MENOMONEE FALLS - Heidi Kloeckner, a Menomonee Falls resident and hair stylist for Pink Lemonade Salon & Spa, showed off her styling skills by working two shows during this year's New York Fashion Week.
Kloeckner may seem like a rookie in the hair industry with only three years in the field, but she proved her skills during a five-week online training course with renowned hair stylist Jon Reyman.
"He’d show you a hair style, then you had two days to perfect it and put it on YouTube," Reyman. "He would show you the look and walk you through it very slowly, then we would recreate it on a mannequin, and he would critique your work. At the end of the five weeks, it was either a yes or no as to whether you were invited to come. I learned so much from the course that I wasn’t expecting.”
Kloeckner made the cut and was invited to work two shows during the week: the Concept Korea show on Friday, Feb. 10, where she worked on two models, and the Marcel Ostertag show on Sunday, Feb. 12, where she worked on one model.
“It was really cool because there were so many different looks and so many different models, makeup artists, hair styles, everything," Kloeckner said. "I walked in and it was the first show I did ever, and I thought ‘Oh my God, this is huge.' Reality just slapped me in the face. It was everything you could ever imagine the backstage of a fashion show being like. Hair products and makeup everywhere. I just jumped in and started working, and did so many different looks."
Kloecker's dream trip to New York started with an adventure.
"Our flight got cancelled from Maryland to New York, so we actually had to rent a car to drive from Maryland to the city," Kloecker said. "Some people might be freaked out by having to drive on roads they don’t know, but it was kind of fun because it just made it into more of a story to tell."
The drive to New York was about four hours from Maryland; Kloeckner arrived to the city at 4 a.m., just shy of her 10 a.m. call time with Concept Korea.
Kloeckner said her favorite part of the experience was reviving her passion for the industry.
"Passion sometimes gets lost in doing hair behind the chair every day, so just regaining that passion through fashion week was amazing," Kloeckner said. “The hardest part for me was that I did it alone. I had to be 100 percent confident with my skills and personality. To do the craft that I love and be confident in myself that the whole look would come together was critical. Inner confidence is something I struggle with significantly.”
She aspires to participate in fashion week and other shows across the country every year. Kloeckner said she wouldn't have been able to participate in the shows without the support of the Pink Lemonade staff.
"I have the best owner and salon manager," Kloeckner said. "They are godsends because they know my dream and passion is to go out and travel. My salon manager, Dion, asked her friends what I need to do to get my name out there, and how I can be the best in this industry. One of the people she referred me to said I needed to do a show with Jon Reyman. I think I hit the jackpot working here for sure.”
To see more of Kloeckner's work from New York Fashion Week, follow her on Instagram at hijoaveda.