The Whittemore House
VH Toowoomba Queensland Australia
LR Queens, NY
Years behind the chair
VH Vitamins green drink alkaline water Almond cappuccino NARS lipstick Tom ford blush Dior Mascara Dr Y secrets daily moisturizer eye creme and night serum.
LR Coconut oil, lib balm
How did you too meet and come to open a salon together?
VH Larry and I met at Bumble and Bumble . It was a total natural progression to open a salon. It was time to go and evolve as colorists and people. As the color director at Bumble and Bumble I was given many opportunities in the editorial world and heading up the education department working with talented people and I realized that I had completed that chapter in my life. Larry and I knew that it was time to move on and create something of our own.
LR We meet at bumble and bumble we are very close cause we are so opposite and admire each other for it. An opportunity presented it sell so we went for it.
What were you doing before hair?
VH I have always been doing hair starting at my sister's salon in Australia, moving to London, then Hong Kong and finally, New York picking up different methods and ideas from every country.
LR I was traveling going from job to job finding my way enjoying my youth.
You are the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of hair painting. How did it begin?
VH Hair painting began for me when Michael Gordon sent me to Paris and I learned a certain style from a colorist there. I brought it back to Bumble and Bumble about 20 years ago and both Larry and I started coming up with ways to make it different. Layering it more with patterns, widths and sectioning to give it more depth than a surface balayage that is one dimensional. It has continued to evolve over the 20 years and has truly allowed the operator to become an artist.
LR It began with Victoria going to Paris in 1998 to learn the balayage style of the time. The style back then, which originated in the 60's and 70's, was completely different than what the masses are calling balayage today. What most hairdresser's call balayage now is more similar to the early days of hairpainting. Thanks to us experimenting on different placement, sizing, slicing, saturation, ratio and proportion of color to density, and product consistency, we have created an entirely different and modern technique and approach called HAIR PAINTING. Which leads us to stylist questioning the differences today because they don't realize the evolution.
Have you ever been discourage or wanted to leave doing hair?
VH There have been moments over the years that I have definitely felt jaded and discouraged in my career. I do think they were always moments to do with myself, not hair, but it is always so easy to blame your job when the reasons usually have to do with looking inward and changing yourself. If you are passionate about your career, you have to keep plugging away and never give up and always realize it is the journey and not the destination.
LR Discouragement creeps in all the time. it's what keeps you in check and makes you work harder. Being discouraged and still finding the drive to get and up follow through on what you set out to do is a measurement of success. Never forget why you are doing this in the first place.
Tell us about your contributions to the fashion industry.
VH It started in 1997, when my first editorial came out in Numero Magazine. I remember being elated and couldn't wait to do more. Since then, I have worked with countless magazines including Italian Vogue, W, Bazaar, I.D., Love, Purple, just to name a few. The photographers I have worked with are Steven Meisel, Steven Klein, David Simms, Ellen Von Unwerth, David LaChapelle, and many more. My campaigns have included Prada, Gucci, Dior, Miu Miu, Chloe, Marc Jacobs, and more. In the last 7 years, I have been very fortunate to have been working with legendary Guido Palau and his A-team. This has been the pinnacle of dream team in the fashion industry and has been incredibly humbling and exhilarating to work with them.
LR I think Whittemore House rises to the Occasion when we work on fashion shows we are pushed to our limits and what we contribute is hair that is ahead of its time.
What is it like working on a collection?
VH Working on a collection with my partner, Larry, for the launch of our new product Hair Paint, was such an amazing experience. The choice of models was key to finding out why this product was so special. Our collection ended up being called The Blonde Correction Collection because all of the 8 models we used had damaged hair, two being black colored hair, one having henna in her hair that needed to come out, and the rest having over processed blonde hair. To see all of their hair in better condition than when we started, being able to remove black from the hair in the second application and the same for the henna, was extremely revolutionary. To see the collection at the end and everyone's hair looking better than it was before and knowing that these results would have never been achieved with normal lightening hair powder was such a liberating feeling as colorists and creators of this product.
Whats in your kit?
VH Every single thing that I use in the salon daily, especially Whittemore House Hair Paint. I make sure I pack everything, even if the job is for black or orange, I will pack everything because you never know. Normally when you are asked to be present at a shoot, you will never know what happens. Always be prepared and never forget a thing.
LR Whittemore House Hair Paint lighenting powder. Hair painting brushes and bowls, cotton, clips, ever oil and rake from Reverie shampoo and conditioner towels shades EQ toners and developers, hair Brushes round and flat. Scissors, cutting combs, straight razor, extension cords, hair extensions, electrical tape, Oribe hairspray, Sashajuan ocean mist. American and European plugged hot tools such as blowdryers flat and curling iron's etc.
What advise to you have for young hairdressers?
VH Build a foundation and stick with it. I have noticed over the last 5 years since Instagram and social media have become so popular, it is all about illusion and young hairdressers today look at this and jump from place to place chasing something that isn't really there. There is nothing like building a craft that has substance and integrity. Unfortunately, what has been happening in the industry is he exact opposite. People believe that they can Instagram and find education from YouTube and believe they can be talented just by doing this and there amount of followers becomes how successful you are. The majority of the time, this couldn't be further from the truth, not only in the hair industry but in every industry. Having a quick climb to popularity through illusion is no where near the success that has been built from hard work, endurance, experience and the lessons you learn through failure over a long period of time. This is what building a career is all about.
LR Take your time and learn your craft
What dose the future of Whittermore House look like?
VH It's extremely exciting. Having a great team and a partner that couldn't be better who supports is passionate and believes in what we do and is always wanting to better himself and us. and foundation that works for us, always trying to better themselves and their talents, makes it a great time to have now released a revolutionary product. Releasing a product that is game changing and allows colorists to push their limits to new heights is an exciting time in the hair industry. Our future for educating, hair painting and changing the way everyone will color hair, has a future that is limitless. The world is our oyster!
LR In The future Whittemore House will be an industry standard and influencer in education, product development, employee development held at its highest regard of commitment love and passion for the hair Industry. Whittemore house Hair Paint lighting powder is the best on the market today and with hard work and dedication and determination we will continue to improve innovate develop and progress not only this product but any future hair coloring product we produce.
General production coordination CT
Set and Stage Design Mark Mayer
Video documentation Dean Holcombe
Audio Live Feed Mark Bashian
Stylist/wardrobe Marni Senafante
Makeup Alexa Hernandez & Matisse Makeup
Hair Ryan & Sarajane
Assistants Andi & Douglass
Photography Garrett Markenson