By Alyssa Amasol
Behind the scenes at HONOLULU Fashion Week is an adrenaline-filled race that’s not quite at the status of Super Bowl but comes pretty close for the team from W Salon Hawai‘i.
Their secret weapon: Kerastase Laque Dentelle hairspray.
For the last three years, W Salon Hawai‘i has volunteered its professional services to work backstage at Fashion Week.
“It’s really exciting. We turn around and we’re like, ‘How did we do that?’” W Salon Hawai‘i general manager Wendy Do said.
Thi Nguyen, artistic director of W Salon Hawaii, along with Do and their team of core leaders, assistants and interns hold meetings before Fashion Week to study and anticipate the looks that could work, but the final designer-approved hairstyles come just a week before the big event.
“Without communication, without a good team and without laser focus, it’s chaos and it gets crazy,” Do says. “It’s a good crazy, though.”
Even with all the unknowns, Do said the stress lies less in the anticipation and more in the delivery.
“I think because the hair is not the spotlight, we aren’t as stressed as the designers or maybe the models … The stress is not wanting to let down the directors and the designers. We’re there to complement them.” Do says. “We take pride in being a part of it.”
For the past two years, W Salon Hawai‘i closed for half a day during Fashion Week, but this year will close all day on Saturday, Nov. 12 to use their full staff.
“We make the time and designate this as giving back to the community,” Do said. “We believe that HONOLULU Magazine as a brand also gives back to the community, so we feel our efforts aren’t wasted at all.”
When W Salon Hawai‘i opened at Ala Moana in 2004 Do and Nguyen knew very little about marketing and advertising, and didn’t have a photographer or logo but were able to create an ad with help. “HONOLULU Magazine I feel like really helped me out and I always remembered that,” Do said.
Do and Nguyen always wanted to do a fashion show in New York, so when they got a chance to do hair at HONOLULU Fashion Week, “we thought, they’re the brand that we want to be a part of,” Do said.
And thus began a tradition in its third year.
For those of us who aren’t models, Do said investing and trusting in a knowledgeable stylist is the key to great hair.
“If they keep up, you’re in safe hands. They know what’s out there. Now it’s about education since the industry is growing so much,” Do said.
The stylists on the team at W Salon Hawai‘i travel once or twice a year to hone their skills.
Trending this year are lots of volumizing treatments and new color options.
“If you take your time and don’t rush it, you can have any hair you want and you can still have the hair on your head because of the technology that has come out,” Do said.