At the heart of ANTI’s DNA: Honesty, quality, truth, freedom and connection. Everything we do at ANTI – from our education and product offerings to our marketing and events – nurtures connection.

ANTI Founder, Francesco Ruggerino

anti-collective antify nick-irwin

Another day, another launch… or so the biz dictates.

Yet every so often a new cast emerges; a brand that, by its ineffable, zeitgeist-seizing nature ruptures both the status and market quos, capturing our all too lethargic imaginations and transforming the ways in which we view ourselves amidst our changing world.

New(ish) kids on the block ANTI are doing just that… and perhaps a little more; staking their claim as a brand, or rather movement that holds the individual at its core.

Brainchild of Francesco Ruggerino (industry entrepreneur, founder of cross-coastal salon chain Prema and all-round creative livewire), ANTI was born of a need for change; a desire to challenge societal notions of identity while empowering a new generation of professionals and clients alike.

And that’s just their opener.

At the heart of ANTI’s DNA? “Honesty, quality, truth, freedom and connection,” says Francesco. “Nothing gives me more joy than human connection. Everything we do at ANTI – from our education and product offerings to our marketing and events – nurtures connection, [offering] solutions for individual and collective growth.”

Fuelled by a yearning for creative connectivity and a growing frustration with corporate hypocrisy, Francesco founded ANTI; a project many years and late-night conversations in the making. “Our industry was once revered but it’s become overrun by corporates who’ve used our professional endorsements [to swindle] the consumer,” he continues.

“After years of supporting other brands in salon I’d had enough of the promises that weren’t being kept. I’d see products [we stocked] retailing cheaper online, [meaning there was] no real focus on building brand retail in salons. As a salon owner,I was tired of being misled, used and treated like a fool. So I started ANTI.”

A largely vegan range of care and styling staples, ANTI takes an honest approach to hair care; foregoing false claims and gratuitous packaging for quality and transparency. “Clients appreciate ANTI because they know, immediately, they have something of quality in their hair. They don’t
get the feel of a cheap, crunchy, sticky product or a higher end product tricking you with silicones. The packaging is sophisticated and the products do what they say the’ll do.”

On his decision to keep the portfolio minimal Francesco shares, “Hairdressers don’t need fifty products in their kit. Why house eight different shampoos in-salon when you only need one or two? Less is more. Each ANTI product was designed to be a hero and by cocktailing the range you can master just about any hair type. We’ll always be a minimal range and will add specialty products as the need arises.”

The goal? “To make it easier for hairdressers and clients to connect with the brand,” continues Francesco. An effort masterfully accomplished via the range’s simplicity and accompanying campaign material. Aptly titled ‘ANTIFY’, ANTI’s first campaign was envisioned by hairdressing legend and ANTI Global Creative Director Nick Irwin. It was also shot by Nick’s long-term collaborator, photographic icon Rankin.

Of his decision to join the crew Nick shares, “I’ve known Franc for a number of years and we share the same ethos, values and vision. Joining ANTI was a no brainer; the conversation started long before the brand’s inception. ANTI is all about integrity and being creative from all angles. It’s about having the right mindset, [following a] moral compass and staying true to your beliefs. We’re creating a global culture that our industry so desperately needs.”

A spell of monochromatic brilliance, ANTIFY comprises six moody fashion shots, each of which captures the brand’s sprit of freedom, individuality and communal creativity. “ANTIFY [heroes] effortless, confident individuals. It’s a spirit that people can connect with by using ANTI,” continues Nick. “You’re buying into a vibe, a feeling and a collective consciousness. This isn’t just a throw away [collection]; it has a real story.”

It’s accessible to consumer and professional alike; a balance the team’s struck with meditative finesse. “I talk about this [idea] all the time. We as hairdressers need to able to create hair that people want to wear; hair that’s for the consumer, not just for hairdressers. ANTIFY educates in a way that elevates your thinking far beyond technique. Stand outside a salon and watch how many clients leave and immediately put their hands through their hair. That’s what this collection speaks to.”

Between spreading the ANTI ethos to professionals across the industry and educating salons on the brand’s approach and range, Francesco, Nick and ANTI General Manager Glenn Ruddle are busy laying the brand’s foundation; prepping for what looks to be a fruitful journey ahead. “We have so much in the pipeline,” says Nick. “This year we’re opening our new base in London; a multi-functional space in which we can collaborate, create and work on bringing our vision to life.”

Continues Francesco, “Our vision for ANTI is to help restore the balance of power in our industry, to give back this power to our hairdressers and salon owners. Over the years, the salon channel has been abused and this has weakened almost every part of our industry. We’ve learnt to accept it but we’re all being controlled by it. A rebellion is coming and we want to take part in it.”

So do we.

Visit anticollective.com |  Follow @anti.collective