As we continue our Editors Introductions feature, we’re very excited to bring to you part of the editorial Boyfriend Team, Hair Stylist Andrew Smith.
Smith is quickly building a hair empire, owning 3 salons in and around Hampshire (www.andrewsmithsalons.co.uk), educating across the world, lending his skills to editorials and shoots, and winning countless awards including most recently being announced as a Finalist for the British Hairdressing Awards.
With over 20 years experience, Smith is by far one of our favourite hair stylists to work with on set as he can work quickly, bring exciting and innovative ideas, and execute them flawlessly. He has previously worked with us on our cover shoots for Issues 3, 5 and our upcoming one year anniversary issue 7!
We sat down with the Hair Stylist extraordinaire to find out how he got to where is, and whats next:
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got to be where you are today?
Creative vision and artistic energy are my obsession. I’m a focused, passionate hairdresser with ambition and authenticity. Whether I’ve been commissioned to translate a catwalk trend, to produce a collection that screams attitude and eccentricity or i’m working alongside a creative team, I take inspiration from all that is around me and implement my own unique and often unconventional twists. I educate other hairdressers globally, I run 3 busy salons in Hampshire, work as a session stylist with some of the finest magazines and photographers and am a brand ambassador & international artistic team member for milk_shake.
What would you consider to be your biggest achievement to date?
Gaining recognition for my work by achieving front covers in the world of fashion and gaining a place on the global artistic team for international mega-brand milk_shake have been really significant achievements that I’m very proud of. Most recently, I have been announced as a finalist in the Southern British Hairdresser Of The Year Awards – this is one of the most desirable titles in British Hairdressing and I couldn’t be happier to be one of only 5 finalists across the UK. This is something that I have dreamed of since the day I began my career in hair – it’s such a big deal and I’m overwhelmed to be recognised in this competition.
What or who inspired you to get into the industry?
As a competitive figure skater in the early years I always assumed that my career would develop within Skating but after winning the British Adult Championships, I realised that success and longevity within the sport would be restricted based on age. My older sisters had studied hairdressing and from what I could see, it was creative and glamorous. At the time, I thought it would be an easy route – boy was I wrong – it certainly is creative and can be very glamorous but easy it definitely is not!. In hairdressing, you get out what you put in and I’m living proof that if you work hard, remain focused and keep on developing your skills, you can achieve anything. So, reflecting back, it was initially my sisters but very quickly after starting within the industry I discovered the Sassoon’s. Their inspiration has been a huge influence on my career – they have such a strict technical style.
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone wanting to start in the industry, what would it be?
It’s difficult to limit this to one! Education and the continuous commitment to develop your skills and take inspiration from your peers and key industry figures is critical. If you are considering a career in hair, do your research, find the best salon in your area and work with them, listen to them, learn from them and practice everything they tell you. This is an amazing industry that is forever evolving and highly competitive – you need to remain focused, be prepared to work hard, and learn from the best.
Have you got anything exciting coming up that you’re willing to share with us?
Lots of exciting things happening in the second half of the year. I’m ecstatic to represent the UK & Ireland on the International Artistic team at the Global 20 Year Anniversary Event for milk_shake and their parent company z.one Concept. The first few days will be extremely hard work preparing for the magnificent show and then party time with customers and colleagues for the remaining 3 days. I have International Seminars to present, I’m involved in a number of fashion events and of course the Grand Final of The British Hairdressing Awards at The Grosvenor Hotel, Hyde Park, London.
We adore Andrew and everything he brings to not just his craft, but to the industry overall, and we are absolutely thrilled that he is part of the Boyfriend family for life. Go and follow Andrew on instagram @andrewsmithhairstylist and make sure you pop into one of his salons for an experience like no other!
Also stay tuned for our huge Issue 7 cover reveal next month which features even more work from this talented creative.