JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — As part of its drive for market domination, L’Oréal has established its first professional hairdressing institute on African soil here. Called the L’Oréal Professional African Salon Institute, the modern, expansive space is located in Braamfontein, a once run-down neighborhood that has since flourished, thanks to urban regeneration.
The inner-city location might have seemed an unusual choice at first, but Josef Talotta, executive head of precinct development at South Point, which oversaw the gentrification of the area, noted that the Institute “perfectly captures the essence of Braamfontein, which is driven by a potent mix of university students, international NGOs and creative industries. As such, it is perfectly positioned to capture the imagination of university students, who will form South Africa’s next generation of societal and business leadership. Likewise, I think the students will also provide street-cred inspiration to L’Oréal.”
There are more than 350 L’Oréal Professional Institutes and studios around the world, training more than one million hairdressers yearly. The South African Institute was designed with classrooms catering to groups of 15 to 20 students each, who will be trained in all hair types to certify them as universal stylists. The focus of this particular institute, however, is multiethnic hair, the care of which is a huge priority for the most women across Africa.
Charmaine Joubert, manager of the Institute, heralded the opening as “the start of a new era with a new generation of hair stylists trained in diverse hair types.” She added that the establishment of the Institute was a contribution to “the economic red flags, namely education, job creation and entrepreneurship.”
In fact, L’Oréal Managing Director, South Africa, Bertrand de Laleu said the idea of creating an institute in South Africa arose after visiting the favelas of Brazil, where he looked at ethnic hair care and discovered that hairdressing was the foremost creator of jobs.
Geoff Skingsley, L’Oréal’s Director for the Middle East and Africa, said the potential impact the industry could have from a job-creation perspective in a market like South Africa was tremendous, especially when one considers that “in developed countries, hairdressing is the most important education in terms of employment. On average, there is one female hair salon for every 1,000 inhabitants.” Unemployment in South Africa is currently at 24 percent; the population is about 52 million.
The courses offered at the Institute start from 30,500 South African rands (roughly $3,000 at current exchange), an amount that is beyond the reach of the average South African. According to Statistics South Africa, the median household income for the black/African segment of the population, which at 79 percent comprises the majority, was 60,613 South African rands (around $6,000) in 2011.
Cognizant of this, the Institute offers, in addition to placement and mentorship programs, scholarships for deserving but indigent students. “Contributing to education is important to L’Oréal and the Institute,” said Joubert. “We see it as an investment in education, training and development.”
She cited the case of its first scholar, Chwayita Goci, a self-trained hairdresser from Soweto. “She supports her household but was unable to obtain a formal qualification. This limited her employment opportunities. She was provided with professional products to enhance her existing work in her community and given employment at a L’Oréal salon,” said Joubert.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty