Prema Hair Creative Director Dale Delaporte on Conquering NYC w/ Audacious Mohawks

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If you didn’t know it, Australians are actually very much into their hair – something which has led to some of the most innovative talent from there having been given the context and support for their ideas to genuinely thrive. One of them is Dale Delaporte of Prema.

Francesco Ruggerino opened his first Prema salon in Sydney in 2004, to significant success and acclaim – and with Delaporte as Creative Director (the “Prema” name was drawn from the Sanskrit word for “love”). In 2015 they took the act to New York City, opening a now thriving salon on NYC’s Lower East Side – drawing downtown’s most decidedly stylish denizens to their Stanton street locale.

But Prema’s recognition factor exponentially soared recently, when Korean-born, NYC based designer Kaimin enlisted them to style the hair of the models (which included Downtown legends Amanda Lepore and Susanne Bartsch) in her New York Fashion Week show. The press went wild over the dramatically sky high Mohawks + coordinated Merkins. The fashion label has now gone and captured it all in a short campaign film, ethereally titled Oriental Garden – Utopian Discord.

 

Stills from Oriental Garden – Utopian Discord by Jon Jacobsen

 

They also used exclusively ANTI hair care products, which replace harmful silicons with the natural oils of avocado, coconut and macadamia.

Delaporte says of the role they played in the Kaimin show, “ANTI Texture Spray was the hero product as it allowed us to get maximum root lift while still maintaining the integrity of the hair.’

We caught up for a chat with the Creative Director about the show, and Prema’s growing Stateside success.

 

 

 

 

How did you come to get connected with Kaimin for FW?

Kaimin has been a great client for a long time and we love her. We always admired her sense of style and self-expression. She learned that we have extensive experience with doing runway hair, so then asked us to collaborate on her shows. It was a natural fit.

What were some of the concepts and influences that went into the overall show and specifically the hair?

The concept for Kaimin’s show came from Kaimin herself. She has a real vision when it comes to her collection and it’s a lot of fun making that become a reality. The mohawks really honored the underlying punk aesthetic of the collection whilst still maintaining an individuality that is evident throughout the pieces. The looks tied in perfectly with ANTI hair products and the concept behind the brand.

How has the experience been of building Prema in the US? What have been some of the highlights?

Well how long have you got, I could talk for days about this. Launching has been very challenging, but after four tough years it’s become extremely rewarding. One never knows what to expect when they enter a new market, there have been many twists and turns; but all in all it’s been a positive experience.

Has New York been an inspiration?

The main highlight has been the personal and professional growth that I have experienced through the challenges I have faced. New York is brutal but at the same time inspiring, and a highlight for me is having learned to create balance within that mix. I love New York and I love New Yorkers even more, how incredibly generous in spirit the people are. It’s funny, but I feel even though there are so many people living in such a crowded space, that we all share the same struggle; and for that reason it seems to bring us together in a way that makes me feel like we are all on one team. This is my community and I love it.

How is styling hair in different in the US compared to Australia?

Things like social media and the internet have done huge things for keeping everyone up to date with current trends – which thankfully means, that even though Australia and the US are on other sides of the world, you can be on trend before the trend is gone. Australian hairdressing is world class, so it’s great to be able to bring a taste of that to the Lower East Side through the amazingly talented team we have been lucky enough to have at Prema NY.

 

Francesco and Laura Ruggerino at Prema NYC – image by Ondine Viñao