Street Value: Referencing the Future by Paying Attention to the NOW

We have all heard how referencing is inspiration for the ideas that begin in our head and end up on the heads of our clients.  As hairdressers we should know what the '20s styles looked like from the '40s, '50s and '60s. But is that enough? Does that make you a good hairdresser? At House of Pop, recreating what's been done isn't called reference—it's called fundamentals. It’s the groundwork, the foundation. What keeps life behind the chair new and exciting for you and your clients? How do you keep the energy going, and avoid cookie-cutter hairstyles and colors? Take a walk and check out what's happening on the streets around you -- people watch, it’s that simple.

Street style translates to what people are wearing on the street or what the kids are wearing in all the underground places— style "so uncool" that it's actually cool. Instead of yelling at the skater that almost took you out while you were walking and tweeting about the last cut you did, look at him—really look. Street style is the factory that will make tomorrow's fashions and drive your clients' tastes. If you wait to understand it until it reaches the magazines, you are behind the times and have no room to experiment, play, or better yet, be a part of the the final image that lands in.
What’s happening on the street is individuality. It is the translation of what is going on and what is being felt, and it's a statement of originality. It’s pop culture at it’s finest, but it isn’t always the most popular idea or look until later on. The excitement isn’t in waiting until later—it's  getting your hands in it now! It’s understanding where these street styles are coming from, how they are being worn and what makes it an overall look, and then adding your craft to the hair to complete it. The street is your crystal ball, so snap a picture of the vision and share it with your fellow hairdressers, talk about it, and then translate it for your clients.
This is the reference that can not be ignored. Think of it as a million people whispering to you what is going to happen next. Talk with them, find out where they shop, look for what makes it original like bags, bangs, shoes, clothes etc. Why are they wearing what they are. Immerse yourself in their style, figure it out. Take it back to the salon and offer your clients whats happening now, or use the reference to update a slightly dated look. The more you fill your creative toolbox the more you can offer your clients and keep yourself fueled, too. By staying in the now you define your culture and your salon's ability to stay current and exciting--cutting edge, if you will--which in turn attracts younger clientele, keeping business healthy well into the future when the current street style becomes a fad, and you, little genius, are already doing, filming and photographing something completely different.

Take a walk and learn where the world is going.

- Douglas and Amy McCoy, The House of POp 
Take a look at this months better business feature article on House of POp and learn a thing or two about branding. 
Plus - check out Douglas McCoy's video nomination for Hairbrained Behind the Scenes Video of the Year: 

Image: Model: Erin Valldeperas-Neel Hair: Cut Douglas McCoy/Style and Color Mellisa Johnson, Photography: Conner Allen Photography

About: Douglas McCoy is a social media addicted 26-year-veteran hairdresser living the dream at House of POp in Spokane Washington, a salon he created.  Through inspirational film and photo he is a two time winner of LoFi video of the year from Hairbrained and has seen his work published in multiple magazines. As a lover of the creative process he has worked multiple seasons backstage and MB New York Fashion Week. As a believer of elevating his craft he travels educating and getting real with fellow hairdressers and industry leaders both solo and as a R+Co national educator.