Landon Fidele

Sarah Pacheco
Wednesday - April 15, 2009
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Like hemlines and handbags, hairdos are subject to the whims of each new fashion season. This spring, Landon Fidele predicts the newest color du jour isn’t black - it’s giving back.

“Paul Mitchell put on this whole ‘Giving Back is the New Black,’ and it’s really because of our CEO, John Paul DeJoria. He’s got a lot of aloha spirit as a philanthropist and gives back all in the name of the hairdressers,” says Fidele, a learning leader and student council adviser at the Ulupono Academy. A Paul Mitchell Partner School, the Waialae-based academy churns out future professionals - FPs, for short - who aim to one day work in the beauty, spa and salon industries. But before they can master the perfect blow-out or trim technique, the FPs must first learn the importance of getting involved in their communities.


“In the school, we try to make it a habit where these FPs are giving back every single day so that when they get out and they graduate, they are so used to getting involved with whatever cause and bringing awareness,” the Kaimuki High grad explains. “It’s not like ‘Oh, I have to go and give back;’ it’s, ‘I’ve gotta go, I’ve gotta do this, I’ve gotta do that.’ It’s bred in them. It becomes really personal ... and I think the people who do take it personally and want to see it work, that’s just as good as handing out a $1,000 check.”

Through April 25, the Ulupono Academy is accepting donations to raise money for seven causes - The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, The Larry King Cardiac Foundation, The Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation, Cancer Schmancer Movement, City of Hope, Food 4 Africa, and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

“Paul Mitchell actually passed away from pancreatic cancer, and this is the 30th anniversary,” Fidele says. “The younger generation that is in this school is so into giving back. All these ideas are coming from them. It’s just a good time when everyone is coming together for this grassroots effort to raise money.”

The highlight of their year no doubt comes this Sunday, April 19, when Ulupono Academy FPs join forces with pros from the Marsha Nadalin Salon & Spa, JPS Dressers and Paul Mitchell Associate Team for a FUNraiser Benefit. Fidele has made sure it’ll be every fierce fashionista’s dream with stations for hair styling, eyelash treatments, makeup, hand massages and a four-part showcase of the most outrageous, cutting-edge interpretations in the art of hair.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7 in the Hawaii Theatre at Level 4 of Royal Hawaiian Center.

Tickets cost $25 presale, $30 at the door. Or be ultra-fabulous and upgrade to VIP status ($80), which includes access to a private food line and bottle service. For reservations, call the academy at 734-7007.

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