Eugene Souleiman is a member of the 1 percent - that's 1 percent of the top hairdressers in the world. The master stylist, Wella's Global Creative Director of Care & Styling, is in London serving as a judge and mentor for Wella Professionals International Trend Vision Awards (ITVA).
Famous for his work and one of the most sought after artists to serve as lead during fashion week, Souleiman met with the press during a press conference and had a private chat with MODERN's Beauty and Fashion Director Maggie Mulhern. Here are his answers to five burning questions:
WHICH WERE TWO OF THE MOST EXCITING LOOKS OR EXPERIENCES YOU HAD AT THE SPRING/SUMMER 2018 SHOWS AND WHY?
The Thom Browne show, from a hairdressing and technical perspective, was the strongest show. It was clean and minimal but intricate at the same time. You need to have a true skill set to create that look. Every mistake shows so the hair had to be precise.
Margiela required 4 days of fittings for the hair and makeup artists. Normally a fitting is 4 hours. It was quite an unusual process. We shot everything and did a step by step on each look. If you want to do something different the process has to be different.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU NEED TO BE A GOOD FASHION WEEK HAIRDRESSER?
You have to be willing to work hard. You have to know everything because you never know what you are going to be doing. You need to know how to braid and how to put hair up – in a texture Parisian way. You have to know how to create waves and big hair. You have to know how to work with wigs and create a perfect wrap. You must be confident and know how to control hair. Get the best training you can get. Realize you have to constantly learn and you’re never going to be perfect. Take your work seriously but don’t take yourself seriously.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR INSPIRATION?
Sometimes mistakes can be inspiring. The mistake could be the magic that it was meant to happen. Lately I’m into woodwork furniture. I draw. I was in a band. What I find interesting is chef Heston Blumenthal, a former chemist. He creates food that’s sensorial. He understands chemistry and ingredients. For inspiration I really just follow my heart. It hasn’t let me down.
WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCT AND TOOL?
Of all products: Sugar Lift. I just love it and for different reasons. For me it’s a great wet styling product. I use it like a gel. It gives a satin texture. I love that it makes hair feel like it processed, and makes it feels lifted and softer. For hot tools I’m using GHD irons, but I’m using them for what they’re not designed for. I use them to create discord and to create mistakes – imperfectly perfect.
HOW DO YOU SEE ALL THE WORLD CHAOS IMPACTING THE HAIR INDUSTRY?
(paraphrased) In the world right now we are in a very interesting time. Especially for women. Politics are changing people’s heads. If I look at how that translates into fashion and hair, there is a diversity in culture - new glamour and a stronger feeling toward being an individual and who you are. A lot about wearing your hair right now is about subtle nuance. I think we’re kind of in a very realistic time. Right now it's cool to be who you are.
(Check out this short video to hear the complete answer)