From there you became one of the OG session stylists…
I landed on my feet a bit. I got sent out on a photoshoot, because Molton Brown was the go-to salon for all the magazines, and in those days, it might sound a bit weird now, but the magazines got… well the models did their own hair and makeup. By the mid ‘70s, people had started using hairdressers from salons, and from the mid to end of the ‘70s, Molton Brown was the place where the magazines got the hairdressers from. But the hairdressers always worked on salons and would go out, take a day off the salon to do the photoshoot. I quickly discovered that I preferred doing the photoshoot to working in the salon. There was something sort of magical about creating an image. And that was when I got hooked. That was in the late ‘70s. And then in 1980, I left. When you’re young you just do things don’t you? Once you’ve learned a trade, like hairdressing, once you’ve learned a skill, you don’t really unlearn it, it’s something you can always turn to. And at the time, in the early ‘80s, there were new magazines, like i-D and The Face, and all these kind of style magazines popping up. And I felt that there’s a new wave here, and I really wanted to be part of that. So, I left the salon and just concentrated on doing photoshoots. And everyone thought that I was completely insane, like how could I possibly sustain myself on those, because you didn’t really get paid for magazines. But you did get paid for Freemans Catalogue and stuff like that. So, I did sustain myself, and then very, very quickly the business did evolve. That was the beginnings of what it is today.
You were the OG session stylist. You’ve done over 200 Vogue covers. You’ve spent over 40 decades in the business. What are those key moments that really stand out for you when you look back?
There’s so many, I couldn’t possibly choose just one. From the beginning, from the ‘80s, with this emergence of the supermodels… I mean I was about when Naomi, at 15 years old, comes from school on a go-see, and when Linda [Evangelist] and Christy [Turlington] were doing Vogue cover tries and we thought maybe they’ll get one, maybe they won’t, maybe they’ll even get a Vogue shoot. So that was an amazing experience, to watch that metamorphose into what it became. And then at the end of that, along comes little Miss Moss. Looking much shorter, tinier, smaller, bird like, different from everyone else. And you know, I’m still working with Kate to this very day. And in between then and through that kind of experience I met Princess Diana, through Vogue magazine and Patrick Demarchelier and then went on another decade of doing that, well seven years of doing that. And then came the era of the big fashion shows, which I still continue to do. And then came launching my own products. And also working with people like Vivienne Westwood and Karl Lagerfeld for many, many years. It’s been incredible. It’s been full of evolving, incredible experiences with the most amazing, inspiring people.