NEW YORK — Relishing the crowd that live hair demonstrations draw at beauty trade shows, the International Beauty Show is putting a fashion twist on their usual demo this weekend during the organization’s annual three-day exposition at the Jacob K. Javits Center. The new event, called Fuse, looks to raise money for a new charity and also to educate show attendees on the industry’s latest fashion and beauty trends.

This story first appeared in the March 7, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Presented by American Salon magazine and the National Cosmetic Association, Fuse will feature hairstylists Frédéric Fekkai, John Sahag and Antoinette Beenders, who will each style, discuss and demonstrate their interpretation of spring’s hair trends during two 90-minute shows scheduled daily for 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday and Monday in the Javits Galleria.

Fuse expects to attract up to 800 hair professionals per show. Tickets cost $65, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Salons Against Domestic Abuse Foundation, a new foundation created by NCA, designed to train cosmetologists to recognize the signs of abuse in clients or peers.

Each stylist has called on designer friends to lend clothes for the event. Fekkai, for example, has called on Rebecca Taylor, Benjamin Cho and Emanuel Ungaro. Beenders’ models will wear designs by Alexander McQueen, Ghost and Catherine Malandrino. Clothes from Geová, Gaelyn & Cianfarani and Carlos Miele will be used during Sahag’s presentation.

Since the audience will consist of hairstylists from all over the country, hairstyles will represent an exaggerated take on spring hair trends, such as big hair and updos. Boiled-down versions won’t do for Fuse’s savvy attendees, Fekkai said. “It will be a little outrageous, we will push the envelope here. It will be very ‘fashion victim.’”

Sahag explained that attendees will likely pull elements from the styles they see and apply them to their clients, the masses. During his 30-minute presentation, Sahag plans to address the importance of a solid hair team, as well as the truth in how long it takes to create a certain look.

“You don’t need half an hour to do a ’do, it can be done in 10 minutes.”

Fekkai is pleased to be taking part in the event so that he can give back to the industry.

“It is important to show fashion and trends and their link to hair and also how important knowing this is in your business,” Fekkai said.

Fuse looks to become a permanent fixture at IBS, and it also looks to become a player in New York Fashion Week. Dana Lupton, group show director for Advanstar Communications Inc., IBS’ producer, is currently working on raising sponsors for what could be a two-day event showcasing five hairstylists for New York Fashion Week this September. Fuse would not take place under the tents at Bryant Park, but rather at an offsite venue.

More than 600 beauty exhibitors, including Vidal Sassoon, Redken, John Paul Mitchell Systems, Farouk and Matrix, are expected to exhibit at IBS this weekend. IBS runs alongside the American Spa Expo and the second annual American Spa & Skin Care Congress.

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