AOI gets Schwarzkopf cool schools contract

International haircare brand Schwarzkopf has appointed London consultancy Association of Ideas to design interiors for its worldwide training academies, the first of which opens in Tokyo in August. The project is believed to be worth in the region of £50 000 in design fees to the group.

Further centres are set to open later this year in central London and Paris, and negotiations for additional sites are underway, says AOI managing director Jonathan Lovett.

The new-look academies are the largest Schwarzkopf has opened to date. Several smaller academies exist, and the company has plans to refurbish these once the larger sites are complete.

Schwarzkopf briefed AOI to create something ‘completely different’ that would reflect the particular qualities of the city in which each academy is based, says Lovett.

‘The academies should interact with each city,’ he says. ‘They set hair fashion trends which we then see adopted by salons on every high street.’

The consultancy has created a flexible series of layouts designed to work in different-sized spaces, and ‘take into account the diversity of each building’.

‘Schwarzkopf also wanted its training schools to relate more closely to the creative arts of fashion, photography and cinema,’ adds Lovett.

To reflect this, AOI has designed a gallery, to be used for fashion and photography shows, as part of the Tokyo academy. The flagship academies will also include lounge areas and Internet access.

AOI won the contract without a pitch on the back of previous work for Schwarzkopf. It created an identity guide last year for the redesign of the company’s international hairdressing shows, the largest of which opens at the end of April in Frankfurt.

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