America’s Beauty Show (ABS), housed in McCormick Place March 9- 11, celebrated 90 years of the all-industry beauty phenomenon. All the best beauty and hair care brands are represented: Moroccanoil, Luxhair, Schwarzkopf, Stila, Nick Arrojo, Clairol, OPI and Repechage – to name a few.
Stepping onto the showroom floor at ABS is much like wandering into a venue housing a 24-hour dance marathon. Raucous music from several of the form a multi-layered ‘soundtrack.’ Men and women rush around, throw back shots of Five Hour Energy and admit they’re “exhausted” and “haven’t slept in forever,” but their excitement is palpable and their energy contagious. There’s a great feeling of camaraderie; that innate respect that practitioners of the same craft share even before individual personalities are assessed.
There’s so much going on that almost no one wanders around willy-nilly. Rather, I spied dozens of people purposefully charting their course through the space with a map, pen and list of events. At any one time, there might be three runway shows, half a dozen workshops and 10 stylist demonstrations taking place. You might bump into major players like Ted Gibson or Ken Paves on hand for a presentation later in the evening. Here, these celebrity hair stylists are celebrities in and of themselves.
By Michelle Phelan