Founded by the Dutch hairstylist Hester Wernert-Rijn in 2007, Mogeen Salon & Hairschool occupies a large, industrial space in the centre of Amsterdam. Inside, the raw concrete flooring and exposed copper piping are counterbalanced with softer design flourishes such as vintage furniture, soft leather armchairs and plants.
“The salon’s overall aesthetic is in some ways a reflection of me,” Wernert-Rijn explains, “the love I have for antiques, butterflies, and plants are all integrated into the look of the salon. It’s important that customers feel at home here, which is why we have the comfortable Chesterfield couches, candles and Chinese fortune cookies on the tables… It’s all about giving people a warm feeling, especially when they don’t have a good day. Hopefully this gives them a fresh start to the day, followed by a beautiful haircut.”
In addition to the salon, Mogeen operates a hair school which focuses on equipping its students with the skills to flourish in both session and salon work – something Wernert-Rijn is well versed in. As Global Creative Artist for Wella Professionals, her work spans editorial, catwalk and salon. At Mogeen, she aims to show her team the different skills necessary to work confidently across these different disciplines. “You must always stay in the process of learning,” she says, “my team is in line with this vision and I stimulate them as much as possible so they can learn continuously in the different fields this industry has to offer. This includes assisting me on shoots for magazines such as Numéro, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, at shows during Paris Fashion Week, presentations for Wella Professionals and Balmain Hair.” We caught up with Wernert-Rijn to find out what’s next in store for Mogeen.
How does Amsterdam as a city inspire you? For me, Amsterdam is the place to be, there is so much here that inspires me. The museums, our architecture, the canals… we are such a small country yet Holland has a lot of inspiring people who are internationally brilliant in what they do… for example photographers like Inez & Vinoodh, painters like Van Gogh…
Mogeen operates a hair school as well as a salon. Can you tell us about some of the skills you teach here? The training at the Mogeen Hairschool is based around equipping hairstylists and hairdressers to work on shoots and shows, and teaching hairdressers to work faster and better to reduce the time in the salon. I would love to do Mogeen Hairschool training overseas, I think there is a lot of potential when I speak to hairdressers.
"The salon’s overall aesthetic is in some ways a reflection of me.”
Session styling is a highly collaborative process. Are there any creatives that you particularly enjoy working with? I love working with Reiner Sauter on the Wella Professional international campaigns. We totally understand what we love about the hairdressing business and we both want to bring a beautifully fashionable vibe into the Wella shoots. There is a super balance in our conversations and he lets me create what I love to – beautifully coloured, sexy and moveable hair. There are long days but because it’s so much fun with him and the team it just feels good. When I’m done I have this butterfly feeling in my stomach and can’t wait to see the end result.
I also love working with Eugene Souleiman during Fashion Week. We’ve known each other for almost 15 years and have become good friends. Working with him still inspires me because he is just a Eugenius (that’s what we call him). He is such a grounded and lovely man, always up for a laugh.
What has been your most memorable career moment so far? Ohh that’s difficult, I haven’t just got one but many memorable moments in my life. I loved the show I did for Wella Professionals TrendVision last year in Barcelona. I was a bit nervous when I had to walk with Dmitry (Vinokurov) on stage at the end of the show. I prefer to be behind the stage than on it… but of course I was also proud and it was a memorable moment, so much work and then within 10 minutes the show is done… such an adrenaline kick!
What’s up next? Any exciting projects in the pipeline? Yes! Mogeen will change into a Wella Flagship store next year… January 2018! It will look even more beautiful than it is now, so perhaps we will see you guys back again. Then the Mogeen Hairschool will go more international. And some other projects that I can’t tell you about yet… I’ll keep you posted!
Mogeen Salon & Hairschool is at Vijzelgracht 31, 1017 HN Amsterdam www.mogeen.nl
PhotographyAris Akritidis Interview Emma de Clercq Special Thanks Hester Wernert-Rijn, Global Creative Artist for Wella Professionals