Jonathan Blake 2013 Fall/Winter Collection + Urban Retreat
Urban Retreat recently had the opportunity to work with Jonathan Blake for his Fall 2013 collection. You may have already seen Victor Quinteros’ beautiful photos of the event that we shared on our Facebook. We sat down with hair stylist Jesse Cougot to get the behind-the-scenes details and to find out more about his experiences on the Urban Retreat educational team.
What was the inspiration for the hair look?
Jesse: Our educational team, with the help from some others, styled the hair for this amazing up-and-coming young designer. It was very glamorous. It was very sleek and simple and classic. We used products that we carry at Urban Retreat –Kérastase and René Furterer.
His looks were evening wear, but they were all different. Some were open, some had sleeves and there were some hats… It was all very individual and customized for the woman. In fact, I know that Jonathan Blake offers individual consultations. So, if you like one of the looks, he can create that look for you and customize it in a certain direction. It’s definitely more customizable.
So, the educational team was behind the elegant hair. What role do you play on the team?
Jesse: I teach color, because that’s what I love. I’m extremely passionate about color. We use Aloxxi. It’s an Italian color line that is very low in Ammonia.
First and foremost, Urban Retreat is a teaching salon – an educational salon. We pride ourselves on being a market leader. Our educational team is extremely strong and we work well together with the rest of our co-workers. It’s not just about education; it’s about how you communicate with each other. Communication is everything.
How did you become part of the Urban Retreat family?
Jesse: My grandmother owned a salon and her sister owned a different one. I’ve been sweeping hair since before I could walk, probably! I wasn’t sure it was what I wanted to do when I was a kid, but I figured it out eventually.
I came to Urban Retreat because I moved away for a while and came up to the River Oaks location to check it out and was extremely impressed. I thought it was a beautiful place and about three weeks later I was working here!
I love the culture of Urban Retreat, the history and the people I work with. I’ve been in hair 15 years and I’ve never worked with a stronger team. That’s what it’s all about – it’s all about teamwork.
What is your favorite part about working with hair?
Jesse: That it changes on a daily basis – it never gets boring! You never know what you’re going to get – every day is a new day. I couldn’t work in a cubicle and look at the same four walls all of the time; I would go stir-crazy. It’s nice to have something new every day.
What are your hobbies? Do you have any favorite spots around town?
Jesse: I’m a writer – I write poetry. That’s another creative outlet. We all have to get rid of negativity somehow and it’s creative and constructive. I am a published poet – my book is called, “Rudimentary (very imperfectly developed).” I am still writing and that’s definitely my outlet.
I typically hang out at a wine bar called Boheme. It’s on Fairview in the Montrose area. I like the atmosphere – it’s definitely multicultural. Houston has a multicultural atmosphere, but in that spot there’s different world music that they play, some of it live. Every walk of life frequents that space and it’s a really relaxing environment.