*Capital letters by Robert!
Describe yourself in three words
CLEVER. CURIOUS. CHARISMATIC
Name three places that are guaranteed sources of inspiration for you?
The INTERNET – specifically Instagram and YouTube
Sitting on my balcony looking at the OCEAN
If I could work with one person, it would be… (and explain why)
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN. I wear and love his clothes, and more than that he could take a fashion show and elevate it to a whole other level. His showmanship was second to none!
My greatest teacher/mentor was…
PAUL MITCHELL was my greatest mentor! I first saw him on tape when I was in beauty school and I made the best decision of my life when I knew the least. Paul cut hair with CURVED SCISSORS, he used surgical TAPE to guide and map out haircuts, he cut women’s hair using clippers and a curved comb, he used CONDENSED cutting methods… and the list of his genius goes on and on! He was an incredible communicator, he could work and talk at the same time onstage, he used humour on every occasion and he was also a SCOTSMAN! He made me feel that there was nothing on stage that I couldn’t do.
The hairdresser you should Google immediately is…
RYOJI IMAZUMI. He has one of the most developed eyes I have ever witnessed. He is a visual artist who can create an illusion right before your eyes. He cuts hair like a ROCK STAR! When I watch him work he makes me feel like an intern!
What’s the secret to presenting to an audience?
I always start planning a show with the audience in mind, first and foremost. 200 people or less = education; 200 people and more it becomes a show! The larger the audience, the faster the show should flow. In my experience, it is about taking a risk in front of the audience – making live change onstage not just backstage! It’s called a SHOW, not a talk, so one recommendation I can make is that working and talking is imperative… Tell the audience what your hands are doing. It’s also okay to use humour; my speciality is being able to connect with any audience on any level and making them laugh. Once you get to that point, the rest is easy!
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made… and what did you learn from it?
I don’t make mistakes I make DISCOVERIES! My first show as Jeanne Braa’s stage partner, I reached for the bottle of HAIR SCULPTING LOTION to create beautiful finger waves on my model… But I created LATHER! The audience realised at the same time I had that I had lifted SHAMPOO 1 instead, and they erupted into laughter! Mortified, after the show, I humbly went over to Jeanne and apologised profusely and she said, “THAT WAS AMAZING, YOU’LL DO THAT EVERY SHOW, THE AUDIENCE LOVED IT!” My first lesson in humour at a hairshow 😉
What do you need surrounding you to be able to work?
My TEAM. Although I am often considered a one-man show, I think it is important to work with people who have talent beyond what you possess personally: make-up artists, wardrobe stylists, music producers, videographers, hairdressers – and vital to every show/shoot is the perfect model!
What skill should stylists learn that isn’t hair-related?
A servant’s HEART… Our main brilliance of being hairdressers is to be able to touch people’s hearts and souls!
What excites you most about hairdressing right now?
Visibility to the beauty industry has never been more accessible! Being able to research and have everything right at your fingertips is opening up a whole new wave of communication and learning for hairdressers.