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Making NOISE in Asia

By: Sarah Federico,

Adam Federico, creative director for Federico Beauty Institute and Federico Advanced, traveled to China and Taiwan in June to help partake in “the anti-hair show hair show”….

Raw. Visceral. And a bit in your face. This is NOISE, the immersive and authentic alternative to today’s hair show. Adam Federico is humbled and empowered to have been included on the NOISE Taipei and NOISE Shanghai stages– experiences he will not likely forget.

The guerilla-style, pop-up event is the brainchild of Richard Ashforth, SACO International Creative Director and a regular Federico Advanced guest educator.

Finding hair shows “a bit formulaic,” Ashforth set out to create something wildly different – something iconic. “I called up some friends – Peter Gray, Tim Hartley and X-Presion – and they were all in.”

NOISE began with just four teams taking a London stage in 2012. Since then, international cities including Moscow, Paris, and Tokyo have played host. This year Ashforth brought NOISE to Taiwan and mainland China where hairdressers embraced the event with enthusiasm. He attributes this to the blending of opposing concepts collaboration and competition. Ashforth nurtures this energy, finding the two more alike than not.

“Whilst I love the idea of collaboration, I think that the ideas of collaboration and competition are slightly inseparable. I’m 100% behind supporting what other artists are doing; making sure that their work and their presentation is carried out in the best possible way. That can mean physically helping them to do the hair, or me facilitating their desires to be presented in a particular way. But NOISE generates great competition as well.”

“It’s about stepping it up – and I’ve been caught short myself,” admits Ashforth. “I’ve stood there at the end of the show and thought; I’ve just had my ass spanked! If you embrace the creative element of NOISE, it pushes you to dig deep and find something new. So, while the spirit is very collaborative, it’s also very competitive in a positive way.

Adam Federico agrees, summing the show up in three words: Exhilarating, groundbreaking and boundary-pushing. “It’s pure creative freedom. There are no rules, no limits, and no one pushing their own agenda… NOISE is about creative collaboration and pushes the limits of what might seem possible.”

Adam recalls, “So, while I have a ton of great memories from the shows, the most impactful memory for me stems from a shopping trip with Richard Ashforth and Tim Hartley. As we walked around, Tim talked about each of the most influential designers. But what he was really discussing was their history, what made them who and what they are today.”

“To me,” says Federico, “this is NOISE. The show is creative, avant-garde. But it takes into account where we’ve come from as an industry – and more importantly – where we hope to go.”

“That’s what I’m all about,” says Federico. “Honoring our roots while keeping my eye trained on the future.”

 To learn more about upcoming NOISE events, SACO International and Richard Ashforth, visit: @noise_event_official @saco.usa @richardashforth @federicoadvanced

About the Author:

Sarah Federico is a Heart-centered storyteller, discovering the magic in the mundane.