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Hair > Articles > Breaking News: ARROJO Underground Pulls Out All the Stops

Breaking News:
ARROJO Underground Pulls Out All the Stops

By Marianne Dougherty, Editorial Director

ARROJO Underground is a kick-ass educational event that’s held once a year at Nick Arrojo’s uber-cool salon and academy in New York City. The word goes out on Nick’s Web site and hairdressers from salons in the neighborhood start pouring in to see what the talented stylists who work for Nick have come up with. Hundreds of hairdressers showed up on Sunday night to witness 9 presentations that pushed the creative envelope as far as it would go. First up was SQ-Round (pronounced “scrowned”). Nick’s wife Lina led a team that included Anessa Kivinski, Rachel Rodriguez, Tatum Neill, Nicole Obert and Abbey Theis. The inspiration? The Fibonacci spiral, a diagram used in geometry with spirals and rounds going through a square shape, producing a mathematical sequence. Thus SQ-Round uses texture and color to highlight square and round shapes.








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Next up was Yearn/Need, one of the highlights of the evening. Stacey Whitmire, Amy Dinnerman and Topher Gross were intrigued by early America and the dawn of charismatic religion and the idea that people act out when subjected to a rigorous moral code. Models walked the runway in prim black dresses, their hands folded as if in prayer and a blue light emanating from within. When the girls opened their hands, blue plastic “ice cubes” rolled onto the stage, revealing a “stigmata” made of red wax on each of their palms. Naturally, since they were acting out, they sported exaggerated shapes with peacock and purple tones.



Morgan James, Mazja Hillestroem, Alexis Gross and Antonia Troiano presented Severance, which featured strong, linear, bold shapes with undercutting and disconnection. The inspiration? A dire, fend-for-yourself view of the future.


A New Kind of Kick was the brainchild of Cheryl Fazio, Jenna Perritt, Mika Perritt, Marinna Ferrante and Austin Pratt. The idea was that during World War II, fashion was bleak. Women worked in factories while men were off at war, and all the fashion houses were moving to Berlin, taking inspiration away from American women. This presentation was kind of a new take on the typical setting methods women used during wartime in order to encourage you to tweak your style when you have to make something out of nothing.

The halfway mark was reached when the youngest team of stylists, including Katie Hermanowski, Heather McGowen, Courtney Tobey, Esther Ahn, Jessica Whalen, Barton Miller and Jason Lund presented Strung Out. The idea was to present “live” marionette dolls by showcasing high-shine, glossy “doll hair” looks.





Muertes from Abbey Theis and Kelly Wright was inspired by “Dia Del Los Muertes” or the Day of the Dead, and the two colorists decided to showcase styling and makeup with rope-inspired braids and texture, traditional Mexican Day of the Dead makeup and dark and heavy Victorian-esque clothing designed to offset the intense makeup.


Antonia Troiano, Victoria Vitale, Hilary Bilstad and Liz Marz presented And It’s Not in Her Nature, which was inspired by nature and the early 70’s esthetic. The collection showcased heavy textures and mixing of patterns in both the styling and coloring.





The Ghost Woman and the Heavy Colors of the Blood was another one of my favorites. The team, which included Lee Jackson, James Edick and Lauren Palmer-Smith, was inspired by the title of a poem by an Iipay Native American. The hair looks like a feather with a strong center part and pays homage to Native American style. Here’s a fun fact: Colorist James Edick is a member of the Iipay tribe.

Joan of Arc inspired Amanda Jenkins, Hunter McLeod, Ashley Kowalsky, Gardner Edmunds, Delisa Armstrong and Inva Cela to create Arc de  Triomphe, the last presentation of the evening. It was all about fighting for what you believe in and not following trends but instead following your heart. The team sent their models out wearing editorial styles with pewter, red and muted  brown tones reminiscent of armor and helmets. Team leader Amanda Jenkins even went so far as to make one helmet completely out of hair. Now that’s thinking outside the box.

Photos courtesy of Kelsy Chauvin.

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