The Learning Curve
Like so many of you, Serge Normant knew from an early age that he wanted to be a hairdresser. Growing up in the suburbs of Paris, he learned about high fashion from the couture shoots he saw in his mother's fashion magazines and from Hollywood via the big screen. After a two-year apprenticeship at a local salon, Serge signed on with Bruno Pittini and, at the age of 19, shot his first editorial job with the magazine that had fueled his young dreams, French Elle. In 1989, he came to New York with Pittini, eventually embarking on a freelance career that has included work with top actresses, models, magazines and fashion designers. Both of his books, Metamorphosis and Femme Fatale, show his hairdressing talent and diversity of skills on clients and friends such as Julia Roberts and Julianne Moore. If you haven't had a chance to see his work, pick up these books.
I always love to hear what inspires the top hairdressers. For Serge, it's the "glamour of the movies;" he especially loves old French, Italian and Hollywood films. He also says the streets greatly influence his work. "I take inspiration from women doing things to their hair that I never thought possible growing up," he says. "When I see someone's hair and I think, that's horrible!, I know there is something I can take from it in a million different ways." He cites fellow hairdressers Bruno Pittini, the Carita sisters, Alexandre de Paris, Vidal Sassoon and Kenneth as those most influential to his career. "Not only did they do amazing work, they knew how to market themselves," he says. When asked about learning how to create iconic looks, Serge says it's important to be around people who excite you. "The learning experience is half talent and half watching others work," he says. "You pick what you like and make it your own."
The Cover Shoot Creative Team, back row: Ande Campbell, Lynn Serra, Robbin McClain, Enrico Vesce; front row: Ted Davis, Serge Normant, Marie Bariller, Elie Maalouf.
— Robbin McClain,
E-mail Robbin at [email protected]