How I juggle Fashion Week shows with running successful salons
Working at International Fashion Weeks is hugely beneficial for stylists – teaching them essential skills, allowing them to network with peers and giving them a hugely desirable USP for clients. But having members of the team out of the salon can also cause headaches for salon managers as they struggle to balance life away from the runways.
I have plenty of experience of juggling a fashion week team and a successful salon group and recently shared my advice on keeping things running smoothly while also reaping the benefits of a fashion week association in a recent blog post for HJi…
Fashion Week is here again, dominating the news and the media like never before. With fashion such an integral part of our industry, how can salon owners get involved? And if you have a stylist who’s keen to work on the shows, how do you balance that with your columns?I’ve been very fortunate to have a great team of stylists at the Neville salon who regularly work on top fashion editorials, campaigns and look books. In fact I actively encourage this kind of work and re-organize their schedule at the salon in order to give them the opportunity to collaborate with premium brands, designers and photographers. So when the invitation to sponsor the Singapore Fashion Week came late last year this was no-brainer to do as it reflected the combined efforts, skill and expertise to date of our team.The key is not just to have one ‘celebrity’ hairdresser in your salon, but a team that works as an efficient unit. Neville salon has traditionally invested in nourishing all of their individual talents, so we now have a strong pool of resources to work worldwide. Since our success in Singapore, the Neville team has headed hair at Paris Haute Couture shows and New York Fashion Week while some of our former pupils who now have their own salons in those cities either came along to the shows or helped us backstage. If you want your salon to be seen as an independent brand, you need to have a strong and capable team as well as a manager who is not afraid of taking risks or exploring new fashion frontiers.What is also very important for a salon wanting to break into the fashion week scene is having a good relationship with the hair product sponsors. We have looked outside of the ‘traditional’ fashion weeks to other countries around the world to build up our experience and skillset at running the hair team and concepts for fashion shows and I think it shows the strength of the Neville team that we actually invited L’Oreal Professionnel to support us in Singapore and New York, not the other way around.I am always open to collaborating with new brands too, such as Fudge at the London Collections:Men. It all depends on how supportive they are to my team and how effectively they can follow us around the world. L’Oreal Professionnel was very supportive at Madrid Fashion Week and now we are looking to partner with someone in Korea as we have the knowledge that wherever the Neville team goes, huge exposure for the product sponsor is almost guaranteed.We run a Session Masterclass at L’Oreal Professionnel to teach salons how to make fashion and session work for them both in terms of exposure and commercially, because it’s such a stimulating environment for stylists and it can be balanced with a responsibility to a salon.