50 years of Balmain Hair

50 years of Balmain Hair

In celebration of Balmain Hair's 50th anniversary, the iconic model Jon Kortajarena and his close friend Esther Cañadas unite for a special campaign in Paris, a tribute to lasting love and friendship. The campaign captures the essence of Balmain's heritage, featuring a conversation with the models on hair trends, icons, friendship, and sustainability.

Join us in celebrating 50 years of Balmain Hair - a legacy of beauty, innovation, and timeless vision.  


Model: Esther Cañadas @esthercanadasofficial |Photographer: Quentin de Briey @quentindebriey | Artisitic Direction & Hair: Ilham Mestour @ilhammestour | Make-up: Celine Martin @_celinemartin_ | Production/post production: Mademoiselle Production@mlleproduction

Interview with Esther Cañadas

What does ‘hair’ mean to you? 
Well, I have to say that I'm very lucky because I have lots of hair. Personally, my hair is like a part of my identity. Whether I cut it short or change it, having a lot of hair is just something I'm used to, and it feels like an essential part of me.

Have you experimented with your hair, like buzzcuts or going blonde? 
Oh yes, I did try cutting my hair super short at one point, like Jon here, but it didn’t really work for me. So, you won't find a lot of footage from that time. * laughs * There was a phase when I experimented quite a bit, but ultimately, I figured out that it wasn't the look for me. 

And what do you consider ‘beautiful hair’ Esther? 
There are many types of hairstyles that I admire. Personally, I love natural and wavy styles, as they remind me of the beach and being in the sun. For example, during the summer, my routine involves washing my hair in the morning, then heading straight to the beach and on to dinner. My hair is clean, but it gains a salty texture and beautiful, natural waves, which I absolutely adore.

Could you share your earliest memories of hair? 
As a child, I used to have many playful arguments with my mom about my hair. She would insist on combing it, and I would pretend to comply, but secretly, my hair would be full of knots. * laughs * I would tell my mom, "No mom, this is perfect." As a kid, you don't really pay much attention to styling your hair or thinking about it. I remember whenever she would tell me “We’re going to cut your hair now,” she would take me to the salon, and the people there would always say something along the lines of “Oh no! Her hair is so cute and pretty, don’t cut it…” and then always convince her not to do it, so I always knew I had that in my back pocket. * laughs *

If you weren't a model, is there anything else you'd like to try out? 
Honestly, I feel like I've already tried so many things in life, and after my modeling career, I think I'm done exploring other paths. * laughs *

What comes to mind when you think of Balmain Hair? 
I think of the anniversary campaign, which is amazing. I think of next year when we’re going to shoot again, and when will we see each other next time. * laughs * Everyone on the team here is so nice.

What does it mean for you to do this shoot together with Jon? 
It’s actually the first time we've worked together, so it's great. It's funny because when Jon did his first show, he was very nervous and stressed, so I approached him to talk and offer some comfort. You can easily tell when someone is there for the first time and feeling anxious.

Are you two close friends? 
Yes, I would say so. We’ve known each other for years.

What was your experience working with Jon for the first time? 
It was a pleasure to work with someone who has had a lot of experience and knows what they're doing. I think Jon behaves very well in front of the camera. It’s a real pleasure.

Can you tell me the story of how you met? 
He didn't tell me he had a crush on me back then, only later when we became friends. I think it happened when I came up to him during that shoot to comfort him.

Such a heart-warming story, thanks for sharing this little detail. Laughs We want to thank you for being here today and making this special 50th Anniversary campaign with us.
Totally, thanks for having us. Talking about how hair connects with who we are has been a fun and refreshing experience. I hope to see you all soon.

 Model: Jon Kortajarena @jonkortajarena |Photographer: Quentin de Briey @quentindebriey | Artisitic Direction & Hair: Ilham Mestour @ilhammestour | Make-up: Celine Martin @_celinemartin_ | Production/post production: Mademoiselle Production@mlleproduction


Interview with Jon Kortajarena

What does ‘hair’ mean to you?
As a kid, I had the privilege of watching my mom, Nuria, who was a hairdresser, work her magic in the salon. It was truly amazing to witness how she could give people a sense of security or freedom just by styling their hair. Those transformations were like superpowers to me, and I saw them happen all the time. My mom was a true artist, and her work made a real difference in people's lives through their hair. 

Did your mother use you as a doll to try out different styles, colors, and haircuts?
Not really, my mom was always very traditional and conservative when it came to my hair. However, when I started my modeling career, she decided to cut my long hair short, which turned out to be a defining look for me. After that, I began working with Tom Ford, and that's when things really took off. I'm genuinely grateful to her for shaping my look and giving me that opportunity. 

Did you have any hair icons while growing up, someone you looked up to or wanted to emulate?
Not specifically, my inspiration was more about capturing certain feelings or attitudes rather than trying to mimic someone's appearance. I realized that some of the most interesting men I've met in my life became influences in very specific ways.

Could you give an example?
Sure! For instance, Tom Ford became a role model for me when it came to his life perspective. When I met him, it impressed me that he was not only talented, but also extremely polite, fun. I admired his ability to find something extraordinary in everyday life, even in the ordinary. It was something new and intriguing to me at that time.

Is that something you've now integrated into your own life?
Definitely, I try to be optimistic, nurture my talents, and treat people with politeness and respect, even on tough days.

What sparked your interest in combining beauty and sustainability?
Honestly, the realization of the environmental dangers and the challenge of fixing them. Our planet is our only home, and we need to act urgently. Instead of criticizing from outside, I decided to make a difference within my industry, which contributes to pollution.

Would you consider becoming a spokesperson for sustainability?
Absolutely! I'm actively involved with Greenpeace, the Climate Project, and I even created a forest in Madrid. Planting trees fosters a connection with nature and future generations. While I'm educating myself further, I hope to promote sustainability and raise awareness in the future. It's about belief, not ego. 

What other aspects do you focus on in your life?
It’s about different periods of your life. Sometimes you can devote yourself to your work, sometimes you’re taking more care of yourself, family or friends. I work a lot on myself. I go to therapy and that is a full-time job in itself. 

What comes to mind when you think of Balmain Hair?
For me, Balmain Hair is all about rock and roll, masculinity, and sexiness. It's a brand that embodies those elements, and it's why I also use their products. My mom had them in her salon, and I've been a fan even before I worked with the brand. laughs

Can you tell me the story of how you met?
She came up right in front of me during my first photoshoot and said, “Hello, what's up?” She was super sweet. I went to heaven. I was secretly a fan of hers. 

Such a heart-warming story, thanks for sharing this little detail. We want to thank you for being here today and making this special 50th Anniversary campaign with us.
No doubt, it's been great. Balmain Hair's legacy is more than just aesthetics, and I'm thrilled we could chat about it.


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