Dream teams at the Brighton Coterie

Three pairs of creatives. Three totally different ways of working. One united theme: collaboration. The Coterie made its way to the seaside for an evening on the joys of teamwork, and pushing each other to fresh heights

The Coterie rolled into Brighton for the very first time and brought with it some fuel for creative fires, with three interviews and wide-ranging discussions from the world of hair, beauty, fashion and events.

Stephàn Vi and Alessandro Franco were first in the hot seat, hosted by Creative HEAD’s deputy editor Deborah Murtha.  As owner and creative director respectively of unique concept salon Glitch, they know a thing or two about bouncing ideas around until you settle on a winning vision. Glitch marries their twin passions of music and art, but looks beyond the four walls of the salon to transform the space into a platform for collaborating, whether that’s with local musicians or even big brands like Topshop. The pair touched on how they level each other out, with Stephàn “firing out ideas” constantly, and Alessandro proving to be a steadfast sounding board, with a perspective shaped outside of the hairdressing industry.

“I’ve always wanted to open an anti-salon,” Stephàn explained. “Having someone who has never managed a hair salon, [Alessandro] was giving me the idea that I wanted a space that doesn’t look like a salon. You can come to have your hair done, but you can come for a coffee, or a gig, or buy some plants.”

Next up, Sync Studio founders Ebony Atakorah and Damien Bonnet showcased some of their mind-blowing brand collaborations. This innovative duo delve to the essence of each brand to create curated experiences, whether that is visual displays in-store, pop-ups for brands in Selfridges, events full of snappable Instagram content, or even a fully-fledged NYFW runway show put together in just a couple of weeks!

“Content is king,” Ebony insisted. “That follows through with everything we do. Shareable content is really important.” The pair push each other on, utilising their strengths to support each other Damien explained: “We come from different backgrounds. I’m more retail and Ebony is more PR and marketing. We need both of these aspects in everything we do because it’s always a journey you take people on. We complement each other really well.

The same is true of our final duo, Phil Gilbert and Sam Shaw. Friends since their teens, they both appreciate the other’s artistic eye and unflinching honesty. While Phil pushed forward with his career in session hair, earning a spot on Sam McKnight’s show team, Sam has been busy building his portrait photography business. There are chances to overlap and recommend each other for gigs, but just having that outside eye and trust prove invaluable. “In our friendship group, we’re the only ones who took a creative route growing up,” Sam explained. “It’s always nice to have someone who is more informal and closer to you.”

“Me and Sam grew up together going to the same gigs. I used to be in a band and Sam used to go to the gigs and photograph us. Twenty years of friendship and we have grown into our craft at the same time,” Phil recalls. “Sam will often send me inspiration or images he’s done and ask my opinion and I’ll do the same. Even with things like clothes!”

Special thanks to the night’s kind sponsors BaByliss PRO, who provided every guest with a lucky dip of their styling tools.

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