LSW new collaboration
ONE Styling's mission is to provide the most innovative products and solutions which empower and inspire professional beauty partners to accomplish their goals and enrich their lives. The company creates the most advanced hair styling tools and blow dryers for the world's best hairdressers and their clients who always want to look like they just stepped out of the salon.
Veronique Gautier, David Kim, Maren Sostmann and Amit Abraham
David Kim – CEO
Thank you David. I know you as the CEO of ONE Styling. What is your background originally?
I have a Marketing and Finance background and my friends describe me as a serial entrepreneur. Onestyling is my main business. I founded the company in July 2011. This is my dream and passion. I have been in the professional hair industry for 14 years now and my parents own an over-the-counter beauty supply store so I’ve been been around the beauty industry my entire life.
What’s the ambition of the company?
We want to unite passionate people, hairdressers, scientists, manufacturers and business-owners and work together to really evolve the industry in terms of the technology of styling tools and the education around applying such technology specifically to hairdressing and styling. We want to expand, to truly elevate this industry in this area of tools.
Why is that you can claim and support that you are developing the best tools for the professionals?
We have partnered with some extremely creative and innovative manufacturers, who are constantly looking at technologies outside the beauty industry and finding applications of such technologies within the beauty industry in terms of tools. But even more importantly, we work very closely with top hairdressers to make these new technologies relevant to hairdressing today.
Can you give me an example of a product that you’re very proud to bring in the market, that there is no direct competition about?
We are introducing new brushes for 2015. We have worked with the leading manufacturer, my partner in Korea. Our team of stylists worked closely with Dajuja to develop technologies and tools to build brushes with unique features and advanced combinations of materials that will perform the specific tasks hairdressers are trying to achieve.
And there is no such thing or no equivalent on the market right now?
No there is not. For every tool we make, our leading hairdressers team up with the manufacturer's R&D team to analyze the new trends in the beauty industry and develop tools that are appropriate and relevant to these new trends.
LSW and you, how is that a good partnership?
When I first saw your website I thought that this was a perfect fit. We both share the same vision of elevating the beauty industry by empowering salons and hairdressers. We believe in the power of collaborating to with like-minded partners to achieve shared goals
The other part is your ambition to become a global brand. That is also the leverage that LSW will give as a contribution to the partnership.
Absolutely. Although we are predominantly in North America right now we are rapidly expanding around the world and LSW provides a global platform with access to the top salons around the world to further our development of tools.
Amit Abraham– Director of education and hairstylist
Amit, how long have you been working for ONE Styling?
Since 2012. The first time I spoke to Mr David Kim, he asked me questions about technology and I realized how much I didn’t know. It made me fall in love with my craft again because I realized you can only be a true artist once you understand your tools.
You have a connection with L’Oréal Professional. What is it and how does it work with ONE Styling?
I’m a master session artist for L’Oréal Professional. I’m a stylist. So that’s where my expertise lies and that’s what I do for them as well as education, salons, fashion week shows and I help launch some of the products to the editors and bloggers. I also do a lot of their photography work and R&D on their special council. We produce and check the performance of the styling products.
You said you rediscovered your passion for your work. What drives you to do what you are doing, what is the biggest purpose?
We are very blessed to be in an industry where we have a lot of science and where there is a lot of art. When you understand how to back up the art of it with science, it really puts you in a different position. For me, it is all about understanding technology to raise the bar of the industry. At ONE Styling, we do a lot of R&D. If we can bring that to the industry, we can bring that to the stylists.
How do you partner with the R&D to get something that doesn’t exist?
When we created our brow-hair brushes, I went to Korea to manage the project directly with the manufacturer. We discussed what we were really looking for and chose the materials. Learning about all of that helped me understand what it is as a stylist that I’m looking for. Am I looking for less or more slip? Am I looking to curl or straighten the hair? So we create brushes for different specific reasons, to get specific outcomes.
I’ve heard it before, “professional by professional”. How is that not true?
They are not involved in the R&D process. It’s not to the depth of what we are talking about here. When we make scissors or brushes, we - the hairstylists - actually work with the manufacturer on what are our needs and what is the specific outcome that we are looking for. That is where we are different. We don’t just wait for the manufacturer to produce something and then approve or not. When you do it that way, it becomes by the stylist for the stylist.
Tell us specifically what your role into the development of ONE Styling is.
I am Director of Education and I’m also part of the development team. As director of Education, I go around to top salons in the world and help educate them on the different technologies. I share with them the importance of the technology in a practical sense, so that there are actual benefits to their work right away. I also train other educators on the R&D and the specific technologies.
What is the outcome for you? Do you feel that you are able to actually improve the quality of the work out there?
A: That is the whole point of doing it. Sometimes stylists that have been doing it for 20 or 30 years come to you after class and tell you that was the best class they had ever been in. It has to do with the actual information they receive. When I ask people about a technology, about the benefit it has to their work, many realize that they don’t know. My biggest challenge is dealing with people because they don’t know they don’t know and when it comes to work, they have to put their ego aside.
What about the fashion shows? Is it a good scene for you to transform people?
For me, that transformation happens before. It is all about sitting in a designer’s studio and trying to understand his vision and expressing it through the hair backstage at fashion week.
What is your next dream as a stylist?
if I were to take it to the next level, it would be training a bigger team and start doing it on a global level to really make an impact in the industry itself. Being an international global influencer would be my life goal.