Keeping it real

Laundry founder Mitchell Wilson on bringing a sense of realism to the hair industry

“With photoshoots I’m always amused at the description ‘REAL people’, as I’m pretty sure even Bridget Bardot is real, right? Although I’ve never had the pleasure, but she is flesh and blood and no more. With our photoshoots at Laundry in Sheffield, what I’m trying to do, among other things, is bring a sense of realism to our industry. After all, how often does an Amber Valletta walk into your salon? Or indeed how often does she sift through stock salon imagery for some inspiration?

“I’ve nothing against tall, skinny and pretty.
However, I do have something against the current obsession with starting with these generic beauties then having someone in post-production alter the image beyond recognition in a bizarre celebration of the photographer’s skill. Somehow to me this diminishes both the skill of the hairdresser and lowers the industry standing to the ‘also rans’ once again. On a more serious note, as the father of a near teen and a current teen, I also believe that when everyone with a smart phone has an app to alter their image, we may have a responsibility to GET REAL.


“I must point out it’s not some sort of crusade – I’m far more interested in character and trying to do things differently from as many other people as I can. In turn I feel this will set Laundry apart and achieve a level of recognition within the industry that yet another set of generic photos simply wouldn’t. I also find first hand, as a hairdresser working in the salon, that such imagery is far more of a talking point with my clients who perhaps identify with ‘real people’, and are more interested in the process of the shoot and the story behind it.

“After all this is our second collaboration with TIGI both with a difference, both covered by Creative HEAD! Would Creative HEAD be interested in a Laundry shoot that looks like 99 per cent of all other shoots this year? So, go ahead and take a chance on something different…

Hair styling: Mitchell Wilson from Laundry using TIGI
Hair colour: Warren Boodhagians using TIGI Copyright Colour
Photography: Alex Barron-Hough
Styling: Natasha Heasman
Make-up: Marie Bruce
Casting: Annette Russell

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