Manic Panic has been my go-to hair dye since I was a teenager; initially their incredible colour range, New York origins and edgy branding spoke to my teenage rebellious streak, but as I have grown so has my love for this brand.
Let’s turn back time a little and let me explain where my love for New York and Punk began…
I was 17 when I first went to New York, and the city captured my heart. Though Midtown was great, hopping off the bus tour at the wrong stop and ending up in the Lower East Side was one of the best mistakes I have ever made. There was a raw energy in this part of Manhattan and finding shops such as Search and Destroy and Pat Field were the starting points of the rock inspired style I still wear today. Just like most teenagers when they find their first love I wanted to eat up as much information as I could about it and so the fascination with New York punk began.
Fast forward a decade later and here I was sitting in a room with two of ladies who were at the heart of the scene that I am enchanted by.
London Edge offers a great opportunity to get to meet brands face to face and is an event that Manic Panic always rock up to. Though I love catching up at their stall and talking about their new products I could not wait to hear more about the brand’s origins.
Taking our seats we were quickly handed a shot of Jack Daniels to get us in the spirit of their punk rock talk.
Opening their boutique with a mere $250, the sisters turned their passion for individualism into an internationally renowned brand. Telling their tale from rock and roll jumble sales, hand making obscene t-shirts for rockstars, being back up singers to Blondie, bowling with Joey Ramone, and going bust each part of their story was told with passion and a wicked sense of humour.
Even the low points, like having to close down their store, came with a positive spin. Instead of giving up they turned Manic Panic into the hair and beauty brand we know today. Their ethos was all about moving forward, dealing with whatever life threw their way without losing hope or your own unique spirit.
Flicking through the images on screen they casually, talked about their famous friends, and iconic places bringing so many of the stories I had read about to life. This was a time of experimentation, community and pushing boundaries, which is something that Manic Panic stays true to today.
Manic Panic is not just my brand of choice because they have a great back story, their products are also incredible. The Bellomo sisters have been working as hard as they party since 1977 and are always looking to create new innovative colour lines, giving great choice from, high voltage, UV to pastel Creamtones there is a product for ever style. More plus point of these little pots are that they are true to colour, and leave my hair feeling nourished rather than stripped.
The popularity of the brand’s wild rainbow colours and matching cosmetics has continued to soar and this year they won Nylon Magazine’s Beauty Hit List Award for Best Hair Color of 2016 showing that you can’t beat a true original.
Tish and Snooky are still incredibly hands-on with their brand, and though Manic Panic’s commercial success keeps them busy they have not given up on on their punk roots, continuing to rock out with their band as well as making guest appearances with artists such as Ronnie Spector, Tony Visconti, and Patti Smith.
After their talk was over we got a chance to look through some original punk memorabilia including the first copy of Punk magazine, Ramones and Sick F*cks memorabilia. I am not usually a fan-girl but there was no way I was leaving without capturing this moment with a picture.
I left the talk feeling inspired that with passion, authenticity, kindness and a fuck-it attitude you really can live your dream.