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EVENT REPORT

Aveda Channels 'Gangs of New York' for Bold Exhibit at Premiere Beauty Show

Photo: BizBash

In a sea of hairspray, hot curling irons, and high-decibel music, Aveda found a way to stand out from the crowd at the Premiere Orlando International Beauty Event from June 4 through 6 at the Orange County Convention Center. Drawing inspiration from the Martin Scorsese film Gangs of New York, the brand’s show team created a dark, gritty, 60- by 60-foot booth titled “Gangs of Aveda” that stood in stark contrast to the mostly sleek, glossy displays of brands such as Redken, L’Oréal, and Farouk Systems.

“We are trying to expose people to Aveda, and we wanted to do something edgier. We’re not just green, we’re cool, and we are looking for new members for our gang,” said Michael Baker, creative director for Neill Corporation, an Aveda distributor that was in charge of the exhibit. Baker said in past years Aveda had a very small booth at the Premiere Show that primarily offered information about the brand, but no demonstrations or product displays.

The centerpiece of the booth was a 16- by 16-foot boxing ring created by T2theS. The ring served as the stage where hairstylists demonstrated various techniques on models dressed in 19th-century outfits from Century Costumes. Vintage steamer trunks doubled as seats for the models, and rough wood slats and natural-fiber rope around the perimeter of the ring added to the verisimilitude.  

Baker rented a 20- by 50-foot New York tenement scene from Grosh Scenic Rentals as the backdrop for the booth. Two large video screens mounted on either side of the drape near the top gave those in the back of the crowd a clear view of what was happening onstage. The decor extended along the left side of the exhibit, where replicas of oil streetlamps lined a two-sided display offering various Aveda products for sale.  

Near the back of the booth, a refurbished Airstream trailer provided a private space for business meetings. Dubbed the “Hairstream,” the trailer belongs to an Aveda distributor in St. Petersburg, who had it redone with zebrawood cabinetry, white marble countertops, and tufted upholstery.

Premiere Orlando is the largest beauty event of the year, attracting more than 40,000 attendees from around the world for three days of education and a trade show filled with more than 2,000 booths. New this year, organizers offered 23 classes and 14 hands-on workshops on Saturday so attendees could get in some training before the show floor opened on Sunday.


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