LA Confidential

tigi_Las_Vegas1 tigi_Las_Vegas2 tigi_Las_Vegas3 tigi_Las_Vegas4 tigi_Las_Vegas5 tigi_Las_Vegas6 tigi_Las_Vegas7It’s the ‘City of Angels’, built on dreams and imagination, and thriving on possibilities. And that’s exactly what made Los Angeles the perfect setting for the weekend with TIGI…

After a typically British summer, a trip to Los Angeles during its ‘winter’ was just the ticket. Why? Because Los Angeles has, without comparison, the worlds best weather. It is sunny roughly 325 days a year, with temperatures averaging a balmy 25˚c, and when Virgin flight VS007 landed with its precious cargo of 70-something TIGI team members, creative artists and hairdressing guests, the city was in the middle of a glorious heat wave. It was bliss. With a capital B.

“Our aim is to have an inspirational weekend in one of the most exciting cities in the world, incorporating business, creativity and lots of fun,” said TIGI Managing Director of European Operations, Simon Ostler. And he was a man of his word.

From the stretch Hummers waiting at the airport, to A-list restaurants and bars (Skybar at Britney’s favourite hotel hang-out, the Mondrian, offered impossibly glamorous views of the city), plus the poolside cocktail parties at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza (suitably located on the Avenue of the Stars), TIGI ensured its guests kicked back in LA-LA Land in serious style. Guided tours offered the opportunity to experience the new Simpsons ride at Universal Studios, or a tour of Hollywood’s most famous homes – sadly, Posh ‘n’ Becks were in New York, launching yet another his ‘n’ her fragrance – and just about everyone shed a few dollars in Rodeo Drive’s designer shops at some point during the trip.

It was all delicious preparation for the substantial treats in store, courtesy of TIGI top brass, Anthony and Bruno Mascolo, and the company’s senior business and creative teams.

The story behind the TIGI brand is an interesting one – a tale of four talented brothers from a famous Italian hairdressing family, initially united by dreams of hairdressing greatness, but whose subsequent creative fall outs led to the de-merger of one of the most recognised hairdressing brands in the world. When its told first-hand by the Mascolo brother who gambled everything on success in America, it becomes electrifying.

Bruno Mascolo, Chief Executive Officer of TIGI Worldwide and Toni&Guy USA, attempted to enter the US professional haircare Arena twice before e finally found success with a Dallas based salon, in 1985.

As he explained for the first time to a UK audience: “I was raised in London, but when I came to the US on a Sebastian tour, I fell in love with America. So I saved up money to start a business there. Unfortunately, I met the wrong people who advised me on the wrong things. The money was wasted. Then I saved more money and came back again, a lot wiser. I met more clever people, but again lost my money. The third time my brothers weren’t prepared to support me, so I sold my house and car, and came back. By using my own money, I made my own commitment not to be humiliated again.”

Over the years that followed, with help from two of his brothers, Guy and Anthony, his wife, Kyara, and a supportive executive team that included hairdressing pals Paul Joseph and James Morrison, Toni&Guy USA has grown into $270 million business, comprising more than 75 Toni&Guy salons across the country, nine training academies and TIGI haircare and cosmetics lines that are so phenomenally successful, it makes your eyes water.

In 2002, the Mascolo brothers decided to de-merge the TIGI and Toni&Guy brands. Bruno, Guy and Anthony now own TIGI Global, which is all of the product internationally, as well as Toni&Guy salons and academies in the US, Canada and South America. Toni, who lives in London, owns Toni&Guy academies and salons, plus the Toni&Guy brand in the rest of the world.

Its an arrangement that left the hairdressing rife with rumours of ongoing rows family splits, but as Bruno described it, things couldn’t be more different. “Toni’s children had grown up and wanted to bring kids into the business,” he explains. “A family business is great, but we wanted to maintain our family relationship. Things are amicable between us all – we see each other; we stay at each others houses.”

The TIGI culture – which is driven by technology, education and excitement has been shaped by Bruno’s experiences throughout his career. The launch of TIGI colour this year is a significant new stepping stone.

“Being independent in business means we are in control of our destiny,” Bruno. “It allows us to be who we are and we can move a lot quicker than others. We look to department stores, make-up stores and even wine bottles for different ideas. That’s the reason I think we have been able to maintain out innovation.”

Co-founder of Toni&Guy/TIGI USA, Glasgow born James Morrison has spent two decades travelling the world, educating hairdressers and sharing his inspirational story. He also runs three salons in Calafornia, with a combined turnover in excess of $6 million.

During his 30-year multi-faceted career, he has written a highly successful book. Alphabet of Balance, received countless accolades for his creative talent as a hairdresser, has been named one of the top educators of the year by Modern Salon magazine and counts Simon Fuller, manager of LA-based David and Victoria Beckham, as a close friend (his impressions of Posh and family are hilarious).

For the UK group, James led a seminar, entitled ‘Staff, Clients and Profitability’, sharing his secrets of business success in such an engaging style that it was instantly designed necessary to fly him over to Britain for an extended two-day version!

Kerpow! In another exclusive for the UK hairdressing group, an incredible TIGI line-up of Anthony Mascolo, Nick Irwin, Zak Mascolo and James Morrison previewed their brand new Remix collection – a series of wearable, versatile cuts and underpinned by new TIGI colour. Look out for the videos and photography (all shot in TIGI’s inimitably edgy style) later this year. The team also presented TIGI’s incredible Alta Moda looks, developed out of a creative collaboration with Vivienne Westwood and featuring some of the designer’s most stunning dresses – even Pat Mascolo was tempted onstage to demonstrate an avant-garde make-up look. Exciting, visual and totally inspiring!

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