Berry Bachen has been a leading professional in the beauty industry for over twelve years, quickly becoming a trusted educator instructing advanced haircolour courses. Her primary focus is the MAINENTRANCE project, a collaborative artist development destination for non-brand biased education as well as by-appointment colour.
DJ Riggs is a beauty industry veteran developing his brand of collaborative cutting, engaging education and comprehensive editorials. After fifteen years in the business, his primary focus is the MAINENTRANCE project, a collaborative artist development destination for non-brand biased education as well as by-appointment cuts.
The Nerds want to move right into your salon and never leave! Tell us your approach to salon design and maximizing usable space.
The most important aspect of our design was to construct a space that could accommodate everything that we do….hairdressing, education and photography. Visually, we wanted a clean, minimal and sophisticated aesthetic with a dose of pre-war charm. After consulting with our architect, we drafted and fabricated custom furniture. The result: an intimate speak-easy studio, multi-disciplinary venue and collaborative artist development destination.
What was the inspiration behind MAINENTRANCE?
The inspiration behind MAINENTRANCE Artists originated from the fact that our individual experiences have spanned the scale of the greater industry: working for manufacturers, contributing to collections, creating content, consulting brands, celebrity styling, session work, salon work, education and photography. Our goal was to provide the “main entrance”, a conduit, to decades of combined experience in the international beauty arena.
You’ve had a very impressive Hair-journey… tell us a little bit about your background.
Berry Bachen I grew up in an artistic household. My mom is an artist and encouraged my insatiable color curiosity. Originally, I went to hair school with the goal of learning a trade between my high school graduation and entering college as an art major . I fell in love with the industry and it’s many possibilities. My mother later shared that she was concerned about what a little girl who only wanted to color in coloring books all day long was going to do for a career….it all makes sense now.
After hair school I decided to work for Toni & Guy in Dallas. It was a great time to be with the company, so much excitement, energy, and growth! I quickly moved up the ranks of colour education…finished my program, began educating in-salon, then advanced education, and filmed my first collection (Chromatic) by the time I was 21. It was a whirlwind.
DJ Riggs My interest in the industry began fairly early. During my high school years, I was on tour as a dancer and choreographer, I was always the one touching up everyone’s hair to make sure they were performance ready. When we were on break from touring I decided to go to hair school…mainly because I was young and chasing a girl I was interested in. Luckily it was one of my best decisions.
My first few years in the industry were spent in Sweden and Paris, my time there helped to reveal another outlook of the industry and refine my technical skills. I feel my biggest break came along when I moved to New York.I began to expand my influences and broke into the session world, working with artists like Odile [Gilbert] and Gavin [Harwin]. That’s when my perspective broadened and I began to see the industry as I do today.
You’re known for making runway looks into everyday wearable fashions, how does this translate into your hair philosophy?
We believe that everyone has a distinct stylistic point of view, regardless of their age. It’s about seeing our clients as a whole….not just the hair or the “floating head” in a cape. It’s not so much a question of IF a client fits into a trend but HOW they fit into a trend. Cut and color work together to create a singular vision tailored to the individual and grounded by artist experience.
How do you think your individual strength complement each other?
Actually, our individual strengths and artistic opinions interact in a way that is similar to complementary colours in colour theory. Individually, each colour has a specific identity and unique properties…combined they can balance each other and they can also create an infinite number of rich, complex shades.
Have you ever had an “OMG, what the hell am I doing here?!?” moment?
Absolutely, both of us experienced that surreal moment during Fashion Week…
DJ Yohji Yamamoto has always been one of my favorite designers, the gold standard of craftsmanship. All day, before call time for his show, I tried to learn and practice my greeting to him in Japanese. After introducing myself and expressing my respect, in my “instant” Japanese mind you, he still graciously thanked me (in English)….we both laughed and stood together looking at his collection before it debuted.
Berry It happened at Pier 59, Diane Kendal (one of the industry’s top makeup artists) enrolled me to colour custom “nude” brows for each model at the Alexander Wang show. I was up to my eyebrows in eyebrows when Vogue came by to interview me about the look….crazy.
You seem to gain a lot of your inspiration from the streets of New York. Where are your favorite parts of New York to find the newest trends?
New York is wonderful because so many people have their own ideals of beauty, they define their look and own it. Inspiration is everywhere, sometimes in disguise, we just have to open our eyes and pay attention.
Your approach to educating is unique. Why do you feel your method is so important and how does it differ from other education styles?
MAINENTRANCE workshops function as think tanks for inquisitive and driven professionals, providing both technical guidance and strategies for trend awareness. Our approach to education is to provide a refreshing environment for creative expression, constructive feedback and true growth potential. We want to strip back the unnecessary layers that stand between the artist and their goals, providing non-brand focused education dedicated to artist development.
I knew I was a Hair Nerd when…
Just now! Does this mean we are certified Hair Nerds?!? Thanks for making it official.