Interview: Tracey Hughes, Stacey Broughton and Vic Piccolotto!

Our first assignment on the Saturday morning of Hair Expo was to interview Tracey Hughes, Vic Piccolotto and renown British hairdresser Stacey Broughton at the Goldwell Studios in Sydney’s CBD. Stacey is one of the founders of and previously Senior Creative Director at the Vidal Sassoon Advanced Academy working with greats such as Tim Hartley. He has trained many of the world’s top hairdressers including three time British Hairdresser of the Year, Akin Konizi.

Let’s start with, how did it all come about?

Stacey Broughton: Basically the idea behind is to provide education. As we know, it is expensive all around the world and we saw this as an opportunity to provide affordable education. If you are wealthy you can afford education but if your not, you can’t. One of the things that has always frustrated me is that we are all regarded as shop assistants. We are not regarded as highly skilled professionals and one of my goals in life was to always raise the bar on what we have, because it takes us around about four years to become a hairdresser. It takes a lot of skills, it’s a demanding job and it’s not easy. So in a nutshell, was to raise the bar and provide affordable education for everybody. When you go round small salons where they can’t afford education, they just cut pictures out of magazines and paste them on the wall and go from there. To provide something for those kind of people I think is genius! It only costs them a few pennies instead of thousands of pounds!

So how do you get your hairdressers on board, are they invited?

Tracey Hughes: Because we are a global company, we have licences in different countries. The situation with myself was the global CEO approached me personally and asked me to become the ambassador of for both Australia and New Zealand. I met up with him in London originally and he had done all his research on who he wanted to be the face and voice of MHD down here. Obviously he wanted somebody that came from an education perspective as well because he knew how strong the industry was in Australia & New Zealand. He knew that what we are going to be developing here was actually going to be quite ground breaking!

We have the main site which was developed and targeted to everyone in the industry. By having people like Stacey and of course the original founders of MHD along with some of the biggest players and the biggest industry names in the world on board, it makes it really enticing for a normal hairdresser to go 'wow'! I can learn from Stacey Broughton ! Instead of having Stacey there in person, now they can have Stacey in their lounge room and have coffee with him!

With the youth of today, they are very interactive online. We need to be able to engage with them in their learning. What we intend doing is producing a MHD Student Support Pack. What that means is that we are producing Certificate 3 which is the Australian qualification online. Which is pretty amazing! We are looking at doing the same for New Zealand as well! So what this will mean is all your RTOs, all your colleges, all your schools and all your extra training organisations will be able to take on the MHD Student Support Pack and use that to be able to engage the younger learner so much more! So there are two aspects of MHD, there’s the main site and there’s the student support site.

Some of the names that we have on board are Stacey, Tim Hartley, we’ve got Tracy Hayes, Patrick Cameron. Josh Woods, Lee Stafford, Sharon Blain, Richard Ashforth and the list goes on! And believe it or not, you are going to be very excited about this....We have Mana Dave coming on board! We are very excited about that! I have worked with Mana a lot  as we have presented together throughout Australia and New Zealand and we have worked together internationally as well. So I just rung him and said "Mana we want you on board" and he said " Great let’s go for it!” He is going to help grow support in New Zealand as well. It’s a great platform for emerging artists as it helps grow their profile as well as the established artists being able to attract subscribers to the site as well.

Tell us about Vic Piccolotto?

Tracey Hughes: Vic used to work for me many years ago. He is an Aussie from Melbourne! He moved to Chicago eight or nine years ago where he has worked in the Media Productions for Pivot Point International. He has got a very strong education background. I am very proud of him as he played a very big part in establishing the Meika brand for me in the early days when I first opened. He is a very strong colourist and so we used to work presenting together on education. Just last week he returned to Australia to become my Director of Education across all three brands: Meika Hairdressing, Tracey Hughes Education and working side by side with me as ambassadors for for ANZ.