STYLIST ADRIAN CLARK

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Creative genius, natural born talent and a man with an opinion, it’s no wonder hair stylist Adrian Clark has risen to acclaimed success. His character, charm and endless talent have all catapulted him to the top of the fashion world in the heart of New York City. His work has been featured in editorials from Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, GQ, Dazed and Confused, Wonderland, Bullet magazine and POP to name a few.

His roster of clientele is equally as robust including the likes of Lily Cole, Adele, Florence and the Machine, Jessie Ware and Tobey Maguire. We sat down with Adrian to get an inside look into his life, work and what inspires him.

Where is home?
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. I still have a place in London so it’s useful when I work in Europe.

How did you get started in the hair industry?
My parents are hairstylists and have always had their own salons so I grew up hanging out with the clients. I’ve always been very independent and focused. At the age of 13 I took myself to a rival salon in our local town and asked for a job as shampoo boy. I lied about my age so the owner called my parents to make further enquiries. They had always taught me to be industrious and to think on my feet so that’s exactly what I did. I worked there for 3 years. My parents still laugh about it to this day! At the age of 17 I went to start my 3 year apprenticeship at Vidal Sassoon in Manchester, UK.

Where do you take inspiration from?
At exactly the same time I moved to Manchester to start at Sassoon’s there was a huge music scene explosion! Bands like New Order and The Stone Roses were always hanging out at either Sassoon’s or at the newly infamous Hacienda Club where we always had a ‘very 90’s’ guest list. Acid House music inspired the ‘Manchester Look’ which was kind of techno meets hippy. Bell-bottom jeans, Reebok high tops, a Factory Records black hoody and a beaten up canvas pork pie hat. Your hair was always parted in the middle and greasy hanging like curtains after a night dancing furiously at the Hac. That’s just how we wore it, to annoy our parents. It was basically the beginnings of grunge.

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What are some up and coming hair trends we should know about?

I created the double bun for Jessie Ware’s album cover last year and apparently (according to Jessie’s mum) every teenage girl in the UK has one now… LOL.

More seriously…Short hair on girls!!! I pray to god the amazing wigs that Guido has been doing for Dior, Marc Jacobs and LV the past few seasons will filter into the mainstream this year! Long hair is so dull and boring. Every girl has it right now and we need to start cutting it off to create characters that don’t all look the same!

How would you describe your personal style?
As long as I’m clean I really don’t care. Simple and not over done. I’ve never had a single piercing or a tattoo in my entire life. I cringe when hairstylists try too hard on their look!

What is the one industry secret you’re willing to share?
I’ll give you 2… You’re only as good as your last editorial and NOTHING is what it seems from the outside…

Can’t live without hair product?
DV8 spray in texture.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Save your money and put some away for a rainy day.

Most memorable moment behind the chair?
It would have to be collaborating with Vivienne Westwood on Lily Coles’ look for the Met Gala (punk) 2013, I gave Lily grunge, punk-pink tresses. It’s hard for me to put into words how important Vivienne is to British culture. I simply adore her and always have! The outside world and especially America has a sweet and romantic vision of the UK like it’s an episode of Downton Abbey. I think because we originate from such a conservative and traditional culture we also have a fantastic counter culture! Anarchy, punk and rebellion walk hand in hand in the UK and I think that’s why Vivienne is so relevant and loved. I was appalled but not surprised when the TV presenters on the red carpet at the Met Gala cut Vivienne short in her interview when she started to talk about Bradley Manning and the wiki leaks affair. As you might have gathered by now… I ‘m also quite political. Unusual for a hairstylist I know, but I always have been a bit weird! And I’m ok with that…

What do you love most about being a stylist?
Every day is a different creative challenge. I get to meet new teams and travel to lots of interesting locations. I truly have a blessed life and I’m thankful for that!!

Have you ever done anything else?
Yes! After assisting I made a departure from fashion for a while. I completed a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in time-based media. We made short experimental films and documentaries. It totally changed my perspective creatively and how I look at things. I always loved film but the degree somehow helped me to use cinema as a vehicle to express myself as an artist. Iconic, visual films like The Graduate (1967), Blade Runner (1982), Control (2007), I am Cuba (1964), The Fifth Element (1997), can all be seen in my work.

Tell us three things we need to know about New York City:
Without trying to sound too cliché… New York City allows you to be who you really want to be and fully realize your potential. This city has this weird energy that just makes things happen for you if you’re willing to work hard. All the opportunity could make you conceited if you’re not careful but I find it actually really humbles me! I’ll never take for granted what this city has done for me! When I turn left out of my apartment and I see the Empire States and the Chrysler building on the skyline I really do feel like it’s a whole new life every morning!

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Images sourced from adrianclarkhair.com
Adrian is represented by The Wall Group.