Articles > Oribe’s Top Educator Shares His Best Tips
May 25, 2016

Oribe’s Top Educator Shares His Best Tips

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Hair education is like food—you want the gorgeous confections to satisfy your creative side, but you also need the tried-and-true techniques for sustenance. That’s what Oribe set out to deliver during its Chicago Atelier. More than 200 eager hairdressers packed into the beautiful Moonlight Studios to see the Oribe Hair Care Education TeamGlobal Ambassador James Pecis, National Educator Christian Ceja-Compin, Artistic Educator Kien Hoang and National Educator Coby Alcantar—deliver both the special sweets and the life-sustaining techniques they need to succeed behind the chair.


Gorgeous and highly-detailed look from Christian Ceja-Compin.


The day started with the “candy,” as James put it—a fantastic look-and-learn portion that began with highly editorial looks, followed by each artist completing a full look start-to-finish. After lunch, attendees got to participate in a hands-on portion with their own models, completing James’ modern take on a retro classic chignon and taking home a solid technique that they’ll be able to use in their own salons on brides and prom-goers!


The hands-on class was packed, and the vibe was very Fashion Week!


The Oribe Atelier has already passed through Portland and Chicago, and is now headed to Las Vegas, Nashville and Los Angeles. Find out more about how to attend, and learn about Oribe’s Journey to Mastery education, which is open to ALL hairdressers! Until then, we’ve got you covered. BTC chatted with James and grabbed his best advice for making it in an editorial styling world.


James’ final look and the inspiration for the hands-on portion of the Atelier.


Four attendees’ takes on James’ look.
Hair by (clockwise from top left): @jessewyatt, @gabriellecionti, @haleydoeshairs, @yo_ally_cakes


James’ Tips


  • “A very famous photographer once told me that the two most important things in fashion photography are hair and hair,” James said. “If the clothes are bad, but the hair is fabulous, you have a shot. If the clothes are amazing, but the hair isn’t good, the shot ends up in the garbage.” It’s true that the hair is totally crucial. Makeup can be photoshopped, but hair carries the shot!


  • James doesn’t mince words—getting into editorial styling is HARD. “It comes down to luck, being in the right place at the right time, knowing people and persistence,” he said. “You have to give up everything. I didn’t go to my sister’s wedding because I had a job. You have to be a little bit crazy.” But if you’re up for it, it’s totally rewarding. “It’s difficult to do, but why not challenge yourself?” he said.


  • If you want an editorial career, here’s James’ advice: “There are a thousand other people out there giving 110 percent to do this. You need to give more than them,” he said. “If they’re spending an hour braiding, you spend an hour-and-a-half braiding. Then figure out your weakest skill and practice. I do a lot of braiding because I wasn’t good at braiding. Every chance you get to do anything—a test shoot, a class—do it.


  • James’ most prized skill when he’s hiring? Teamwork. “It’s all about doing what’s best for the team, not best for yourself,” he said. “If someone’s a veteran but doesn’t have the right attitude, we’ll get rid of them for someone who’s more green if they have hustle, teamwork and eagerness.”


See all the photos from the Oribe Chicago Atelier!

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James Pecis