Davines WWHT 2022

Davines WWHT 2022 – PART 2

In Uncategorized by Nicky

This Summer, Davide Bollati and his team at Davines invited guests to a gathering in Parma, Italy to visit the Davines Village and celebrate the achievements of the brand community with the World Wide Hair Tour (WWHT) event. As chairman of the brand, Davide has a lot to share. Over a hot weekend in June, Tribu-te joined the gathering to discover more about the brand’s pathway into the future.

A new movement

Coinciding with WWHT, one key announcement from Davide is the launch of We Sustain Beauty. This is described as a ‘socio-environmental initiative to take climate action by raising awareness of the importance of biodiversity and regenerative organic agriculture on a global scale. That’s quite mouthful so we’ll help take it apart and hopefully inspire you with the vision behind it.

Davines WWHT 2022

First step is to understand that Davines is a certified B Corporation and is distributed in 90 countries. This means the company has already been verified by the B Lab organisation to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability wherever it operates’. That’s a big tick as regards climate change and sustainability. You can take it from us, there will be lots of tracking things like the way employees are treated, production processes, charitable giving and ethical practices. Sustainability is part of the brand’s DNA. But that’s not enough, says Davide.

We Sustain Beauty Davines is literally putting its values and pioneering environmental ambitions for the future together, building on the brand’s deeply-rooted heritage of sustainability. Davines will also now donate a total of 50,000€ to two organizations which support regenerative organic agriculture and the biodiversity, respectively: Rodale Institute, a pioneer of the regenerative organic movement; and The Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, which protects food biodiversity across the world.

Rodale at Davines

The Rodale Institute grounds at the Davines Village

This means going further than sustainably practices; it means researching and putting into action ways of regenerating the planet, and actually improving the environmen

Three voices

During our time in Parma. we met three important people, spending 10 minutes with each to find out in their words, what all these plans mean and how they should interest the wider hairdressing industry. It’s fascinating stuff so do read on. First, Davide Bollati is the chairman at Davines and [ comfort zone ] and chatted to us about what we’d seen:

Davines Davide Bollati

Chairman: Davide Bollati talks with Tribu-te

Tribu-te: How do you feel about this space, the Davines Village, emotionally speaking?
Davide: This Village is really a fiesta for us – every day we come here and it’s wonderful to work in these conditions… reinforcing our desire to continue on this journey. Here I feel a lot of encouragement in our intention to go to the next level. I feel a lot of engagement with people… and that we are on the right journey. We keep on doing things that maybe don’t make much sense economically – like the project with Rodale – but they make a lot of sense purpose wise. And on the medium to long term I have no doubt they will reward on impact and influence on the beauty industry at large, and also the food, the fashion industries… all the industry that needs to start with a sustainable supply chain.

Davines WWHT 2022

Visitors to the Davines Village during WWHT 2022

Tribu-te: How had Covid left its mark on your plans?
Davide: The past two years didn’t change anything only reinforced our intentions – making us more coherent and maybe speeding it up a little bit.
Tribu-te: Have you revised your plans at all?
Davide: No, we don’t introduce a new idea that makes the previous one obsolete. It’s one idea that builds and feeds off the other. Regeneration is one step further than sustainablity. To explain: sustainability is how to minimise your impact, Regeneration is how you want to maximise your positive impact – that’s more ambitious and raises the bar.

Davines WWHT 2022Tribu-te: Will you need to be aware of as you get bigger?
Davide: We have brought in managers from big multi-nationals who bring a lot, but we definitely don’t want to change everything. Of course we are open to change because a company that has a lot people can’t been the same as it was when it was small.

Tribu-te: Is growth the goal?
Davide: [laughing] Growth is a hot topic in the economy – how do you measure growth? There are limits and planetary boundaries. I would like to grow tremendously, but only within these limits to growth otherwise we are not interested. We grow only if we do stuff that brings the industry to the next level when it comes to supply chain, packaging, engaging with the consumer.

THANK YOU DAVIDE! A good insight into the Davines global vision.

Next we met Mark Giannandrea who is Global General Manager at Davines – a Brit based in Parma with plenty of global experience in hairdressing. We talked about what makes Davines the brand it is:

Davines WWHT 2022

Presenting in Parma, Mark Giannandrea

Tribu-te: What does the future look like for hairdressing as an industry?
Mark: During the Pandemic everyone had to make a living and the idea of opening up a salon in their back garden became very appealing. Legal or not, people did it. And hairdressers were caught up in this idea of ‘Great, I can do this on my own’. We’ve seen a large exodus of quality people leaving salons and trying to do it for themselves. And so the wholesale market has increased 10-fold. And that’s fine, but working alone means you don’t get the training. As a manufacturer it’s very difficult to reach the independent hairdresser, to coach, train or guide. This is a new challenge.

Rethinking Plastic with Davines

Tribu-te: Is there any way back to being more salon-based?
Mark: In about 4-5 years we’ll get a circularity ie. hairdressers coming back to salons. And I think small salons investing in their teams, building experiences and loyalty then will be rewarded. But I think we have to wait.
Tribu-te: Is this a global problem?
Mark: The US is way down the track with rent-a-chairs as a business model, but the problem is there’s no localized bodies to bring the manufacturers together.  I believe it’s the same everywhere; the manufacturers generally don’t care enough. The big corporate names are driving and pushing more and more to put the business online in order to reach the consumer and this is cutting out the benefit of the salon [as a way to reach consumers]. If they do it to build their brand awareness, I have no problem with that. But there has to be some sort of kick back for the salon and some sort of reinvestment in supporting the industry as a whole.

Davines builds a community through social actions

Tribu-te: What about Davines… as a brand do you look at what other brands are doing or fly solo?
Mark:  Here we do manufacture products, but what we are is a community building organization! We just so happen to sell products to be able to support all of these things. A community builds with like-minded people. We don’t follow trends, but come up with creative cultural ideas so if people like it they’ll join. To be honest its community first with an inspiration of hair. Because everyone who comes as part of the community is intrinsically linked to hair.

Nicky Pope

Nicky Pope, Tribu-te publisher UK, visited the Davines Village

Tribu-te: What’s the vision for the future?
Mark: We’re an ideas company. In some ways, that’s the problem with Davines – we have no shortage of ideas! Take Rodel – first we signed a deal with them. Then we figured out how to bring them into the organization. In any other company it would be the other way round. [laughs]. So the long term plan is to focus on We sustain Beauty, The Rodale partnership, Regenerative agriculture, … and start elevating our sustainable message into this regenerative state. If you don’t overwork the soil it will bring in the carbon and help the soil to regenerate. It’s a no-brainer.

THANKS MARK, we appreciate the dive into Davines DNA. 

Our third meeting was with Tom Connell, Hair Art Director at Davines. This is a global role for which he has recently moved to Parma to be in the heart of the Davines community. Tom shares more on the creative direction for the brand.

Tom Connell

Tom chatting with Tribu-te for WWHT 2022

Tribu-te: So Tom, a global role, what are the challenges for this dealing with so many countries? 
Tom: Well, in some ways, we tend to be going out delivering lots of the same messages, like launching a new campaign. Obviously you need to adapt different techniques for different hair types, different ethnicities, but then again it’s similar. Equally, we can have an online meeting with Hong Kong, New York, LA, France, Italy, London discussing the same topic on the same day – but it’ll mean taking a different approach depending where you are talking with. I find it fascinating.

Tribu-te: Overall, does the Davines concept transcend territorial differences?
Tom: Yes, we know where we’re going and we have a clear vision. We have a few key things we focus on and that’s what a Davines audience wants. I always believe, if you were to bend to everything then you don’t stand for anything. People want to be led in a way – want to be lead culturally. That’s the reason someone looks at a brand. So yes, we make adaptations for local cultures but the vision and the core message is the same.


A campaign image by Tom for Davines

Tribu-te: As a creative artist, now you are working for a brand [rather than a salon] do you fear the word ‘commercial’ impacting on your creativity?
Tom: Yeah of course. You’ve got to remember at the heart why you’re doing something and the worst thing you can do is to think, will my bosses like this? Take my show at this WWHT –  it’s for the hairdressers who have paid to travel here to watch me, and I know what they like to see. So I’ve got to keep checking on myself – to stay creatively true, whilst taking account of the direction of the brand. Alternatively, when it’s time to do a campaign that’s not about me expressing myself as Tom Connell, that’s about me building a Davines hair identity that lives on after I’ve gone. 

Tribu-te: What’s your goal as Hair Art Director?
Tom: We want people to see an image and know it’s Davines without looking at the logo – like I’ve seen Sassoon and Toni&Guy do. As an art director, if you do your job right then in a few years you shouldn’t even be needed. You should build a community and an aesthetic that lives on organically.


Davines is creativity, taste and values…

Tribu-te: Tell us about your show at the WWHT? 
Tom: I’m taking the audience on a journey – I want to show them the ‘why’ as much as the ‘how’. It’s not an education seminar – I want them to know the inspiration touch point I’ve gone to in order to create something. This way they can go off and create something for themselves. If you understand the process it’s different from watching and replicating.  Secondly, I really want to show a group of ideas that are not based on trends or seasons, but more like the ideas that live on the fringes. An artistic statement which you might like, or not. It’s me noticing and interpreting.

WWHT 2022

Tom’s show for WWHT 2022

Tribu-te: Is this how you approach every show? 
Tom: Yes. I start with the audience – 100% that’s where I start. I think, what would I want to see? What have I enjoyed and what have I not enjoyed? I love how producer Rick Rubin says that our self expression if its done right, allows your audience their self expression. 

THANKS TOM – we love the insight. To find out more about Tom’s show, click HERE

Faring well 

During our time at the Davines Village, along with guests from some 54 countries we toured the grounds to find out more about the regenerative agriculture and sustainability efforts. There is lots to see in the product testing spaces, office and labs – all beautifully presented. But also now fields surround the village where we saw the Davines Group-Rodale Institute European Regenerative Organic Center.  Here guides delivered the simple, yet important message: healthy soil and plants equal healthy people. After observing the agricultural area, visitors gently planted a small handful of seeds on the perimeter of the field, contributing to the next generation of regenerative crops.


“The linear economy model – based on the paradigm of taking, use, dispose of – is no longer sustainable. To guarantee the survival of our species, we need a paradigm shift that turns the tide of the linear economy. Our vision is circular and regenerative; we aim at restoring the environmental balance between human beings and nature, giving back what we already received.” Davide Bollati – Chairman, Davines and [ comfort zone ]

There’s been a lot to discover on our visit, and yet it’s simple. We have to take action on safeguard the planet – and working together makes us go faster. Mull on the Davines messages and importantly, the ethos of being a community and how this makes us stronger. 



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