Husband and wife team Andrea and Stephen Cockle have transformed a heritage building in Parnell, Auckland, into a modern and inviting hair salon.
Complete with a bar stocking New Zealand craft wine and beer, Harney & Sons tea and coffee from local favourite Espresso Workshop, the couple has worked hard to create a space that allows their clients to relax and enjoy their time in the chair.
We talk to them about their inspiration behind ASC salon, the contemporary decor, their favourite hair trends and their New Zealand Fashion Weekend showcase, Exhibit.
FQ: So first thing’s first, your salon has a bar! Tell us more about that please…
Stephen: It’s important for us that our clients feel as comfortable as possible and that they enjoy the process of visiting ASC. We think many of our clients will like being able to read a magazine and have a drink at the bar as their colour sets. We want all the products in the salon to reflect our own tastes so we serve drinks from two awesome local companies, Brothers Beer and Invivo wine.
You have over 40 years’ collective experience in the hair industry. Has this salon been a dream of yours for a while then and do you feel like you’ve designed your ideal space?
Andrea: Yes, this has been a dream for quite some time. The design has worked out better than we could have imagined, thanks to the talents of Material Creative.
What was the inspiration behind the fit-out and interior styling for the salon?
Stephen: We knew we wanted to honour the fact the salon is in a heritage building that is full of beautiful character details. At the same time, we wanted to bring in some industrial elements. The inspiration we gave Toni (our designer) was very steel orientated. Toni added the soft touches and brought it all together.
What’s your favourite part of the décor?
Andrea: Mine is definitely the wallpaper, without a doubt. We sourced it from Icon Textiles.
Stephen: Mine would have to be the steel work stations.
What is it about your offering that sets ASC apart from other salons?
Stephen: We are offering a high calibre in terms of our environment, services, skill and expertise, but at the same time a place that is warm and welcoming, like a lounge. We’re really proud of our level of client connection—it’s personal, we want clients to feel like they’re coming in to visit a friend.
Which brands will you be working with in the salon and why have you chosen them in particular?
Andrea: The two product companies we will work with are R+Co and Davines. We love the ethos of Davines, which is super sustainable and made with natural ingredients. R+Co products are also free from parabens, sulfates, mineral oil and petrolatum. R+Co is a fantastic brand with a stylish, editorial focus.
Are there any hair trends you’re really excited about at the moment? Both cut and colour-wise?
Stephen: I love the new way people are wearing their hair: blunt on the edges with texture through the interior to create a strong and disheveled look. Lobs are still fairly popular but people are wearing them in this softer way. Colour-wise, I’m stoked we have dropped pastels and people are going for bright and bold colours. I did a beautiful midnight blue three days ago.
Can you explain a bit about what you have planned for the NZFW Exhibit showcase this year?
Andrea: Exhibit is a celebration of industry talent. It’s unlike any other showcase because it’s not competitive and there are no boundaries – the stylists have free reign to be as creative as they can be. All of our friends from salons like Ryder, Fabrik, Toni & Guy and Hamilton Brooks take part and it’s just really fun; they get to express themselves without the limits of a competition. It’s a very theatrical show and each salon owns it in a different way, for instance this year Ryder is collaborating with WORLD for something really amazing.
Exhibit is part of New Zealand Fashion Weekend and will be held on Sunday August 28 at 7.30pm. For tickets to Exhibit and the Fashion Quarterly and Miss FQ shows at Fashion Weekend, visit iTicket.co.nz.