Your Look Handcrafted- House of POp.
If you are a hairdresser, and if you are at all active on social media, you are probably familiar with our feature artist of the month-Douglas McCoy.
When Anthony did a show in Spokane for Evohair with Ed Wyse a few month back, I made sure he would make a stop at House of POp to say hello to our featured artist of the month, Douglas McCoy.
The Godfather (a title McCoy is referred to at times) has been on my radar since the 2013/2014, when he was a guest artist at The Epic Hair Movement- a hair show put together by DJ Muldoon of the Factory.
From his personal signature style to the esthetic of his work on film: everything oozes an unique brand of cool that is unmistakably Douglas's own.
Image maker, hairdresser, salon owner, educator
Ever since Anthony's visit, we have stayed in contact with Douglas and we have been curious to dig a little deeper. We sent him 10 questions, Douglas answered.
We are so grateful for your time and insight. THANK YOU Douglas!
Let's dive right in-
10 Q&A with Douglas McCoy for #ArtistOnEdge
G: Hello Douglas! First thing first, fill us in on your hairdressing journey prior to House of POp.
DM: I was originally going to be a musician. I played in a few bands and thought that music was going to be my life. After a few years I realized I needed a career.
I then enrolled in our local beauty school because it was something I could do with my hands and I quickly fell in love with the creative aspect of hairdressing.
I got a job with a chain salon and quickly got promoted to there art team and started working on media and photos for the company. Having met amazing colorist and hairdresser like Tommy, I knew i needed training.
So after three years, i quit my job and started one of three apprenticeships. Ron who was formerly from Sassoon thought me foundation and history which gave me the base to grow from. I later would go on to train with other members of Sassoon, Toni&Guy and also Bumble and bumble.
G: You have named Andy Warhol as a huge influence of yours. What is it about Warhol that inspires you?
DM: I was first introduced to Andy’s work through some research I was doing on 60’s and 70’s culture in NY. His work had a simplicity about it, his inspirations came from things that were right in front of him. His art is a re-interpretation of these things.
I saw the art, watched the films and read the interviews. I was mesmerized on how similar we were. Not in the quality of work but more so as a person. Andy was shy, he was a people watcher. Study and listen. Much like myself. He didn’t like the attention but in the same aspect he know it was a necessary evil.
Then I got into films. I was starting to document my work with photo and film. I loved how Andy approached film. Simple and honest, just with a camera and the subject to film. That's what I think is all you truly need to document hairdressing. You just let the individual dictate where the story goes.
Then there is the media aspect. Andy was able to do it all. Art, Film, Music and Promotion. By studying just that part you can see how House Of POp was started. We just used Andy’s map as inspiration.
G: Anthony gets ask this a lot and I am sure you do as well. Where else do you get your hair inspirations from?
DM: I always love this question. Some people think that I am always looking at hair. See a girl at the market with bad hair and think that I so want to fix it. The truth is, I tend to look for the quality looks. People who are put together.
I get inspiration just walking down the street. Seeing that one person who has a look about them that makes you turn your head and you can’t take your eyes off them. It’s an emotional thing. The same feeling you get when that song comes on or a photo you see. It just hits you and you can’t shake it and it ends up becoming a part of your work.
G: Why Spokane? How did you end up there?
DM: Great question. My wife Amy took a job. She has always been the supporter of the family, money, health insurance. So we tended to go where she needed to be. I remember I didn’t want to go because I thought it would be the death of my work being out of the City. (Seattle)
I think I hated it for the first eight years. I was out of town a lot in NY and LA working Fashion week and shows. Doing anything that would get me out. Then I started meeting “my people”-local artists, models, designers, musicians, etc, and truly saw what this city had to offer. I had amazing people to collaborate with.
When I quit my job with a local salon and started traveling, I started really putting myself out there and started to get some attention. Amy and I started planning on where to move. I knew that if I went anywhere I would just go work with my friends and POp would just get incorporated into their brand. So by staying in Spokane, we could focus on POp and give it a home based in a city that is getting ready to blow up.
G: You have a distinct presence on various social media platforms. How has social media contributed to your career/path?
DM: At first it was just a free place to put the documentation of my work. Hoping it would end up in hair publications wasn’t going well. So it was just a good place to put it. First MySpace then Facebook.
Amy was the one who was showing me what's all the new on media sites. She was pushing me to put my work out on them. I learned really quickly how to use this new platform as a way to promote my work. We made up a fake brand that later became House Of POp. Photos, videos...anything that could be put out there where the people needed to see the work.
Then Hairbrained spotted it and started to share it to others and quite truly that's how this whole thing started.
G: Where do you see House Of POp going? Any plans to expend? Are you going to create an academy?
DM: Expand is always in progress. Once you put something out in the world it has to grow and evolve or it dies. The salon has already outgrown our tiny space after just 2 years. So we know it has to get bigger.
We are giving POp five years to “find itself”; by letting the team say what it needs and how it should operate, that way it's not a dictatorship. Everyone gets a say. Then we can work on a quality training program for our new team members.
We would also like a few satellite salons. I don’t want to do winters anymore so I have my eye set on a few cities. I don’t see an academy as such. We are known more for inspiration so I think we will head in that direction. There are a lot of amazing educators out there and I think having an inspiration based company to do parallel work is something that is missing.
G: You have just done a huge event with Club Intrigue. How did it go? George seems to be another fun person in the industry to work with, how did you two meet?
DM: We have done two now and I love what they bring. No selling, just education and inspiration with hairdressers from all backgrounds.
George is amazing and a true friend. He and I clicked right away. My cuts and work are a bit different, and George always wants to color them. It gets both of us out of the box. To have Keune back us up and allow us to work together is lovely treat.
G:You do a lot of education events with R+Co. What's your role with them? What can we expect to see from you in the future?
DM: As of right now, I am listed as a freelance artist and a National educator with R+Co. I have been around Howard McLaren since about 1995 and when it was time to leave Bumble Howard approached me with a project he was working on that would later become R+Co and I was all in.
I like being around people when are passionate about the work and we have a team that is just that. I don’t know where my role will go with the company but I do know that i like being apart of LBP. It’s a different kind of company and affords me the opportunity to work in all aspects of production- from photo, video, branding and marketing. They are BIG supporters of POp and allow me the freedom to explore.
G: What are some of the trends we will be seeing in the season/ collection? Shapes, length, texture, etc.
DM: This is a great question. I'm not a fan of “trends”. Magazines and TV tend to pigeonhole trends to where hairdressers tend to use them as a “what they should be doing” instead of doing what inspires them. It tend to be just copying what others are doing.
At POp we tend to focus on what inspires us. Doing what the others are not. Like right now we are introducing sets into our work. True old school hairdressing that has died in our world. We get amazing shapes and textures that last for days.
By being around Howard, Garren and Tom from R+Co and studying the history of hairdressing, we find ourselves trying new things. I encourage all salons to develop their own trends and its cool when it inspires others to try it and the next thing you see is brands doing it as the next ‘trend"
G: What should we keep an eye out for from you in 2017? i.e: in salon education? more videos? more traveling? photoshoots?
DM: We plan on getting the team in place to start doing in salon classes. At POp as well as traveling. Working on our films to better document our growth. We also want to focus more on inspiring the client with videos and classes geared toward them.
We are BIG believers on educating the client like hairdressers did back in the day. It’s a staple of our brand and we think it is something that has been missing for quite some time and needs to come back
Hope you have enjoyed this new monthly feature on our blog xxx