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It's rare to meet a master who has a vision of the future. This week we did just that, we had the pleasure of peeking inside the psyche of Mr. Frédéric Fekkai. Join us as he waxes on the current and future process of creating beauty with artistry and vision.
We conduct this exclusive interview with the help of Jim Jostes, Owner of luxury boutique salon, Tousle in Old Town. Together with Tousle we pose three questions from the perspective of a stylist about Mr. Fekkai's current practice of creating beauty and dealings in the salon and then two more questions about what he believes to be the future of beauty.
How do you keep motivated and what gives you inspiration after so many years in your career?
Frédéric Fekkai: By nature I'm a very curious person and I'm very different than the general industry in styling. I'm more a hybrid of commercial fashion and celebrity. I'm inspired by art and people and movies and I am working with designers - I always push the box. But my personal inspiration - if you come to New York and look at my library I have books, miles of books and magazines that I use to imagine.
Racked: There are so many fast trends and product gimmicks on the market. What techniques do you employ to guide your clients through the myriad of choices and instruct what is truly foundational for them?
Frédéric Fekkai: The products are there to be helpful and disappear into the hair - the hair is specific. There are functions to products. The first is treatment: shampoo, conditioner. Two is volume: even if you don't want volume it's important to have it. Now it's not about big hair its about feeling fluffy and healthy. Step three is to use a product to make the hair texture - if you have curly hair you do what we call a cocktail and mix with a little bit of gel and it makes the hair.
In the past you would do fourth step by locking the hair - but now we may put the hairspray under the hair in step 2 or 3 and a little fluffiness and separation. Now it is no longer about helmet hair - its about having your hair moving.
Racked: Assume you work with a client that you might consider a vampire in your roster, would you potentially divorce them?
Frédéric Fekkai: Hopefully this never happens. The way we work we rarely have a scenario like that. We have been the pioneers for inviting the customer and they are agreeing how they want to do it [their hair] and we are no longer the old generation of style. Now it's a smarter approach and civilized approach. The client is first and we understand this with a mutual understanding. It is very important with this question and its about communicating with the customer.
Racked: Given the trajectory of your career as an artist, how have your views on beauty evolved through the experiences you've had in life?
Frédéric Fekkai: I love shape and form. I give a vision to my customer. The way I've seen beauty evolved - it has become a cycle. Hair has been to glamour-to-hard-to-soft and it has to be a little Hollywood, music, models, fashions.
Racked: So it's very pop culture inspired?
Frédéric Fekkai: Yes.
Racked: What do you believe the future of beauty will be?
Frédéric Fekkai: I think beauty is sync with fashion. It is becoming much more eclectic and much more universal. It is evolving with a greater ease. Everyone now is on the internet they can get more ideas easily. It's evolving a personality - people now are versatile - its not about the trend. Hair is an accessory we wear like jewelry or bags. You can wear your hair at the top or on the side, it can be straight or curly. Beauty is about lifestyle. It really is adapting to the moment - and that's the future of beauty, mobile, maneuverable and it is really wonderful that way.
· Frédéric Fekkai [Official Site]
· Tousle Salon [Official Site]