On Sept. 22, Matthew Morris Salon and Skincare is collaborating with A Line Boutique and Jonathan Simkhai for a night of fashion and art. The event will raise funds and awareness for The Matthew Morris Scholarship Fund, which serves the local Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) community.
The 16-year Anniversary Show represents all the ways Morris and his community have continually brought elevated aspects of Salon and Skincare to Denver.
After a history of trial and error in trying front desk positions and such across the industry, Morris found his calling through connecting with the people in the salon industry. “I picked up a makeup brush and the rest is history,” he explained.
His upcoming event shines a light on the importance of recognizing the local BIPOC community within the beauty industry. All silent auction proceeds and ticket sale profits raised through the 16-year anniversary show will go to the Matthew Morris Scholarship Fund. In the beauty industry, there is a significant imbalance in the presence of BIPOCs in academia and stylists, particularly in the luxury market. The scholarship goes towards providing BIPOC community members enrollment opportunities for the Elevate Salon Institute in Westminster, Colorado.
“One goal of the scholarship fund is not only for a BIPOC student to attend beauty school, but one like Elevate Salon Institute, that prides themselves on teaching all hair types to all people,” Morris said.
The fund Morris has created connects deep into the history of our country. For decades, the beauty standard was represented through traditionally caucasian hair and skin traits. Historically, the media and advertisements of the beauty industry have continually failed to properly include members of the BIPOC community.
From limited shades of makeup foundation to an overall lack of knowledge on non “Anglo-Saxon” traits, Morris recognized this inequality and for the past 16 years has worked towards expanding diversity in an industry that has historically neglected minority traits.
Morris reiterated the importance of the scholarship in bringing about a more diverse industry to Denver. He emphasized the priority of making sure our beauty community can raise the bar and can work with any type of hair or skin across any race.
“The other goal is to place that stylist in a top salon in Denver for a chance to help us move the needle. Our beauty community should be one that can accept any client, at any salon. Anyone with any hair type should be able to walk in anywhere with the confidence they won’t be turned away because of their hair type,” Morris concluded.
Matthew Morris Skincare and Salon 16-Year Anniversary Show will include a luxury fashion show depicting the eloquent, high-end constructed pieces from A Line Boutique and Jonathan Simkhai. The Sept. 22 event will be sponsored by several local businesses as well, including Los Chingones, Westword, Kérastase and Shu Uemura.
The employees at A Line have created a space where women can discover their potential via carefully chosen style options and an empowering community, in addition to acting as product knowledge experts and brand ambassadors for their designers.
The Jonathan Simkhai brand, which was founded in 2010, offers fashionable ready-to-wear pieces for contemporary women. The use of tailored materials, romantic details, angular lines and contoured forms exemplify how the basic aesthetic concept plays with the tension between feminine strength and sensuality.
With Jonathan Simkhai making the time to come from NYFW to Denver for this event, it is no doubt this show has immense meaning and importance behind it. “We’ve pulled out all the stops and for anyone who has been to one of our events, you know this means you’re in for a treat,” Morris explained.
Not only does the event include a profusion of perfectly curated runway show pieces, but there is also an emphasis on supporting diversity within the industry. The event directly contributes to raising funds and integral awareness for the Matthew Morris Scholarship.