Produced by Unortho Creatives, the Undertone Hair and Fashion Show presented 12 guest artists and four fashion designers who showcased their art amongst great music, food, drinks, and a community of fellow artists.
Ten years ago, the world of beauty, fashion, and hair looked vastly different from what we know today. With little to no knowledge of varying hair texture, there was a lacking acceptance for those who didn’t meet the ideals of the industry.
Michael Martinez, a Denver hair educator, describes it, “Back then, you had to be a certain way, and now, no matter who you are there’s a way to celebrate you and there’s a place for you within the industry. People weren’t demanding for it to change and now they are.”
From a place of demand for change — the Undertone Hair and Fashion Show, an inclusive, festive, bright event for Denver locals in the creative beauty space was born.
The show’s creators and organizers, Martinez and Justin Householder Sr titled the show Undertone which by definition means to set the expression in a room without saying what the tone is.
“We wanted people to know that it was an inclusive space when walking in the room,” Martinez said. While the show was with a passion for their art, it was also created out of need. Martinez and Householder Sr wanted an inclusive space for like-minded creatives to gather — for attendees to walk into the room and know that they were welcomed and celebrated.
At the event, guests viewed 12 guest artists who were local and around the states. Each artist showed off their talents which consisted of braiding, texture, barbering, extensions, and cutting. It was a fast paced event that showcased multiple artists doing their craft at the same time, followed by a runway of local designers and then welcoming another set of artists.
Martinez said that authenticity is important when being creative in a hairstyling, beauty industry. As a stylist, he shares he needs to be genuine to have clients leave feeling beautiful and for students to learn the most from him. There is trust that’s built from being oneself, and with it, there’s then space to connect and experience genuine learning. Householder Sr shares that you can be passionately creative about whatever you do because it can be found anywhere if you’re looking for it.
Over the past several years, there’s been an internal and external shift within the beauty industry calling for more inclusivity. Martinez recounts that when he first started his career, there was a rigidity of who would be accepted and permitted to thrive within the beauty space.
While there are still obstacles to overcome, it’s encouraging that waves of change in the industry have ushered in new and diverse talent in the space. Martinez and Householder Sr both attribute new talent as their greatest source of ongoing inspiration in their careers.
“They’ll ask questions and ask questions and through the questioning, they will find new techniques to be faster and more creative,” Householder Sr said. Martinez finds inspiration in meeting creatives that do something different from what he does. When there are sparks of creativity from a new space, there’s a lot of excitement for him to return to his space and see what new things he can create.
The sold out show and the organizers reflected that the event had an unbeatable energy in the room. Guests were excited to celebrate the artists, designers, models and most importantly – each other. The ‘undertone’ feeling in the room was positive, motivating, and inspirational to the collected creatives.
Fashion Director Arturo Gastelum-Loz.
Colorado-local guest artists featured: Cory Allen, Justin Taylor, Melissa Kelly, Manda Harsch, Vanessa Whitmarch, Michael Trey Martinez, Justin Household Sr., Kym Perrion, Brendan Beale, and Alex Naylor.