Industrie Exclusive: ARROJO: BlackLight

A creative collaboration between two dear friends—Paul Merritt & Nick Arrojo—ARROJO BlackLight is more than just a collection; it’s the fusion of two different forms of hairdressing.

The Collaboration

“Nick and I both started at Vidal Sassoon in the UK, so we have the same heritage, yet have taken different career paths,” says Merritt. “Nick is a pioneer of creative and independent hairdressing, real education, and championing the hairdresser. I have taken a more editorial, fashion-focused path.”

“Aside from our heritage, what Paul and I share is a similar sensibility and aesthetic,” says Arrojo. “In short, I love the style of his work. When Paul told me his intent to spend more time in the States, I sensed an opportunity to collaborate.

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In America in particular, there seems to be a very distinct, do not cross line between the editorial hairdresser and the salon hairdresser. Paul and I want to bridge that gap and include all stylists in the trends and techniques found at the top end of fashion. It’s part of my mission to elevate the stylist. I’m thrilled Paul sees it the same way; we will realize this great opportunity together.

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The Inspiration

????“When Nick took me into the raw shell of ARROJO TriBeCa, I was blown away by the incredible cavernous space. I immediately wanted to use this space as inspiration to make the lighting the integral medium for expressing the theme of the collection,” shares Merritt.

To do this, he took inspiration from outside the world of hair. Lights and silhouettes, dark shapes and outlines all visible against a lighter background, with the use of dimmed lighting.

“I’m inspired by bowl shapes in hairdressing right now,” adds Merritt. “When I thought of the 1960s-inspired bowl cuts and styles I wanted to create for this shoot, I immediately began to think of the moon. More specifically, the light the moon gives off. I was thinking of the lunar eclipses that occur when the earth’s shadow blocks the sun’s light. The earth’s shadow completely covers the moon, creating dark light and silhouettes, which is the form I wanted to recreate.”

Hair: Paul Merritt with Support from Hilary Bilstad, Aziza Rasulova, Corrinn Dinan, Stefanie Stalder from ARROJO NYC

Photography: Cody Lidtke

Fashion Styling: Tina LeNoble

Makeup: Dana Rae