Ask top hairdressers where they get their creative inspiration and many mention the great cities of the world. Odile Gilbert likes to hit the streets of Tokyo to see the latest innovative hair statements. Serge Normant seeks out Rome or an outdoor café in Paris where he can watch the world go by. And for Oribe, Miami's the thing. There's one place however, that tops most hairdressers' lists, a place that pulses with its own energy and beauty and fashion trends: New York City. If you find yourself in need of a little artistic stimulation, why not add in some business education and mark your calendar now for IBS New York, April 30 to May 2, 2006?
IBS New York has long been the industry's preeminent beauty show—it's the largest and longest-running professional beauty trade show in the country. Many great hair, skin, nail, makeup, tool and equipment products have debuted at IBS New York over the years. It's the only show some people attend all year, so you don't want to miss the many samples and floor demonstrations available in the four exhibit halls.
Of course, IBS New York offers a solid, career-enhancing education program that's always included in your admission fee. This year's program will be under the direction of Robbin McClain, former editor in chief of American Salon. Classes will include haircutting, styling and coloring; dressing long hair for bridal and other occasions; understanding and working with multiple textures; applying makeup; examining market trends; salon and spa business seminars, and more from the industry's top educators, along with some new faces. In addition, renowned platform artists will showcase their latest collections in special runway show presentations. For those with day spas or interest in adding spa or skincare services, American Spa Expo will run concurrently with IBS New York. Top exhibitors and educators will be demonstrating products and treatments on the exhibit floor and in classes.
When making your plans, be sure to add some days at the beginning or end of the show to get that jolt of inspiration from the city. If you haven't had the opportunity, take a stroll through Manhattan's meatpacking district. Once desolate, this section of the city located on the West Side just below 14th Street has become a vibrant area of shops, restaurants and salons. Of note: Bumble and bumble's multi-story salon and university; Red Market, a salon and cool hangout; and Michael Angelo's Wonderland Beauty Parlor, where the eclectic décor alone will inspire you.
It's never too early to start breaking in some comfortable shoes, looking for cheap airfares and checking www.ibsnewyork.com for future program updates and current exhibitor listings. Come find out why IBS New York won the 2005 Stylist Choice Award for Best Industry Event. —ROBBIN McCLAIN