If you follow Aveda UK on Instagram or you’re looking to break into hairdressing, you’ll be familiar Antoinette Beenders. Vice President Global Creative Director at Aveda, we caught up with her during her latest visit to London to steal some of her wisdom.
1. What took you into hairdressing?
Bo Derek braids! When I was 12, I went to see the movie 10 and was blown away with the beaded cornrows of Bo Derek. I ended up braiding this girl with waist-length hair and my dad who was a photographer photographed the hairstyle and that kickstarted my passion for imagery.
2. What’s your biggest achievement?
Of course, I am proud of winning my hair awards: Avant Garde – twice British and twice Fellowship – Hairdresser of the Year. I advanced my career into becoming a Senior Vice for the Estée Lauder Companies and am part of an elite group of Creative Directors who have won packing awards and printing awards with our collections. As a female, I have had a lot of firsts; in the 90s I was the first solo female to be nominated for British Hairdresser of the Year; and was often the only girl backstage at fashion shows – even now only a small percentage are female Creative Directors in the corporate/advertising world. It feels like I’m still in the 90s!
3. Tell us about your role with Aveda…
Currently, I run 3 different teams; the global artistic team, the fashion week team and my corporate team which consists of, graphic design, copy writing, packaging design, multimedia, store design and visual merchandising, as well as working with product development and being part of the Aveda leadership team.
4. Who’s your hairdressing idol and who inspired you throughout your career?
Trevor Sorbie was my first idol and still is today, of course Horst Rechelbacher (Aveda’s founder) was a great inspiration when it came to opening my mind and looking at things in a holistic way.
5. Which hairdresser would you most like to work with (past or present)?
I would not mind spending a day with Julian D’ys and I’ve heard some great things about Raymond Bessone, Mr. Teasy Weasy, I would have loved to been a fly on the wall in his time.
6. What do you think about how the role of social media plays in hairdressing today?
Social media is a must for anyone that wants to build their career. It can be the quickest way of building awareness for your own brand (name), this in turn can transform your business.
7. Who cuts your hair!?
Olivier at the Aveda Lifestyle Salon & Spa London and Ricardo Denis in NYC.
8. What’s your one product could you not live without?
Aveda’s damage remedy™ daily hair repair.
9. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
Whatever you put in, it always comes back
10. What’s your advice for a hairdresser starting out in the industry today?
Follow your heart, put in the work (hours) and go for it, the world is your oyster.