Interview with Leanne Cutler, Hair Shots 2 The World
Leanne Cutler of Hair Shots 2 The World interviewed British Hairdresser of the Year (2011, 2009 & 2008) and HOB Salons’ International Creative Director, Akin Konizi about his title, his winning collection and his hair fashion predictions…
How does your winning British Hairdresser of the Year title affect your activities on a day to day basis? Does it increase opportunities?
As British Hairdresser of the Year, the amount of work load doesn’t change, but, yes the opportunities grow. I get to continue travelling the globe teaching seminars and presenting shows to international audiences, as well as focussing on the growth and development of the HOB Academy and our 23 salon group, and continuing to cater to my celebrity and press clients on the salon floor.
How does the win affect hob as a business? Does it attract more new clients and students and how?
When we enter these awards, we do it with the intention of bettering and progressing the HOB Salons name for both client and team benefits. From loyal through to new clientele, our clients really appreciate these titles and what it means to be crowned the best in the industry, and it also reflects the high calibre of our salon teams as the title ensures that we attract great staff for HOB Salons.
Once you hold the big title, how does it elevate your role as an ambassador for hairdressing? What more do you do as British Hairdresser of the Year?
With this title comes a lot of responsibility to the industry, and I ensure that I am continually delivering the highest standards in every aspect of my work from education commitments, to shows and session work as well as photographic work. Winning the award for the third time only pushes me to better myself and opens more opportunity, and I want to maximise everything that comes my way.
How much time do you spend on the salon floor? Am I safe to guess that your book is a full one? If so, what would prompt you to take on a new client? Who would he or she have to be or do for you to open your book to them?
With all of my education commitments in the HOB Academy as well as my stage and platform work, you can imagine that my diary gets pretty packed so I don’t get to spend that much time on the salon floor. However, I do cater to a number of celebrities and journalists, and wherever possible I am always happy to take on new clients.
What is your favourite thing about being British Hairdresser of the Year?
It is confirmation that I have achieved my ultimate goals, and that my hard work and commitment was worth the effort. When I sit and think, it’s always a lovely surprise when I remember I am British Hairdresser of the Year and it is great to have that reminder.
Is hob involved with any charities or community work? If so, please tell us about it.
As a company, we have dedicated a lot of time and energy into contributing to worthwhile charities and organisations such as HAIRraising and HABB to name but a few. We get the whole team involved, all of which have a really positive and enthusiastic attitude. This also applies to the helping and growing of the local communities. Each salon area benefits from us being there whether it be for hair services for a local event, or business to business ventures seeing us collaborate with a number of local names, we always ensure that we are aware of our areas and how we can help to boost the brand.
The winning collection:
Hair: Akin Konizi @ HOB Salons
Photography: Jenny Hands
Makeup: Nicky Weir
Stylist: Damien Fox
Your winning collection draws many great elements from the past, spinning them into something beautiful and new. What inspired you to make the selections you did?
With all of my collections, current fashions are always at the top of my agenda. As well as ensuring that the work really reflects who I am as a hairdresser, working with images that are precise, geometric, soft, beautiful, sexy and feminine.
What elements brought these various looks together as a uniform collection?
Despite each look being strikingly contrasted through working with an array of different shapes, styles and colours, my inspiration was to bring the collection together. I wanted to work with portrait style shots of individual characters visiting a photographic studio in the late 60’s, all different, but brought together by their need to be captured on film.
How did you come to decide which colours suited each style?
At HOB Salons, we believe that no cut is complete without colour and feel the two together deliver the best and most dramatic result. The Technical team and I talk in depth about the cut and colour direction ahead of shooting, and this is how I ended up with the strong colour palette for this collection.
Do your collections represent the seasonal trends offering in the salon at hob? If so, how far in advance do you shoot?
I tend to shoot about 2 months in advance, and my inspiration will vary from what’s going on in Camden high street, Fashion Weeks across the world, as well as brainstorming with my team. The current Spring/Summer season is all about high shine finishes and classic shapes. With the 60’s being a key era for this season we will be working with glamorous waves and strong centre partings whilst colour will be expressing a more dramatic, sensual and beautiful colour palette.
Is there something new and radically different on its way into hair fashion in the next year?
Autumn/Winter 2012 is going to be all about REVIVAL and EVOLUTION. Revisiting the best of the iconic styles from eras past, these looks will be making a return but with a modern twist demonstrating strong, geometric shapes but with more texture incorporated. The fringe is going to be a key fashion statement for AW12 with varying lengths being teamed with uneven fringes that open up the eye area and accentuate the cheekbones already sported perfectly on A-List actress, Rooney Mara. Complementing varied styles, colour will be moving on with a darker, sumptuous palette seeking inspiration from the 1940s with the red palette particularly demonstrating jewelled shades such as amethyst, deep ruby and garnet with accents of fuchsia set against black tonal backgrounds.
If you have worked with any Australian hairdressers, please let us know what you think the differences are between British and Australian hairdressing?
I believe Australian Hairdressing to be similar to our own, however, I feel that British hairdressing is more street inspired, but I am particularly impressed by the technical skill of Australian hairdressers.
How do the British public view hairdressers? As an industry, do British hairdressers receive the respect they deserve?
I think the hairdressing professional has a much higher profile in the UK than it did 5 years ago, possibly the reason behind this is that television has created hairdressing celebrities and this has been good for the industry. We are also being portrayed as more professional and more like skilled craftsmen. I think it is a work in progress and we will get the respect that we deserve, or we won’t.
Akin Konizi, British Hairdresser of the Year, 2011