With London Fashion Week just weeks away, we thought this was the perfect time to get an insight into Andrew Smith‘s career in the fashion world. Known for his love and passion for the industry, Andrew has lived and breathed hairdressing from the moment his career began, and has experienced the most amazing roles and opportunities that the craft has to offer.
A career in hairdressing can take many different paths – from business and management to creative and education, there is a role for every individual. For Andrew, his career has taken many different turns. He was once a young apprentice, a fully qualified stylist, an educator, salon owner, business mind and more recently has participated in the session world, working at fashion weeks around the world with some of the most influential designers and teams.
However as many know, taking the path into the fashion world isn’t always easy and often it can take years to achieve this career goal. Here, Andrew shares his top tips on tackling the fashion world – all of which he has undertaken himself to reach this career goal.
1. Start at the bottom
As simple as it sounds, starting at the bottom is the only way to begin a career in the fashion world. Be prepared to assist, pass pins, brushes, and everything in between and be the foundation of the team. You have no idea how much having assistants helps when under pressure behind the scenes and they are so valued. Start small and stay humble, working your way up.
2. Show your passion and hunger for success
There is nothing more exciting than seeing someone who is incredibly passionate towards their role, is eager to learn and is looking to help progress the industry. Show your passion through your work, put every effort into creating the most incredible looks and working hard to get to the end goal. This never goes unnoticed in the hair world and passion is the number one requirement when looking at the session world.
3. Do your research
Simple but effective, doing your research on designers, hair teams and other assistants is a great way to begin building your knowledge of the session and fashion industry. You will get to know the work produced by the teams, their preferential products and tools and who they work with regularly. Knowing all these things will only enhance your knowledge and put you ‘in the know’.
4. Network and Connect
When working or assisting you will come into contact with some of the most influential people, this is your moment to make that first connection. Introduce yourself, share your thoughts and views and ensure your work ethic stands out – this will be remembered (first impressions really do count!) As soon as you connect with someone, follow them on Instagram and linked in and keep the engagement going.
As well as in person networking, use your social media to your advantage. This is without a doubt the easiest marketing tool and you can connect and engage with session stylists and other assistants at the click of a button. Embrace it and start building relationships.
5. Experiment and be proud
The best way to building your skills an showing them off is to practice and experiment – as they say, practice makes perfect. Simply trying new techniques, replicating previous styles from shows and stylists around the world and stepping out of your comfort zone will really show how hard you want to work, your desire to succeed and try new things and of course, master some new skills!
For more of the latest industry news, click HERE.
Respect is a hub for UK hairdressers of all ages and stages to find out what We Love, We Hearand We Seeas the best product launches, styling advice, hairtools, education training and seminars and hairshows! Sign up to our newsletter which is sent fortnightly direct to your email, so you stay up-to-date with salon styling information, trends in session work, advice on presenting on stage or progress in educating – whatever your interest, whether you’re a trainee or creative director, an educator or team leader, you’ll find all the opportunities and ideas on www.respectyou.me
We love hairdressing; we see and we hear how you can become the best hairdresser, colourist and salon owner possible. Contact us if you’d like to know more about us. If it’s worth talking about, you’ll read it here.