Meet the Sponsor - Michael Davids from Poison Apple
We think our sponsors are among the most special, fabulous, generous and wonderful people in the world. Yes we may be a little biased because they support us and the global Pinup Community, but there's nothing wrong with a little bias amongst friends!
We appreciate our sponsors so much we would love for you all to get to know these wonderful people more, as well as the products they create and/or things they sell. So we're going to be interviewing each and every one of them so you can do just that!
Our page would not work without their support and we certainly wouldn't be able to offer our Pinup of the Month competition with a fabulous prize each month! And we send out a big hug and thank you to all our supporters who have shared the love and gotten behind our sponsors too. In niche communities like ours it's super important to support small businesses within those communities as they are a big part of the backbone of our subculture. Particularly in times of global financial stress, even just a like or share and thank you can increase their social media reach and visibility.
The first sponsor and amazing person we're going to introduce you to is Michael Davids, hair wizard and the creator of Poison Apple Hair, a little potion the Pinup world has gone nuts over (and for good reason) just check out Poison Apple on Instagram and see all the posts from Pinups trying it out and reviewing it!
1. What is your involvement with the Pinup community and how did it start?
My Name is Michael Davids, and I have been a hairdresser for 20 years. My interest in pinup came about in 2005. When I was 8 years old I saw the movie ‘Who framed Roger Rabbit’ and was immediately taken by the starlet Jessica Rabbit. After watching her dazzling song number, I threw a bath robe around myself and swanned out into my parents bar area where they were entertaining friends. I “impressed” them by copying Jessicas mannerisms. My parents were not impressed, however their guests were intrigued. I thought Jessica was the ideal representation of glamour.
Many years later , I moved from Perth to Melbourne and worked at a popular hairdressing salon in St Kilda.. At the time I was working on oil paintings and for an art collection which was to be exhibited at a deluxe restaurant on Acland st (the strip I worked on at the time). Looking for inspiration, I came across little bookshop. on the display in the front window was a book with a beautiful lady (of which I interpreted as romantic gothic photography. I purchased it immediately. That book was Dita Von Teese’s first publication. I painted 3 portraits of her and years later I made a Swarovski crystal portrait of her that she has to this day.
2. There are so many hair setting lotions out there, why did you feel Poison Apple was needed?
In my current salon, I use to use a popular hair setting spray that was imported from the USA and distributed through an Australian company. Shortly after stocking that line, the company decided to discontinue the range due to the manufacturer dramatically increasing their wholesale quantities. As time passed, the remaining supply in Australia decreased to a point where the stock became non existent. I also noticed that there were many pinups that were ordering the product from overseas suppliers online and paying huge costs for shipping.
In 2017 I had the privilege of working with Miss Victory Violet in my salon during her Australia tour. She brought her own preferred styling products, which were amazing. Alas they also were not available in Australia.
By chance an old friend in the hairdressing industry introduced me to a manufacturer who produce some of Australia’s top end hair product lines that have been featured in Australia Vogue and Marie Claire Magazine. I pitched my idea to the cosmetic Manufacturer. After listening to my idea, to my dismay, they said that they only do individual product runs of 2000 units, but they were prepared to give me a break. I worked with them for a year, testing various prototypes that were tested by good friends and clients of the likes of Katie Kaleidoscope Sina King, Rouge Noire, Sugar St Claire and Eevie La Volpe. After a very long time of developing formulas and fragrances, Poison Apple Setting Spray was born.
Michael Davids and Katie Kaleidoscope celebrating the release of Poison Apple
3. Where did the inspiration behind Poison Apple come from?
After responding to a demand for an Australian setting spray in the market, I immediately got to work on branding. I tried many avenues and even tried to come up with my own logo. The product was originally going to have a cheesecake aesthetic and I played with the name ‘cherry pie setting spray’ however after doing some research, I found there were a few other brands that had the same Marketing direction. I was stuck for ideas. It was one evening when I was discussing with my partner about rebranding the name of my current salon, he said that it would be a bad idea as the current salon brand I had was already well established and that it would confuse my clientele. During that discussion, my children were watching the movie Shrek, and in one of the scenes the villains were residing at a bar called ‘The Poison Apple’, the name slapped me in the face, and I thought “what a perfect name for a hair potion’. With the secret recipe in progress, I researched images of antique medicine bottles and graphics. After realising that I did not have the skills to create a digital logo, I collected ideas and inspiration for the branding. The manufacturer produced an amber hip flask bottle for me and with the logo in mind, I employed the genius talents of Mark Sheard (Sheardo). He asked me to come up with a brief (which was not very brief at all!). The result was a romantic gothic pinup sitting in a pool of red poison with a glossy apple behind her, inspired by the lovely Katie Kaleidoscope. This image was quickly whisked away to the graphic design department where a tea stained label was added with the slogan “tested on Babes, not Bunnies” all of the components were assembled and we had a winner.
Tested on Babes, Not Bunnies! Logo by Mark Sheard
4. Why is Poison Apple different to other setting sprays?
Poison Apple is not unlike setting sprays we are use to, however it does contain some key ingredients that make it unique. You see, it is not always what ingredients go into a recipe that makes it work, but the precise quantities and how they work together. For example, a cake can contain milk, flour, sugar, baking powder and eggs. If you put 16 eggs in the mixture, you will end up with a sweet rubbery omlette. The lab that refined Poison Apple Setting spray worked endless hours finding the correct components and consistency, creating the perfect formula. We borrowed formulas from the classic recipes and added components that would recreate forgotten aesthetics. Unlike most formulas on the market that will hold curl, but leave the hair crunchy or sticky. Poison apple gives unbelievable hold with a bounce and shine that is soft and defies the laws of nature (as a true magic potion should). The product is made in Australia, so the cost is that of a high end bracket, however this ensures it is not tested on animals and is completely vegan. We also added a few easter eggs to make the formula unique. One of these components is a rare ingredient called Dragons Blood. This is harvested from the sap of a tree in south America and protects allergy prone skin. And also elements for shine and a heat protectant. All of these elements are exclusive to poison apples formula. Not to mention its glamorous and intoxicating fragrance, that is all natural.
Image by 3 Fates Media
Model Marilyn Mocktail
HMUA Gemma Sheree @gslmakeup - using Poison Apple
5. How has Poison Apple been received by the Pinup Community?
Poison Apple Setting spray was released very quietly in the spring of 2018, and surprisingly with very little advertising, it was very quickly picked up by retailers around Australia. The response (to say the least) has been beyond overwhelming. With an urgent request for it to be stocked overseas. The pinup community has been incredibly supportive, with people advertising it on social media of their own accord. I am so grateful that Poison Apple has been welcomed with open arms into our community. For such a small business, we have had an incredible growth to the company. And we thank the loyal pin up community for that.
Miss Lady Lace "First time setting my hair with @poisonapplehair setting spray and they have me under their spell! Beautiful soft to the touch but firm holding curls. I’ll have a quick getting ready with me video online tomorrow and a full review up in the next couple weeks."
6. What's next for Poison Apple Hair?
Poison Apple is still a baby product when you compare it to major brands, and we are working towards a few very exciting new products to add to our range. We have been developing a pomade for smoothing hair, and it has been in the works for a few months now. Keeping in brand, we will be soon proudly introducing Poison Apple ‘Toffee Apple Pomade” the formula resembles a soft taffy consistency with bonding fibres that gently web the hair together and results in a smooth glossy finish. The fragrance is still to be decided, however it will be in line with our signature fragrance.
Michael Davids and Scarlet Soda, styling using Poison Apple
Thank you so much to everyone who has supported Poison Apple Hair. We very much appreciate your loyalty.
Founder of Poison Apple
If you are interested in sponsoring The Pinup Registry's Pinup of the Month competition or think you know someone who would be, please get in touch.