KAO Salon, New York City Academy

When KAO USA needed a flagship educational center for their professional beauty brands — Goldwell and KMS California — they chose a space in New York City's hottest locale — the meat packing district. When they needed to create an experience within that space to reflect the brand's values, inspire creativity, and build a community — they chose BCG.

Choosing to think beyond the glossy, fashion model imagery that has become de rigueur for most beauty brands, BCG focused instead on creating a design framework that would speak to the brand's core values and emotion. Flexibility and modularity within the system were additional design considerations, given the industry's trend-based DNA.

Using layered graphic, lighting, and interactive elements BCG developed a design system that imparts Kao's brand values — such as support, inspiration, and appreciation — on visitors in an evocative and experiential way. The result is an an ever-changing environment that fosters creativity, encourages experimentation, and gives stylists a inspirational space to grow.

Services Provided

  • Environmental Design
  • Integrated Branding
  • Brand Messaging
  • Photo Art Direction
  • Spacial Strategy
  • Copywriting
  • Large Format Graphic Production
  • Signage and Wayfinding
    • A Stroke of color, a vibrant welcome — NYC Academy Entrance

Main Entrance & Check-in Area

The New York Academy is situated in the heart of the Meatpacking district. Sharing space with luxury designer brands and high-end boutiques — a growing area that offers the ideal climate to inspire.

Stepping out of the elevator and into the penthouse, you immediately know where you are. As you travel through the long corridor, a brilliant bold rush stroke guides you to the check-in area where interaction with social media is encouraged!

    • Central Hub for Hands on Learning

Learning Space

Understanding the audience is key when developing an education space for stylists. Long lectures, while sitting at a desk just won’t work for hands-on learners. Stylists learn by doing, so most of the space is designed to allow for just that. The design elements are subtle to not overwhelm or constrain thinking, yet impart brand awareness through product displays, messaging, and inspiration from icons of the industry. and abstract pops of color. .

    • Creativity Inspires Community

2nd Floor Penthouse

Like with anything you love, education is key. It’s an on-going commitment by stylists to constantly improve their craft or learn something new. They will travel from all across the country and even the word to visit the NYC Academy — more than once. This piece of information was critical to the design as BCG developed solutions that were modular, could change quickly and encouraged interaction to avoid becoming stale or dated.

The academy also needed to cultivate a since of community which is demonstrated in the Artist Mirror Wall. Images of Goldwell and KMS artists surround a flash mirror so while you are waiting for the elevator, your images appears in the mirror amongst all the shinning stars.

The Writing on the Wall

What do you get when you add a blank wall, a creative team and stylists together? An interactive, colorful Autograph Wall. The thought is each visitor can see those that came before them and leave their mark for the next group. This underscores the sense of belonging to something larger, a sense of community. It also proves this wasn’t a space that turns off when the lights go out, it’s a living breathing space that is ever evolving and belongs to the stylists who journey through it.