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Hair, Esthetics, and Education

Dallas’ chic COLLECTIV Academy is not the beauty school you remember, but it’s one you won’t forget.
By D Partner Studio |

The term “beauty school” means different things to different people. For those who want a career in hairdressing or esthetics, they know this is the pathway to earning their license and beginning their career. And for everyone else, the local beauty school has long been a place to get a more affordable haircut, color, or spa service from stylists and estheticians in training.

For decades, most beauty schools have been tucked away in older buildings or repurposed office spaces, usually off the beaten path in their city’s industrial area. Often carpeted, dark, and stocked with older equipment and learning materials, for most students, it was just a means to an end.

COLLECTIV Academy has changed all that.

The original Academy is a stunning space near downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, and Dallas is now home to COLLECTIV Academy’s brand-new second location—more than 13,000 square feet of pure luxury for both students and their clients. North Dallas’ all-new COLLECTIV Academy has turned the concept of “beauty school” on its head. Whatever you know about beauty schools, COLLECTIV Academy will erase. This is a modern-day beauty school experience that is elevating the standard of education at an affordable price for discerning students and clients.

COLLECTIV has set the standard for what a beauty school experience should be.

Ali Webb, Drybar

Located at 6757 Arapaho Road, Suite 777 in Dallas within the new dining and entertainment hot spot, Hillcrest Village Shopping Center, COLLECTIV Academy is chic, bright, fun, edgy, and ready to welcome both students and clients. Those looking for a career in hairdressing or esthetics choose to pursue their education at COLLECTIV Academy for its unmatched education and training, and the rest of us can visit the Academy for a runway-worthy cut, color, or esthetic treatment for a fraction of the price at a salon or spa. COLLECTIV Academy trains students in cosmetology (hairdressing, cuts, color, and extensions) and esthetics (skincare, facials, brows, lashes, and other related services.)

COLLECTIV Academy is the genius concept of pro hairdressers and industry icons Kenny and Lenore Gibson. They are back in Dallas and have brought their combined 60 years of experience in salon hairdressing, academy ownership, and advanced education and training to the Academy. Kenny, co-founder and CEO, has trained hairdressers worldwide as a successful platform artist, continually working with the biggest names in the industry. Lenore, co-founder and education director, has been a successful stylist, educator, and manager of education for three decades. After spending most of their lives either in salons and training professional stylists, they were committed to making students’ education experience better–not only to help them grow their careers and experience success, but also to ultimately provide a better experience for their salon and spa clientele. A better education means a better client result—a win/win because everyone looks good.

“We have broken new ground on what has actually been around for a long time,” Lenore says. “We know there will be schools to follow, so we are setting the tone. We are more agile and know to change with the market. We are the start of a new breed of schools hitting the country, and that’s been long overdue.”

So is having an engaging experience, Kenny adds. Hair, beauty, esthetics—it should all be fun. When you enter COLLECTIV Academy in North Dallas, that’s exactly the vibe you get. Kenny’s energy and passion are contagious, and his influence is apparent as students are working and learning in brand-new classrooms with ultra-modern equipment and tools. A bright, neutral-color palette and lively music greet guests upon entering, and by observing the students, you can’t help but share their energy and feel confident you are in good hands because they have received the most up-to-the-minute training.

“This industry is supposed to be all about fun, and we kept that in mind as we designed the program. Schools have always been emotional environments; a beauty school is no different. It should be a place of elation and excitement. Our job is to understand our students’ dreams and visions and help them fulfill those. We help students get where they want to be so they can crush it!”

Kenny and Lenore carefully and meticulously designed COLLECTIV Academy to mimic a true salon and spa environment. Students here receive more than an education; they get to work in an authentic, professional environment. Likewise, guests enjoy the full salon and spa experience, complete with luxury hair and skin products, whether they are getting a cut and color, hair extensions, brow and lash services or microdermabrasion, a facial, or a pedicure. And the students’ training comes from the best in the biz—a standard Kenny and Lenore refused to compromise on because they know elite trainers produce elite future professionals.

“We have assembled the most professional team in the industry in what is unarguably one of the nicest spaces in the industry,” Kenny says. “With all our experience, we know better, and we wanted to bring all we have learned to Dallas. Very few cosmetology schools are owned by hairdressers, which is what sets COLLECTIV Academy apart. Our students are treated like professionals from day one. We want to provide an experience that is as close to what they will have after graduation. Training students in an aspirational environment helps them visualize a more sophisticated career path.”

Kenny and Lenore are so confident in what COLLECTIV Academy provides for students, they put their own two children through the program. Their son is now a top hairdresser in Park City, Utah, and their daughter is building a loyal following at Global Group Hairdressing. Through the years, Kenny and Lenore have enjoyed watching their former students become successful hairdressers, estheticians, and salon owners. “A career in the beauty industry can be a life-changing experience for people,” Lenore says. “It is an industry that has been good to me and to Kenny. When we ended our time with the last company we were at, we thought about where we could be most effective. The answer was to build high end academies. There is a value in this for so many people, and this industry can take them wherever they want to go.”

Because of their industry-wide reputation, Kenny and Lenore could have opened a second COLLECTIV Academy anywhere in the country. Dallas was their first choice, so they partnered with local operator, Fielding Graham, to invest in such an expansive and well-appointed space because they knew it would meet two demands here–fulfilling dreams for students and providing Dallas with what it has long been known for—great hair.

“Dallas is important to us,” Kenny says. “We spent most of our adult lives here and raised our kids here. We built a brand in this area for more than three decades, and we are ready to take that on again. Dallas is a major fashion market, and the people here have an elevated sense of quality and style. We are excited to be a part of that.”

Drybar co-founder and owner Ali Webb is both an investor and on the management board of COLLECTIV Academy. Dallas loves a good blow-out, so it’s clear that Webb knows a good thing when she sees it. “COLLECTIV has set the standard for what a beauty school experience should be,” Webb says. “I wish it was around when I was exploring schools 25 years ago. The passion, skill, and experience that Kenny and Lenore Gibson have is extraordinary, and it’s an honor to be part of their journey. COLLECTIV Academy is the epicenter for first-class instruction in Dallas, and I’m so excited to help the team as we continue to grow and serve budding stylists across the country.”

COLLECTIV Academy has caught the eye of longtime celeb stylists and colorists in Dallas as well. Richard Hayler (formerly of Richard Hayler Colour Salon) and J.T. Osgood (formerly of Osgood O’Neil) now own The Songbird Society salon. They are looking forward to COLLECTIV Academy producing top stylists and estheticians for the community as the demand for high-quality salon services increases.

“Having been hairdressers in this city since the early 1980s, we are thrilled that COLLECTIV has chosen Dallas for its second location,” Hayler says. “With a traditional college education creating financial stress for many students, more young–and not-so-young–people are looking to trades. COLLECTIV offers a first-class and modern learning environment and access to advanced education through a vast network of professional stylists and colorists who can give insight into the work necessary to be successful in this business.” Adds Osgood, “The Songbird Society is reliant on educated, motivated, and skilled talent to continue growing. When looking for that talent, we have the highest confidence in Kenny and Lenore, their leadership team, and the students emerging from their time at COLLECTIV to provide that for us.”

If you are ready for a new salon experience and want to learn what COLLECTIV Academy is all about, stop by for a blowout, cut and color, or spa service. Browse the menu of services and book your appointment by calling 888-908-3211. If you’re ready to be on the other side of the salon chair and want to explore a career in hairdressing or esthetics in an exciting, modern, and upscale environment designed by local industry legends, learn more about the school and its education program at or book a tour and feel the energy for yourself at

Designed by Gigli Massimo Italy and Roy E. Kindred, Architect, and built by Terrell General Contractors.


D Partner Studio

D Partner Studio

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