The Colour of New England


ew England is SWH Art Team’s latest technical colour collection. We’ve taken inspiration from the street-styles worn by our SWH clients and community.  

It represents the diversity of work that SWH Team enjoys in-salon on a daily basis, with a focus on easy street-styles, wearable colour and versatile gender-free styling.

The SWH tagline, style-music-fashion, is the essence of the salon and our brand’s ethos.

So naturally, New England – a technical collection – is inspired by Simon and the Team’s interest in the subcultures and street-styles. It celebrates our gender-free approach to hairdressing, with a focus on accessibility and our community.

Like our recent BN1 campaign and those before it, we used our clientele as our models. And New England is a vibrant statement of our brand identity. It focuses on individuality, creativity and real people, while demonstrating the skill and technical expertise of our team.

The Brief

SWH Team took to the streets of Brighton to build a portfolio of images and looks that excited or interested them. The city’s historical association with music, fashion tribes, creatives and students make it a melting pot of styles and a rich source of ideas. We selected our models from our broad SWH community and invited the team to work with their own client base to reference their salon work.

Texture and wearability was at the forefront of the styling choices, with carefully-considered colour placement to enhance shape and texture.

The Looks

Simon led the collection, assisted by Brand Ambassador, Lora, and Colour Specialist, Dan.

The dream-duo have years of experience educating and presenting new colour techniques on a national platform. Working closely together, they’ve developed a synchronicity of understanding and skill that’s impressive not just professionally but also on a personal level.

For New England, the colour palette referenced the Pantone Colour Institute’s trend predictions for 2018/19. Other looks incorporated natural tones enriched with carefully-considered colour placement to enhance shape and texture.

Max (with SWH since we opened in 2012) was key in advising with cutting and styling. And Rhi (one of the first SWH Juniors who has proudly progressed through the ranks) was invaluable in helping with styling on the shoot itself. The cuts were bespoke to each individual model, allowing them complete ownership of their style. Texture and wearability was essential.

The Shoot

The collection was shot on-location and in-studio at The Brighton Studio with our favourite collaborators, Xoe Kinglsey on make-up duty and Kenny McCracken behind the lens. We opted for stripped-back lighting and a neutral set to allow the colour to shine.

Meanwhile, serious styling skills were brought to the team by Greg Bailey, using clothing sourced from Beyond Retro.We wanted to reference the subcultures of the music scenes of the 60’s through to the 90’s, with more than a nod to the anti-fashion fashion of the art school, student vibe that SWH Team observed around Brighton.

The backdrop to our video, filmed using Mavis by Coby Carnage, was the graffiti-laden walls outside the studio at New England House, which gave it’s name to the shoot. Paired with a sample from Jesse Rose’s Miss Taker (featuring David E. Sugar) and the individuality of the models, the video brings the collection to life and takes it back to the very streets that inspired it.

The Video

The Reception

Elements of New England were first presented onstage at Pro Hair Live back in the Autumn of 2017, when Simon, Dan and Lora demoed three of the looks onstage for The Fellowship. The response from our industry peers was resoundingly positive and we released the looks one-by-one over a few months.

Industry press featured New England in its entirety with wide coverage online and in print. And once the collection had been published, we took it further and Lora used the looks as inspiration for her live auditions at the F.A.M.E. Team 2019 semi-final.

To see Lora’s presentation for F.A.M.E. and behind the scenes coverage, check-out our upcoming blogpost F.A.M.E. – The Next Generation of Stylists.

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