5 Questions for Luis Alvarez
If you could interview any professional salon leader, who would it be and what would you ask? We invited Cindy Landa of Estilo Salon and DaySpa in West Des Moines, Iowa, to play reporter. She picked Luis Alvarez, vice president creative of Aquage. Here's part of their conversation:

Cindy Landa: Independent salon owners provide stability, solid education and benefits to designers looking for a career. Do you feel the economy will have an impact on an employee's decision to seek out those salons?

Luis Alvarez:

A new designer looking for a career would be making a wise decision to join an independently owned salon that has a unified vision, cohesive team structure, an established educational program and a strong retail focus. These are the essential key elements for a new artist's personal and professional growth.

CL: What is Aquage doing to make their products more environmentally friendly?

LA: We offer the highest quality product utilizing the most technologically innovative and sustainable ingredients. Our position is to give the consumer the best possible products while always keeping respect for the environment in mind.

CL: I've heard that you won a prestigious photography award in Paris. Can you share that experience with us?

LA: I was honored to be knighted L'Ordre de la Chevalerie for creative excellence by Lois Christie, president of Intercoiffure USA/Canada in Paris. I have been part of Intercoiffure since 1980, and this prestigious organization has contributed so much to my creative development. Paris is my favorite creative and fashion center in the world, and I was so proud to have my little daughter Maria with me when I received this honor.

CL: The '70s, '80s and '90s have all brought us some amazing hair. What year created the best hair for you and why?

LA: While I am cognizant of my creative journey, I believe growing as an artist is about looking forward and not in the rear view mirror. At the moment, I'm most excited about the special holiday issue of MODERN SALON where we had the opportunity to shoot both the front and back covers.

CL: How do you see retail sales affecting our business this year and does Aquage have tips to help the salon owner keep  consumer spending on our retail?

LA: In today's turbulent economic climate, retailing is no longer an option but the key to survival. Our technique for educating consumers on how to use products is based on five key elements: what product you should use for a particular hair type, why you should use it, when to use it, how much to use, and how to use it.
For more info, visit aquage.com.

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