How Four Stylists Created One of the Coolest New Hair Lines
By Elise Minton Tabin |
Once upon a time, four pioneering stylists from all walks of life and totally different backgrounds met through hair care education. Aaron Grenia, Franck Izquierdo, Chase Kusero and Leo Izquierdo all had deep roots within the hair industry, and after working for another hair brand, decided to create a united front and do their own thing, hence the birth of IGK salons (the brand name stands for the first letter in each stylist’s last name), with the first locale being at the Shore Club in Miami Beach (it has since moved to the SLS in Miami Beach). Next came New York (the IGK salon is located in the Dream Hotel), and finally IGK planted its feet in Los Angeles in a private bungalow on the border of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
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Over time, IGK became synonymous with what the quartet calls the way they do hair, “a new movement; the new school of hairstyling.” Grenia says, “We wanted to create a ‘new way’ to do hair and be able to spread it across the beauty industry by leading from each major market—Miami, Los Angeles and New York. We are all about creating trends and using social media to go against the norm.”
Each with a long-standing career in hair—Los Angeles–based Kusero says he was cutting the hair of his friends and family by the time he was 17; Franck Izquierdo, who heads up the Miami locale and comes form a long lineage of haircutters, says the profession was made for him, and Grenia explains that he got into hairstyling as a means of a creative outlet, which developed into a super passion. The IGK product line really came to be in part due to a single vision: to create a melange of hair products that were able to fit the needs and wants of both the client and stylist. After eight years running and perfecting its three salons, IGK branched out and added products to its resume, which launched at Sephora. “To truly inspire change and do something different, we faced some ups and downs and challenges,” says Kusero. “But IGK had a strong vision on what each product would be. It took about a year to develop once we really started working on the line.” What they created is a product line based on the idea of each stylist’s home base—Miami, New York and Los Angeles—and the distinctions found in each locale, which include a signature scent for each. “Working in the three cities made curating this line really unique and fresh,” says Franck Izquierdo.
With a philosophy deep-rooted in creative vision, packaging that screams chic and sexy, and fun product names, it was only a matter of time before the line caught on with consumers and became an industry sensation. “Right now, there's are a lot of really-simple-but-trying-to-be-chic packaging. Social media has changed the world of beauty and we wanted each product to have its 15 minutes of Instagram fame,” says Leo Izquierdo.
Of course, there are the hair essentials in the 21-SKU paraben-, sulfate- and gluten-free line, like dry shampoo aptly named Jet Lag ($29), a coconut oil–based gel called Rich Kid ($27), and Beach Club ($29), a texturizing spray. Whether used on their own or as part of a more layered look, each product meets the demands of hair day in and day out without imparting stiffness, dullness or dryness.
So, even if you’re nowhere near an IGK salon, it’s safe to say that you can still get the look of what these master crafters would create.