XXY Interviews : The Hair Hero, Kenna

XXY Interviews : The Hair Hero, Kenna

XXY Interviews : The Hair Hero, Kenna

We are well aware of the new age of unique cafes, restaurants, bars and shops that hide away from their expected conventions; that aim to reiterate the usual style, atmosphere and concept to stand out from the rest of the crowd. But how many hair studios challenge the norm? XXY talks with Kenna: a celebrated stylist, creative director of GHD and the name behind the Kennaland studios that take their residency in both London and New York.

Hair studios tend to take on a similar design and character that is repetitive from salon to salon. What is it about Kennaland that sets it apart from the rest?

Kennaland is a studio/workshop environment, to shy away from the traditional salon feel. There is not a front desk or receptionist. Our studios are not shop fronts. They are tucked away from street views. The new studio in London is in an abandoned ballet school and the Brooklyn studio is on the first floor of an old pencil factory, which adds to the experience.

Kennaland seems to rate the clientele’s overall experience as just as important as the quality of the hair styling. What inspired the design and atmosphere of the Kennaland salons?

I’m very strict on the fact that Kennaland is a studio, not a salon. With this in mind, the studio design and whole Kennaland idea is born directly from me. My close friends and family do the construction. As I am constantly working on set around the world, I get to see a lot of amazing locations which greatly inspires me. Most of the collections in the London studio come from my obsession with boot sales, flea markets and auctions. I source everything myself so its not really a pre-planned design, but just seems to happen naturally! In turn, it means the studios tend to change quite a bit depending on what weird and wonderful things I find.

Your love of car boot sales can be recognized by the array of collected tumbledown novelties dotted around the studio… What’s your favourite?

My favorite car boot sale is in the deepest and darkest part of Kent Avenue at Hewitts Farm. The best flea market I have found is the Elephant Trunk Flea in Connecticut.

What would you say is the future of hair fashion and styling?

I would like hair to become the ‘HERO’ again. Fashion has forced the hair to take a back seat a bit in the last few seasons.

You’ve worked in salons for 14 years while maintaining a thriving career in fashion and fathering two successful Kennaland studios in London and New York. What is your best advice for emerging creative businesses in the city?

Never ever take a day off sick! It’s extremely important that you trust your staff and can communicate clearly with each other.

What lies in store for yourself and Kennaland respectively in the upcoming future?

I’m shooting with some of the biggest photographers in the world at the moment so it’s safe to say I’m on cloud nine. Kennaland London’s Sophia and Banksy are hopefully going to come spend some time in Kennaland Brooklyn…

Text: Hannah Sargeant

Images: Courtesy of Kennaland

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