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Making The Cut: The LA Project

Astrid O'Neill

“LA is just everything really – it’s where movies, fashion and celebrities are made.”

Axis Hairdressing of Braddon aims to turn heads in a new way with its documentary series, The LA Project.

Adam Ciaccia, Owner and Creative Director of Axis, says this is their second documentary series but first international initiative. It consists of four editorial shoots plus a video project.

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“The idea came about years ago,” says Adam. “Traditional hairdressing images are, in my opinion, not effective at marketing a hair salon. They rarely appeal to what the client wants; they are always hairdresser focused.”

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The idea of making original images that take a focus on lifestyle ‘to a whole new level’ took him and his creative team from Lonsdale Street to Los Angeles.

The creative team is made up of a group of Canberra locals:

  • Adam Ciaccia – Creative Director / Hairstylist)
  • Nicole Dwight – Styling Director / Production Architect
  • Jez Rozdarz – Photographer (The Mark Agency)
  • Jimmy Logue – Cinematographer
  • Jessica Rolfe – Styling / Production Assistant

Two Californian creatives made their mark on the project too: Katie Sanchez, a hairstylist, and Lena Taryanik, a makeup artist.

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“LA is just everything really,” says Adam. “It’s where movies, fashion and celebrities are made. It’s aspirational for lifestyle.”

The team planned for four months but, as with any project, there were last-minute obstacles to navigate – like approval for commercial licenses.

“You can’t just arrive and start working,” says Adam. “We needed insurances and other permits also. Our license was literally approved the day before we left.”

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The team describes The LA Project as Axis Hairdressing’s ‘first international fashion project, world-class editorial and fashion-forward images’. Putting this together required a large step into the unknown.

“We had to recruit eight LA-based models that would all let me cut and colour their hair,” says Adam. “Nicole had to purchase clothes for models here and take everything to LA – all based on assumptions. These are risks that we would never normally take, however with big risk comes big reward and we hope that our series shows that.”

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The team was rewarded by their support network in LA. Sassoon allowed them to use their Santa Monica Sassoon Academy. Matrix Australia, which has big ties to the US, supplied them with all their professional products to create their looks.

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Since Adam is inspired by fashion houses and their direction, The LA Project depicts believable hair that is current and on trend. It also depicts a journey, not just a destination.

“Over the course of the series, you will be with us every step of the way – the expected and the unexpected, the fashion, LA, models and Canberra creatives chasing their dreams,” says Adam.

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Despite the risks, The LA Project has already paid off for its creators.

“It’s the most challenging but rewarding project of my career,” says Adam.

Astrid O'Neill

Astrid O’Neill has joined the HerCanberra team for a writing internship. Previously she’s studied at the University of Canberra and the University of Oxford, and worked for a bold little New York publishing company. She’s a Southsider at heart but now lives in Braddon with her fiancé, where they’re often planning their travels over a local brew. More about the Author

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