I like names and images that are relatable, that everyone can have an emotional connection to. Images that evoke memories of places you’ve been, or things you’ve touched, really ordinary things.
Three years ago, premium hair and beauty distributors, Rogue Beauty landed in Australia, and like moths to a flame, Australia’s leading session stylists and A-List salons came running. House to arguably the world’s most elite conglomerate of professional haircare in Oribe, R+Co, Pulp Riot and V76, it was the innovation, attitude and servicing that the Australian industry needed. Boutique and with a fresh approach to retail, education and the salon’s evolution, Rogue Beauty has since delivered the likes of rock star Howard McLaren, Kien Hoang, and we can only hope, one day, R+Co Creative Director of Packaging and Design slash all-round dream girl, Amanda Wall.
If you haven’t noticed, R+Co isn’t your regular haircare brand. It’s young, directive and looks beyond hair and to emotive content for a personality that truly speaks to the end user. Substituting bland, blanket palettes and predictable titles for wrapping landscapes and product names equally irrelevant to hair, R+Co has set a fresh and much loved tone for haircare, and Amanda Wall is the lady behind the lens and late night brainstorming. She’s also one of the more stylish women ringing up likes on Instagram – a non-traditional take on beauty and what’s relevant always a refreshing feed.
In celebration of R+Co’s new launches, SKYLINE Dry Shampoo Powder, CROWN Salt Scrub and FREEWAY Defining Spray Gel, we scored a moment with the model slash creative genius.
TJ: Tell us about a day in the life of Amanda Wall, Creative Director of Packaging and Design for R+Co?
AW: I live in Los Angeles and I work from home, so much of my time is spent in my apartment! Weekdays I typically wake up, reply to emails from the east coast, work on a design project, realize that it’s already 1pm and I’m still not dressed yet, and that I’m also starving and have had way too many nespressos. I go find lunch, somewhere in my neighborhood Silver Lake or Echo Park, I’ll probably post something to instagram. Later I might wander around and take photos, I’m really into disposable cameras right now. I grew up in the 90s so they’re nostalgic fun for me. And eventually back to work, I’m generally more creative at night so my schedule is a bit loose.
TJ: What is your process when it comes to packaging design for R+Co?
AW: I always begin with naming the product, and then the image follows. It’s important to me that the name reflects the function of the product, rather than something just cute and cool, so that it keeps an element of intelligence. I like names and images that are relatable, that everyone can have an emotional connection to. Images that evoke memories of places you’ve been, or things you’ve touched, really ordinary things.
TJ: R+Co is innovative not only for it’s unique take on product names and graphics, but also for unlikely combinations of product, for example, Aircraft (Pomade and a Mousse). In a sense, you are re-schooling the industry and also the consumer – has his been challenging?
AW: No, I don’t think there has been much of a challenge. R+Co is really geared for the modern hairdresser and consumer, a person that is constantly looking for the new.
TJ: How R+Co shifted the perspective of haircare, do you think?
AW: Yes definitely! Especially with the concept of a collective. Hair brands are typically known for being fronted by one celebrity-ish type of hairdresser, which really limits the range, type of products and perspective of the style of hairdressing. We have Howard, Garren and Thom who all have very different approaches to hair, which gives so much depth to our brand.
TJ: L R+Co products are purposefully designed to each have their own, unique personality. Which do you resonate with the most, or which did you most enjoy bringing to life?
AW: The first product that I designed for R+Co, the product that inspired me to use photography on the packaging was Death Valley Dry Shampoo. It was a visual reference from an Antonioni film called Zabriskie Point that has a really crazy love scene in the desert. Howard McLaren and I drove from LA out to Death Valley to take the photo used on the packaging.
TJ: R+Co has a great Instagram presence – how important has this been to the success of R+Co?
AW: Yes, we love Instagram! Though I don’t think that it’s been fundamental to our success – it’s just how brands have to work now, it’s a new consumer and a new marketing game.
TJ: We are all, essentially, exposed to the same inspiration – where do you look to for such unique, pioneering ideas?
AW: I’m never really looking for ideas, I don’t think that finding inspiration is something that you can formulate. The things that inspire me, or that I find interesting are typically things I haven’t seen before, so it’s difficult to go looking for an unknown. I often find ideas for product names in books, in music, some of the packaging images are references from films that I like.
TJ: You are somewhat of a style icon, who are some of your ultimate style icons?
AW: I like the idea of style eras more than specific people. Most of my style references are from the 60s,70s, early 80s, mostly from cool bands. I like mods, I like a rock look, I like the French new-wave actress, I like a 1970s Guy Bourdin woman … I wish I could be Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface.
TJ: Your hair routine, and who takes care of your hair?
AW: I wash my hair about once a week. I use our PALM SPRINGS pre-shampoo treatment mask on the ends of my hair that are still bleach blonde. I blow-dry it smooth with HIGH DIVE, a moisture and shine creme, and that’s pretty much it! I brush my hair a few times a day – I like the look. Throughout the week I’ll use a dry shampoo like SKYLINE if my bangs are looking dirty, and more HIGH DIVE through the ends. Howard McLaren is the only person that has cut my hair in the past 10 years and I’m currently growing back to my natural color.
TJ: R+Co product you can’t live without?
AW: I’m obsessed with TELEVISION, our new perfect hair shampoo and conditioner. For a styling product HIGH DIVE is my most frequent go-to.
For further information, contact http://roguebeauty.com.au