To be plugged into the world of hairstyling is to revere Antoinette Beenders. An industry icon for over 40 years, the Dutch-born trailblazer has been Aveda’s creative director for more than 15 years and is currently its senior vice-president of professional global artistry. Beenders is always wielding an innovative approach. Her latest undertaking? The limited-edition Aveda x Iris van Herpen holiday collection, a beauty and fashion girl-approved capsule of hair cuffs and pins plus a cool cosmetics pouch. Here, Beenders details the most standout moment from her illustrious career, how the Aveda x Iris van Herpen collab came to be and what’s next in the world of hair trends.


When you think about your storied career, what’s one moment that has defined where you are today?

“I’ve been incredibly blessed and [am] grateful as I’ve done a lot of things in my career. One of my defining moments—and one of my bucket-list items that happened this year—was not only organizing the collection with Iris van Herpen but doing her couture show in Paris. Even [as I talk] about it now, it still gives me goosebumps. To work with a couture designer [who] is focused on sustainable and future thinking with [her] attention to detail and craftsmanship… It was so heartwarming to see the beauty of it all, but it was also a reminder of so much of what I do in hair. That was the epiphany, really: What she does in clothes is what we do in hair. And I think that’s why she’s such a big icon for hairdressers around the world.”

As someone who’s had her finger on the pulse of all things hair for decades, where do you see hairstyling trends heading in the next few seasons?

“I like to think more in the longer term, because what are trends nowadays? For me, it’s all about being your authentic self; it’s making [sure] you look the best you can. Whether you’re a client in the salon or a model on a shoot, you still want to be portrayed the best you can. From a trend point of view, hair is the fabric of the body. It is the trend of the body. That’s what is so lovely about doing hair.”


What piece from the Iris van Herpen collaboration are you most proud of?

“I’m proud of the whole thing for many, many reasons. I had the privilege of meeting Iris a couple of years ago. When I heard her talk about her line, it was like she was talking about Aveda: sustainability, innovation, biomimicry. And we’re all about biomimicry. So, I said this is a no-brainer. It’s the very first beauty collaboration she’s ever done. [In designing the collection], we completely let her get on with it—what’s the point in interfering with a couture designer? Let her do her thing.

Any interesting stories you can share about the collaborative process with Iris van Herpen?

“She’s very quiet, whereas I’m all over the place. [Laughs] We’re both Dutch, so we speak the same language. I think that that was a bonus for me. I could speak to her in Dutch if she couldn’t find the word in English, and I think that really helped. If Iris liked something, her eyes started smiling. That’s when I knew I was on to something.”


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Henosis Hair Pin Set, $79