Partners in life and at the salon, Jason Backe and Ted Gibson have been transforming celebrities’ hairstyles in their New York and Florida salons for 22 years. FAB joined them to share their journey and to understand their love for social media.
Love At First Sight
As a young man, Jason Backe attended a hair academy in Minneapolis in 1994 and there he met Ted Gibson, a dreadlocked teacher who was already well-known in the industry. From there, a long romantic and professional relationship began between the two, and it led the duo to an international career and the opening of salons in Manhattan and Florida. In their salons, a cut with Gibson can cost over $1000 (937 euros). Their clients – Angelina Jolie, Lupita Nyong’o, Anne Hathaway and more – remain faithful to them, as are the fashion and media insiders who adore them.
An Early Calling
“I started playing with hair, haircolor and permanent waving when I was a young kid,” explains Backe. “My mom and grandmother would have me shampoo and dry their hair in the kitchen. I have a picture of me perming my sister’s hair when I was about six years old.” A rebel, the student walked out of several of Ted Gibson’s classes, which intrigued the teacher and won his heart. A romantic evening and love declaration later, the couple started traveling and building a name together. In 2010, they opened a first Ted Gibson salon in New York. In 2012, a second salon followed at the Fort Lauderdale W Hotel in Florida. In 2014 the couple, surrounded by friends and family, got married – 20 years after their first night together. From the start, their private lives and careers have been intertwined: Backe is the color artist and rational thinker, Gibson is the inspired creator. “We work together, live together, travel together and we’re in love with life together,” says Backe.
From The Salon To Instagram
For each color job, Backe follows a simple rule: he amplifies each woman’s natural beauty, while attempting bold transformations. “Haircolor is the one thing a woman can do for an instant change. There is nothing outside of a doctor’s office that can make her look more youthful. I think what makes my color uniquely brilliant is that I see a woman’s beauty differently than she sees it herself.
Because of that I can help her redefine who she is or wants to be.” The colorist illustrates all these principles and shares pro tips on social media, which have truly changed the industry. “They have changed everything. Social media (like Instagram) is my new storefront. Now I can relate to my fans, followers, friends and clients in a completely visual way. It’s been amazing for our industry. ” Because Backe’s rule for work and life is to remain inspired by the world around us – and the small everyday moments that change us.