The Hair Appointment EXPERIENCE
The conversation surrounding natural hair braiding within the black community continues to decline, as less and less media channels cater to the black hair experience without misleading audiences.
WHAT WE DID?
As a team, we came up with a concept that would highlight the natural hair braiding experience in the most authentic way possible. We collaborated with Brooklyn-based hair studio, Alima’s Braiding Salon, to document the conversations and beauty process that occur both at the salon and at home. We knew this story was important to many, and we included extremely talented models, stylists, designers, and assistants to help us bring the vision to life. (See photos below)
Photography by Jeremy Rodney-Hall / Directed by Josef Adamu / Hair by Helena Koudou / Wardrobe by Habibat Adetonwa. / Videography by Shaheen Soofi.
Following the completion of the visual story, we began to plan for a traveling exhibition that would allow us to curate experiences globally. We gathered research through social media analytics to learn more about our largest audiences, which were regions in the USA, UK, and Canada. Our goal was to develop interactive showcases inspired by the environment of a salon.
The concept of the exhibit was a perfect opportunity to create our own products for people to enjoy in addition to the content such as magazines, games, hair packs, t-shirts, and stickers.
We did it, bringing the exhibit to life in New York, Oakland, and London.
The series was a global hit, as over 1,000,000 people viewed the project across 20+ media platforms.
The aim was to bring communities together, celebrate the foundation of hair, and transform a digital project into a real-life extravaganza. We did it!
We started in New York, in collaboration with Okay Africa. A night that featured our perspective of an Afro-fused beauty salon. Then, we collaborated with VSCO in Oakland, for a minimal gallery experience allowing us to connect with our west coast family. Recently, we partnered with Peckham Palms in Southeast London for our third interactive exhibit.
Over a total of 1,000 people were in attendance for the exhibits, and the awareness surrounding the project continued to evolve.
Sunday School Emojis
Our team developed a mobile application for users to engage with emojis that celebrated popular hair braiding styles amongst black women. The app is called ‘Sunday School Emojis’ and it serves an interactive purpose for people to discuss about hair types, share their favourite styles, and build momentum for our exhibits. It is currently available via iOS, and continues to inspire as a point of reference, but also a powerful means of representation. (See illustrations below)
The Hair Appointment (London, UK)
In collaboration with local Afro-hub, Peckham Palms, Sunday School curated a hair salon activation for The Hair Appointment. On August 17th, we welcomed guests from all over London to enjoy a night of visual art, hair experiences, dance, and networking. The exhibit featured artists such as Favour J, Kione Grandison, Jade Adeyemi, and Verse Writer. The exhibit allowed us to connect with our audience in London, highlight local talent, and also curate a unique hair salon experience.
The activation was developed by Josef Adamu, Habibat Julmat, Tahirah Jarrett, Tolu Oye, Helena Koudou, and Favour J.
The Hair Appointment (Toronto)
We wanted to do something different while in Toronto. Between our exhibits in Oakland and London, we decided to collaborate with talented musician, Sydanie, on an exclusive music video. In alignment with the Hair Appointment concept, Sydanie developed a freestyle that offered her translation on black hair, black beauty, and the climate we live in. The beautiful ensemble featured her daughter and was premiered the week of Mother’s Day.
Below are highlights from the creative project.
The Hair Appointment (New York)
In collaboration with Okay Africa, Sunday School curated a gallery installation in Brooklyn New York. The activation was created in an effort to connect with creatives while celebrating the impact of the project. The installation included a highly-detailed hair salon set, a presentation of the photos, and over 300 people! We used this opportunity to engage with our rapidly growing audience in New York, and share our creative process through the stages of the project.
Below, are a some highlight moments from the gallery experience.
The Hair Appointment (Oakland)
Following the success of the gallery exhibit in New York, Sunday School had teamed up with Visual Supply Company (VSCo) in Oakland, to offer a varied experience. The Micro Gallery experience was welcomed by over 400+ people on opening night, and it featured a collection of our best photographs from the series. The exhibit was much more minimal than the others, as we chose some of the strongest photos from the series and broke down our vision going in to creating. The exhibit was open for viewing at the VSCO Headquarters until June 2019.