MEET THE INAUGURAL ‘SHU CRU’: PART ONE

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Australia’s Shu Cru have officially completed their first semester with leading session stylist and the brand’s Australian Creative Director, Daren Borthwick.

A hand picked collective of artists renowned for their passion and artful hair projections, the Shu Cru find their inspiration in places less explored and products equally experimental. Together they journeyed through an exclusive two-day seminar beginning first with a download on best-practice social media before an intimate look and learn slash workshop with Daren leading three key looks. Lastly, the group entered the studio to recreate their elected style for the camera – a full-circle curriculum designed to profile the artist and attest the creative integrity of Shu Uemura Art of Hair.

We spoke with one part of the Shu Cru on key learnings, inspiration and what it means to be a part of the inaugural Australian hair movement. Meet the first 13 … in no particular order!

Danny Puopolo, Rakis on Collins

TJ: What is inspiring you at the moment?

DP: I’m really enjoying exploring natural movement and texture in hair. Over the past 12 months we’ve seen a natural curl revival and a soft fluffiness across fashion campaigns, which translates really well into my salon work. Shu Uemura Art of Hair Kaze Wave, Wonder Worker, Satin Design and Texture Wave are my go-to products. And Essence Absolue Overnight Serum is incredible as a ‘no product’ finishing serum.

TJ: Your hero Shu Uemura Art of Hair product?

DP: OBSESSED with Texture Wave at the moment.

Chris Geracitano, Rakis on Collins

TJ: Key takeaway from the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Workshop with Creative Director Daren Borthwick?

CG: An understanding of natural movement in hair and how to emphasise this with mixed Shu Uemura Art of Hair products.

TJ: What does it mean to you, to be part of  the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shu Cru?

CG: It inspires me to be innovative in showcasing how amazing these products are including the unlimited benefits to salon guests. This includes the craft of mixing and blending (haigo) and associated styling techniques. Further to this, also learning and collaborating with the amazing artists that are the extended Shu Cru.

Teagen Cousins, BIBA South Yarra

TJ: Your hero Shu Uemura Art of Hair product?

TC: It is so hard to have just one hero product, as they blend so beautifully with a haigo technique for every client’s desired look. Although I do have a Top 3: Ample Angora, Sheer Laquer and Fibre Lift.

TJ: How does Shu Uemura Art of Hair support you in the salon?

TC: Education across the extensive range of styling products. An understanding of how to layer product in a haigo technique. The capacity to create a client’s desired look and feel without weighing the hair down.

Frances Giorgiou, Heading Out Hair and Beauty

TJ: Key takeaway from the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Workshop with Creative Director Daren Borthwick?

FG: The social media training, which I’m already using and enjoying very much, as well as the thought and preparation of the angles to a photoshoot – not obsessing over all sides of the hair and bringing emphasis to particular details in a model or hairstyle specifically, was an eye opening approach.

TJ: Your hero Shu Uemura Art of Hair product?

FG: My hero product (before and after the Shu Cru workshop) is Fiber Lift. So versatile and the finish is beautiful.

Maddelyn Crawford, Hidden Minx

TJ: What does it mean to you, to be part of  the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shu Cru?

MC: It means so much to be part of the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shu Cru. It’s such a privilege to be recognised in our industry as a talented hairdresser. I love taking on new challenges and learning how to expand my knowledge and expertise.

TJ: What is inspiring you at the moment?

MC: I’m currently inspired by soft tousled and textured hair, and working with hairs’ natural form. 

Hasan (Hass) Hadzihajdic, Yoshiko Hair

TJ: Key takeaway from the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Workshop with Creative Director Daren Borthwick?

HH: I took away many ideas but was most impressed with the marketing concepts and learnings around the power of social media. Moving forward I plan to be involved and active in what the salon publishes.

TJ: What is inspiring you at the moment?

HHFlowers and nature.

Phoenix Ly, Human Salon

TJ: What is inspiring you at the moment?

PL: People. From people on the street to people on the internet and all over the globe. Everyone presents themselves in a different way. How they style their hair or what they choose to wear is part of their story.

TJ: What does it mean to you, to be part of  the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shu Cru?

PL: Being part of Shu Cru is an amazing opportunity for  exposure and to meet and learn from talented and inspiring artists in my industry.

Stephanie Bellairs, Head Grafiti

TJ: How does Shu Uemura Art of Hair support you in the salon?

SB: Shu Uemura Art of Hair has been an amazing product addition to our salon. It really meets the needs of both hairdresser and client and has filled a gap in our luxury retail offering.

TJ: What does it mean to you, to be part of  the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shu Cru?

The privilege of learning from Daren but also the opportunity to create looks ourselves. The chance for me to get out of WA and work alongside such creative talent is always inspiring. I am excited that we were with Shu Uemura Art of Hair from the very start and can’t wait to see the growth. It’s such a privilege to be chosen!

Jeanette Robinson, Circles of Subiaco

TJ: Key takeaway from the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Workshop with Creative Director Daren Borthwick?

JR: Understanding the mixing potential of the products and the unlimited results. I have now passed on this product knowledge and the techniques defining this semester’s three looks to my salon.

TJ: What is inspiring you at the moment?

JR: The perm! I’m very excited for its come back and to work with a modern finish on this traditional texture set.

Pascarl Purser, Valentinos WA

TJ: Key takeaway from the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Workshop with Creative Director Daren Borthwick?

PP: Realising the importance of social media in the creative industry today. Roughly 60% of Australia’s population are using platforms like Instagram daily. Daren and the Shu Uemura Art of Hair marketing crew were super helpful with tips and tricks on how to master using these platforms in order to display your best work and unique profile – as an artist and salon business.

TJ: How does Shu Uemura Art of Hair support you in the salon?

PP: With the magic of simplicity. Each client is unique and so is their hair. Shu Uemura Art of Hair products help me to effectively prepare each and every canvas; making my job a lot easier.

Melissa Lickata, Audrey & Him

TJ: What is inspiring you at the moment?

ML: People and their vibes. I work on King Street in Newtown NSW where people are bright, real and artistic so it’s not hard to be inspired.

TJ: What does it mean to you, to be part of  the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shu Cru?

ML: I feel so honoured to have been selected as part of the Shu Cru team! I have always loved Shu Uemura Art of Hair products and have long been a fan of Daren’s work, so having him as a mentor is a big bonus! 

Troy Brennan, Blaec Hair

TJ: Key takeaway from the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Workshop with Creative Director Daren Borthwick?

TB: Product layering. The Art of layering product to assist one in achieving a specific goal is paramount to building the foundation of your overall finished look. 

TJ: Your hero Shu Uemura Art of Hair product?

TB: Ample Angora should have its own superhero cape … you can be so generous with this product on various types of hair textures and the results speak voluminous softness.

Lauren Branciamore, The Society Salon

TJ: Key takeaway from the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Workshop with Creative Director Daren Borthwick?

LB: What an honour to have two days of mentoring from a true artist like Daren Borthwick. It was so great to have an open and calm environment to watch and be inspired by such a powerhouse. Getting to play with product in a creative environment wakes you up – opens your eyes again.

TJ: What does it mean to you, to be part of  the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shu Cru?

LB: I have a love affair with Shu Uemura Art of Hair. With six years of working with the brand, I feel becoming part of the Shu Cru is an organic progression for me. I am so excited to continue my journey with them.