Chris is a dynamic international platform stylist who exhibits the right mix of showmanship, energy and education, which is also reflected in his photographic and session work. Currently Style Director for The British Barbers Association, Chris has lead global creative teams, demonstrating his diverse skills at fashion weeks in Paris, Moscow, New York, and London, once completing a record-breaking 105 models for the largest ever menswear show held in Leicester Square. Chris is seen as one of the UK’s leading men’s groomers and is the editor’s choice for several leading features. His outstanding work has been showcased in publications such as Londons’ Sunday Times Style Supplement, Hairdressers Journal, FHM and Men’s Health Magazine His list of accolades includes Hair Magazine Best Men’s Hairdresser of the year 2014 & 2015, three times winner of ‘Black Hair & Beauty Barber of the Year’; inductee into the ‘Barbering Hall Of Fame’, winner of ‘The Guild European Golden Clipper Award’ and he was also one of the first to receive the honorary PHAB Standard.
YOU ARE A SPECIALIST MEN’S STYLIST. WAS THIS ALWAYS YOUR INTENTION WHEN ENVISIONING YOUR CAREER?
It was actually, yes! My first insight into the hairdressing industry was when I started work experience in a barber shop. I ended up doing two years there and realised that I needed to get qualified. Back in the 90’s, qualifications were all in female hairdressing so that was the route I went down. I did that for a while and absolutely loved it, it was amazing buzz and I saw hairdressers travel all over the world. I noticed that barbering didn’t really have the same opportunities; the traveling and show work didn’t exist because there wasn’t the focus on men’s hair. I realised that men’s hairdressing was very niche so my whole career then became focused on changing that perception. I shifted my career from hairdressing to specifically men’s hair – I wanted to make it more creative, exciting and attract others to do it. There weren’t the same opportunities in the award
circuit either, I won Barber of the Year three times but the award was restricted to afro hair – there wasn’t any other men’s awards to go for
YOU’RE A VETERAN OF MANY INTERNATIONAL FASHION WEEKS. WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING ASPECT OF DIRECTING THESE?
I would say the excitement of working with other creative teams. I love seeing how they develop a concept into a physical product that walks down a catwalk and how my hair skills complement the looks they’ve created. For me, it’s all about working with other creatives and the process of collaborating to create something incredible
YOU ONCE STYLED A RECORDBREAKING 105 MODELS FOR THE LARGEST EVER MENSWEAR SHOW, I BELIEVE? DESCRIBE THAT DAY FOR US. (AND HOW ON EARTH DID YOU MANAGE THAT?)
The show was for a designer called Ozwald Boateng. It was his A/W 2010 collection show in London and we had five hours to style over 100 models. He created tribes with the models, so each look had to sit with a specific tribe. I prepped solidly for the two days previously sorting the models into categories so that on the day we had a factorytype scenario. We had separate cutting and styling stations whilst one stylist would do the beard trims and another would be applying the product – it took five stylists and five hours which was the only way we were able to execute all of the looks. It was a conveyor-belt of hair styling and once I’d signed off the final look, they were sent off to the clothes stylist and then onto the runway. It was before London Collection Men’s existed so it was very new and exciting. I’d say it was organised chaos!
13 Barber Shop Year 6 Issue 3
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Published on Sep 2, 2017
BarberShop is a trade magazine specifically for mens barbers and mens hairdressers. Keeping up with trends and fashion as well as business a...