Caped crusaders

You know that colour can get a bit messy. But why can’t your capes and aprons have some fun? Enter Tracy Hayes and Katie Eary…

The famous phrase goes: you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs. Well, you can’t create a brilliant and beautiful colour for your client or model without mixing up a little mess. Yes, salons have aprons and capes to protect clothes, but don’t they tend to be a little on the dull side? Not any longer…

Fashion designer Katie Eary – famous for her fun, colourful take on modern fashion – has collaborated with Tracy Hayes, Fudge Professional’s global head of technical training, to create a limited edition line-up of a unique branded apron and cape for use in salons. Hurrah! PAINT asked the dazzling duo how they worked together to put a little extra flair into the colouring appointment…

KATIE: I started working with Fudge Professional five years ago. The hair is so important for Katie Eary shows, because my designs are very print-tastic, and my shows are always drenched in colour and vibrancy.

The week before a show, I’ll sit down with Fudge Professional, tell them about my inspiration for the collection, pulling together my references and what I love, to show the team. From here, we work together to create the hair look for the show.

When it comes to show day, every designer has to look their best. You find that you’ve been toiling away by yourself for six months in the dark, so I’m always ready for a bright colour for the show and happy to let Tracy do what she wants. I’ve had orange, yellow, red, pink and rainbow hair with different balayage techniques. Anything with Fudge Professional Paintbox colours is always great!

Fudge has been so supportive. Designer collaborations are often watered down, but I wanted to make sure ours wasn’t. I took a print straight from the runway and incorporated this into the apron and cape, so they look like they’ve come straight off the catwalk as ready-to-wear.  

Fudge Professional has worked on the hair for Katie Eary’s shows for a number of seasons now. What has been your favourite look of all and why?

TRACY: Working with Katie is always an exciting collaboration as she loves colour to be a big part – including the hair. This enables us to push the creative boundaries of the Fudge Professional colour range. Although it’s difficult to choose a favourite, I would have to say S/S18 really showcased our Paintbox range at its best. I coloured many wefts in lime greens, salmon pinks and burnt orange, which the hair team then weaved into the models’ hair, resulting in such a powerful visual for the catwalk.

How different is the preparation for a fashion show when you’re creating colourful looks in the models’ hair, versus when the look is more natural?

TRACY: The hair tests for the shows can often be finalised at the last minute, or even change drastically a few days before. So you need to be prepared, ensure that you have plenty of colour stock in all colours, and plenty of wefts, and be prepared for long days! Always do test colours to show the designer, as a colour in the pot can sometimes look different on a weft.

What would your advice be for young colourists looking to get more involved in working with designers and at Fashion Week?

TRACY: Positive attitude and lots of energy! Put yourself forward for opportunities wherever you can and try work with hair teams backstage to learn and build relationships.

Want to inject a little London Fashion Week into your salon?
The Fudge Professional Katie Eary Apron (£10.95) and Cape (£14.95) are available to buy now. Call XXX or visit

Most Wanted Awards

Most Wanted Awards

Register for Big Hair Do

The Coterie


Join the Club

Related posts …

Masters at work

Masters at work

Join us on a deep dive into the creative work of the show teams for the L’Oréal Colour Trophy UK & Ireland Grand Final 2021

A team effort

A team effort

We caught up with two show teams to hear more about the creative process behind L’Oréal Colour Trophy UK & Ireland Grand Final