Federico Advanced

Q&A with Jeremy Davies-Barbala

2016Advanced EducationComment

Federico Advanced hosted Jeremy Davies-Barbala, as he presented a three-day hands-on course, plus launched his latest collection, Wabi-Gami. While with us, he shared his well-earned philosophies on the value of craftsmanship - the downfall of craft trades - and his stance on collaboration over competition within the industry. Read on to learn a little bit more about Jeremy's philosophies, and enjoy a visual journey of his time with us, plus get a front-row seat to Jeremy's presentation of Wabi-Gami.

Q. Share a few words in regards to your background as a craft hairdresser.

A. I wanted to learn from the best, so I trained at Sassoon and worked my way up to Senior Creative Director, first in London and then in LA. I then went on to hold the role of International Creative Director for product brand Joico. Now I have my own hair education brand as well as an academy , based in Norway.

Q. You released your latest collection, Wabi-Gami, at Federico Advanced in Sacramento, CA. This was a bold and unexpected move. What prompted you to make this decision?

A. This was a ‘no-brainer.’ I was due to come out to Federico Advanced to deliver a 3-day Fundamental Principles course, and I made the decision very easily on the grounds that Adam Federico and Davies-Barbala Education share the same values and vision for the industry: To elevate the standard of craftsmanship within our trade.

Federico Advanced is also quickly becoming an important institution for showcasing the talent of today's hair industry, and we want to be a part of that!

Q. The independent movement is strong – some might say rampant. How do you plan to set Davies-Barbala apart from the rest of the companies striking out on their own?

A. Keep the ego out of it and be true to what we believe in.

Our focus is to give people the knowledge to develop their own style of work. We want to teach the language of cutting hair so people speak it fluently, and feel empowered to move forward and develop. Also, we believe in collaboration over competition, and have no intentions of ‘stepping on the toes’ of other independent brands. Rather, we want to make sure we are cheering on others who have also set out to do their own thing.

Q. What direction do you hope to take your company in the next five years?

Growing in an organic way is important to us, as well as being consistent in all we do. Our combined backgrounds in hairdressing, as well as in fashion and cultural theory on an academic level, has informed a lot of our future plans. So, as well as continuing to create shoots and educate hairdressers, we are working on some writing projects and a series of seminars built on the culture of hair.

Q. Share your thoughts on the downfall of craft trades.

Craft trades such as carpentry, pottery and hairdressing (to name a few) have seen a downturn in credibility and skill-set, globally. I have spent a lot of time over the past years thinking of why, and my conclusion is that young people [are now] heavily encouraged to get a degree and take an academic route, rather than starting an apprenticeship tradecraft over this period. This in turn has seen the standards slip in all the trades through lack of investment and participation, and a drop off of seasoned and skilled professionals.

All of the above is one of the reasons we started Davies-Barbala Education. One of our core values is to elevate the level of craftsmanship and value of being a hairdresser, to the level of respect it deserves. This is only achieved from the ground up! Trade crafts (such as hairdressing) have so many levels of education and skill-sets to teach.

I know because I started hairdressing as an apprentice at 15, and I don't regret anything. I owe everything to our craft.

Matty Conrad visits Federico Advanced

2016Advanced EducationComment

Schwarzkopf artist, Matty Conrad joined us for an evening Gala where the platform artist presented several pre-done men’s contemporary haircuts, as well as an on-stage demo. He also taught a contemporary barbering class. Drawing heavily from inspirations of the past, attendees learned to create classic looks while growing technical cutting and styling skills. Below are photos from his two days here.

Federico Aligns with Saco

2016Advanced EducationComment

Richard Ashforth and his team at Saco are crashing through walls. They forgo formalities, and instead opt to set their own boundaries. The calculated risks they’ve taken are well worth the results: Saco is bringing the Noise.

Saco collection gala @ Federico Advanced: Dark Star

Saco collection gala @ Federico Advanced: Dark Star

The Federico Beauty Brand (Federico’s & Federico Advanced) aims to pave the way for lifelong achievement through top-notch education – but we know that inspiration plays an important role in staying the course. So we’re taking a step forward into the future: we’re aligning with the Saco brand, which is never short on skill, and is always long on pace-setting inspiration.

Saco collection gala @ Federico Advanced: Filter

Saco collection gala @ Federico Advanced: Filter

Our cosmetology curriculum will convert to Saco, and we plan to offer a variety of advanced education courses featuring the Saco team. Our recent event, featuring Saco Creative Director Richard Ashforth, was chock full of inspiration: The look and learn demonstration, gala event featuring Saco’s latest collections (Filter, Dark Star and Beings) and intimate, hands-on segment were a treat for all in attendance.

Saco collection gala @ Federico Advanced: Dark Star, Beings and Filter

Saco collection gala @ Federico Advanced: Dark Star, Beings and Filter

We’re confident that this shift in direction will solidify Federico’s as a mecca for knowledge – the ideal place for becoming a master of your craft. So join us in welcoming Saco into our space, and stay tuned for upcoming events featuring Richard and his dynamic team.   


ZGAT Visits Federico Advanced

2016Advanced Education1 Comment

Creative Director of Federico Advanced, Adam Federico, has established an unlikely partnership with the Croatia-based team, ZGAT. Though this team resides on the opposite end of the globe, their ideals align perfectly with those of Federico’s, creating a symbiotic relationship.

“Federico Advance and ZGAT share a similar story and a similar background,” says Ivana Spicer of ZGAT. “We have a huge passion for what we do. Our ideals and our goals are aligned, and that makes the connection between us special.”
Taking Federico Advanced on the road: Ivana Spicer, Adam Federico and Mario Mesaric; Goldwell Academy NYC

Taking Federico Advanced on the road: Ivana Spicer, Adam Federico and Mario Mesaric; Goldwell Academy NYC

And while the relationship was established with business in mind, it has grown to be so much more.

“What makes our relationship special is that it’s not driven by money or business,” says Mario Mesaric of ZGAT. “Rather, it’s centered around love, friendship, and a genuine passion for the art and craft of hairdressing.”

When you take a ZGAT class at Federico Advanced, you’ll get a sense of this partnership: These classes have endeared close to 100 students over the course of the last several years, making them a part of the ZGAT and Federico Advanced families, alike.

“Mario Mesaric and Ivana Spicer are humble, kind, approachable and patient; but above all, they’re very knowledgeable, and they excel at taking complicated topics and simplifying them,” says Shannel Mariano, Hairbrained shootout winner and ZGAT class attendee. “They’re very good at explaining what they’re doing, and why they do it differently than other artists. They do what they love – and they do it with love. Everything with them feels very uncomplicated and straightforward. When they guide their students, they do it with a surprising level of integrity and authenticity.”
Shannel Mariano, Hairbrained shootout winner and ZGAT class attendee

Shannel Mariano, Hairbrained shootout winner and ZGAT class attendee

"Technically Speaking there's no comparison," says Federico. "Mario and Ivana teach students to retrain their eyes, and encourage them to shift their perspective."

And from a student's perspective, the ZGAT classes are so much more than "just doing fun and creative cuts," according to Mariano. "They teach discipline and focus your attention to detail. I won't be replicating the techniques I learned simply because someone told me to - and I don't need to create copies of the cuts that Mario and Ivana did. Instead, I'll be taking the methods that they taught us, and creating my own work. I can do this, because their style of teaching really reached me - it resonated with me."

When it comes to ZGAT, inspiring isn't really an adequate description. But don't take our word for it: take one of their life-changing classes and see for yourself! 

ZGAT is scheduled to return in 2017 - and with classes set to take place in Sacramento, Miami and Atlanta, you’re sure to find a location that suits your needs.

But buy these tickets at federicoadvanced.com TODAY – because they won’t last long!

*Special thanks go the Goldwell Academy in New York City, for use of their state of the art space.




Traci Sakosits Visits Federico Advanced

2016Advanced EducationComment
Adam Federico and Traci Sakosits @ Federico Advanced

Adam Federico and Traci Sakosits @ Federico Advanced

Traci Sakosits, North American Creative Director for Sassoon, grew up with an eye on fashion. "I grew up in East Coast New Jersey in a room full of fashion magazines, stacks and stack of them," says Sakosits.

Traci brings this minimal, yet chic aesthetic, to what she refers to as hair design. "Over the years, I’ve become a minimalist at heart," she says. I’ve developed a fondness for all things designed with purpose and intent. The look I love is both intricate, yet paired down. Interestingly, I find that when you doing something that’s really pure, esthetically – which can be considered classic – it comes full circle and becomes forward thinking."

Marie-Claire, cut by Traci Sakosits @ Federico Advanced

Marie-Claire, cut by Traci Sakosits @ Federico Advanced

"At Sassoon, we release two collections per year. Each collection is utterly balanced, taking into consideration emerging fashion – but always underpinned by technique. At Sassoon, this is considered hair design."

At Federico Advanced, our time with Traci was both stimulating and engaging. Passionate about education and "the idea of carrying the Sassoon knowledge on," her instruction commands attention - and aims to inspire greatness.


Placing value on community, Traci admires the work that Federico Advanced has done to unite the craft hairdressing community. "Federico Advanced created a platform/place highly skilled, talented and involved hairdressers to be together and share their love for hair. Last weekend was my first time presenting Sassoon education at Federico Advanced - and it was the perfect fit; just the right people together for all of the same reasons , and at the best of times," muses Sakosits.

"Federico Advanced has it's finger on the pulse of hairdressing, and is dedicated to education. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for making quality education readily available for experienced hairdressers and beginners, alike," she concludes.

We're grateful for another successful course - and can't wait to welcome Traci back into our space.

Scroll through to get a sneak peek of our first day with her:

How to: Cut hair the Sassoon Way
Theory with Traci; a packed house!
Caitlin and Traci
It's all in the details




Jay Mahmood Visits Federico Advanced

2016Advanced EducationComment

Jay Mahmood, Goldwell Global Creative Ambassador for Cutting, spends his time traveling internationally, in an effort to educate his fellow craft hairdressers; we assure you, his passion is contagious! During his time at Federico’s, we took some time to get to know him a little bit better, plus picked his brain for feedback about our Advanced Education House: here’s what he had to say.

"I had the most amazing time at the Federico Advanced Academy,” says artist Jay Mahmood. “As a guest artist, I felt welcomed and cared for, from the moment I landed to the moment I departed. The Federico’s have a real gift for making people feel at home.”

“The facility at Federico Advanced is beyond ideal, and offers a broad range of amenities, making it a true destination location.”

The Federico Advanced 'hands on' room

The Federico Advanced 'hands on' room

“But honestly, what impressed me the most was the unique approach that the Federico family takes to education,” says Mahmood. “I’ve never heard of an academy (anywhere else in the world) that offers such an all-inclusive approach to education, bringing in the best educators from around the world – and I was absolutely honored to be included on this list! While education houses often take a competitive stance, Federico Advanced eschews this mentality, and I found that utterly unique and refreshing.”

Jay Mahmood at work

Jay Mahmood at work

“Federico Advanced, which is undoubtedly a passion project, purely stems from Adam Federico’s idealistic nature and community-minded philosophies. It’s plain to see that he resists stagnation, and has made it his mission to better not only himself, but also our craft-hairdressing community. He’s really invested in helping others to nurture their own personal growth.”

Jay Mahmood and Adam Federico in the Federico Advanced space

Jay Mahmood and Adam Federico in the Federico Advanced space

“I’m honored to have lead a class at Federico Advanced – and I can only hope it was the first of many more successful collaborations!"

Q. As an artist, you have a unique aesthetic. What philosophy do you follow when cutting hair, and what are you looking for in a finished result?

A. First, I look to achieve a technically precise haircut. From here, I of course look at suitability, taking into account texture, facial features and personal style. I would say that suitability is at the forefront of all of my looks.

Also, in my time as a hairdresser, I’ve noticed something that’s very telling: clients rarely wear their hair the way that you’ve styled it, straight out of the chair. Because of this, I always aim for versatility. I want a person to feel confident wearing the look that I’ve given them, and this includes being able to style it in a variety of ways. So always, I aim to achieve a look that’s flexible.

I believe very strongly that it's not just about how we make people look, but just as importantly, it's about how we make the feel about themselves. Confidence is beautiful, so I always want to make the wearer feel that sense of poise.   

Q. Professionally, you’ve chosen to forgo behind the chair work. Instead, you aim to educate the next generation of stylists. What motivated this decision?

A. After I qualified (to become a hairdresser), I worked behind the chair for a time. Frankly, I have tremendous respect for people who work behind the chair everyday. But my life's mission is to give back to the industry as much as possible, in particular to the younger generation. The reason I feel so strongly about this, is because they are the future, and I feel like it’s my duty to leave the industry in a better position than I found it. I always remember being told that I would never ‘be good enough’ and that I would never ‘make it.’ Now that I have a platform, I use it to assure other young people that they can make it if they study hard and stay dedicated, and that they can achieve whatever they want in life, if they are willing to work hard.

Q. If you could give one piece of advice to up-and-coming stylists, what would it be?

A. If you want to be a part of the best industry in the world, you have to be prepared to study hard, and be dedicated; you will undoubtedly have ups and downs, particularly as you’re starting out, but don’t give up! We all have days when we imagine that we’ll never ‘make it’ or be good enough. But I would encourage you to be fair to yourself – think progress, not perfection. And remember, it's a journey, and it will all be worth it, in the end. After all, we do the best job in the world; it has to take some time! I wouldn't change it for anything, becoming a hairdresser was the best decision I’ve ever made. Everyday, I find new reasons to be grateful to be a part of such an incredible industry.

Mahmood’s inspirational and community-minded outlook is certainly contagious, and Federico Advanced was delighted to share a weekend in his company. But don’t take our word for it! Check out the testimonial of attendee Jesse Gaines of Eugene, Oregon.

Jay Mahmoud and Jesse Gaines at work

Jay Mahmoud and Jesse Gaines at work

“Recently, I took a 3 day intensive cutting course with Jay Mahmood at Federico Advanced,” says Moss Salon owner and behind-the-chair stylist, Jesse Gaines.

“First, let me say, that this is my second visit to Federico Advanced, and each occasion has been top-notch – really great, and impactful experiences!

The Jay Mahmood class was really intimate (Federico Advanced limited attendance to 7 stylists, which made for a really engaging, hands-on experience, plus encouraged great back and forth dialogue). I’m not aware of many places that this sort of ‘up close and personal’ education is taking place!”

Theory and demonstration

Theory and demonstration

“As an educator, Jay was awesome: clear, articulate, with a real ability for breaking things down. He used clear, uncomplicated language, which made working through haircuts simple. I picked up so many new skills, that I’m getting to implement on a day-to-day basis. I learned a ton and had a blast doing it.”

“I highly recommended investing in yourself – and taking a class with Federico Advanced!”