A Community United: ZGAT Academy

Led by Creative Director Adam Federico, Federico Advanced (an independent education house) was established with several goals in mind: To elevate the level of craftsmanship within the hairdressing community, to offer non-manufacture driven artists a platform from which to educate – but most importantly, to create a sense of unity in a community that can often feel disjointed.

Federico Advanced is no doubt successful in its undertakings: skills have been refined, passions have been stirred and bonds have been forged.

It’s undeniable, a united community is a strong community – and there’s no better illustration of that strength than the recent complications Federico Advanced faced when attempting to bring Croatian artists Ivana Spicer and Mario Mesaric of ZGAT Academy, to our Sacramento, CA facility.

Obtaining a Visa to get Ivana and Mario to Federico Advanced, was not as simple as filling out the required paperwork. As it turns out, hairdressers fall into an awkward category – not quite artists (we beg to differ) and not quite educators (insert strenuous objection here). “With the United States Embassy requesting letters of references from top industry representatives, a three-day window, a weekend and a holiday working against us, time was short and the obstacles seemed to be mounting faster than we were able to remove them – and it is in this struggle that we learned, it really does take a village,” said Creative Director and founder of Federico Advanced, Adam Federico.

Upon our request, letters of reference and support poured in from the Professional Beauty Association, KAO USA (Goldwell and KMS), Hairbrained, the Sassoon Academy, Wella Croatia, BMAC scissors and KREATE North America talent representation.

“It was without a doubt one of the largest outpourings of cooperation and encouragement – and lent to one of the greatest feelings of community we at Federico Advanced have ever experienced,” Federico said.

The Visa was ultimately granted – and Federico Advanced was treated to a succession of 3-day courses charged with passion and infused with knowledge, wisdom and the finer points of precision-based haircutting. Ivana and Mario brought humility and wisdom to the students at Federico Advanced.

We are forever grateful for this truly transformational experience – and look forward to our next set of dates featuring ZGAT Academy.




















 “We’re here to awaken from the illusion of separateness.” ~ Ram Dass

Special appreciation goes out to: Steve Sleeper, Executive Director, Professional Beauty asscociation P.B.A.; Trevor Attenborough, President and GM of KAO USA, Salon Division (Goldwell+KMS); Gerard Scarpaci and Randy Taylor of Hairbrained; Traci Sakosits, Regional Creative Director of The Sassoon Academy; Bilijana Gosev, Brand Manager for Wella Professional Croatia; Sen Yamanaka, President of BMAC USA; Luca Masper Executive European Distributor of BMAC Europe; Bryan Gaum, North American talent agent for KREATE.

You have our eternal gratitude for your time, consideration and sense of unity within the hairdressing community.



Images by: Nicholas Wray

Blog Author: Sarah Federico