came to say ‘not long now’. 2 hours later another call. Just as I was thinking I had been stood up and was getting ready to go home, a limo pulled up.
The driver got out in full uniform, went to the back of the car and carefully carried a box into the salon. Asked for me, handed me the box and left. I opened it up, there was a note, a swatch of color as a guide, and sure enough carefully wrapped in tissue was a fringe! I got to color Naomi Campbell’s fringe but not with her attached to it.
T Rex - 'Bang a Gong / Get It On'.