As an artist, Naeemah LaFond believes that authentic self-expression is paramount to success. Over the years, she’s worked with noteworthy and iconic fashion brands to deliver her fun and fresh perspective – and in the process – has created countless, striking looks. Today, Naeemah is the Global Artistic Director for Amika, which is a Brooklyn based product and tools company that’s anything but ordinary. Read on to discover more about this noteworthy artist – plus learn her personal philosophy on beauty and style, here.
Q. You’re a well-respected editorial stylist. How did you break into the field?
A. After I left college, I had quite a few random jobs before realizing what I wanted to do when I ‘grew up.’ Like a lot of stylists, I spent my childhood playing with friend’s hair and giving my cabbage patch dolls asymmetrical cuts and perfectly sculpted up-dos. So during my post-college years, when my best friend was working to become a model, she naturally asked me to do her hair for a photo shoot. I’m glad she did, because during that shoot, I felt more alive than I ever had before – and I finally realized what I was meant to do with my life. My adrenaline was high, I had butterflies in my stomach; it was like love at first sight.
From that first day, I knew that I had found my calling, and I started working towards becoming an editorial stylist before I ever went to beauty school. To gain experience, I began working photo shoots on my days off from my ‘real job.’ As a result, my work got published in several national beauty magazines. At that point, I decided to go to beauty school to become a full time hairdresser – but ultimately – I knew that I wanted to work as an editorial stylist.
Q. Describe your most noteworthy moment as it relates to hairdressing.
A. Undoubtedly, my most noteworthy moment was when I was promoted to the position of Global Artistic Director for amika – all of my hard work had finally paid off! It was – and continues to be – my moment in the sun. I’ve worked hard to be where I am today, and I don't take any of my successes for granted. I try to remember this: Success isn't owned, it's leased, and the rent is due daily.
Q. Amika is both innovative and creative. What’s your favorite amika product – and why?
A. I'm obsessed with the Headstrong Hairspray. It's a freeze hold spray that can help you to create just about any look; whatever your heart desires. The kicker is that it's also brush able. I use it for all of the hair shows, because and it allows me to transition seamlessly from avant-garde up-dos to smooth waves, with just a few strokes of my brush.
Q. Can you Describe ‘a day in the life,’ being amika’s Global Artistic Director?
A. I'm kind of all over the place – and I love that. As a Gemini I get bored really easily, so my unpredictable schedule is an absolute dream for me. One day you’ll find me in amika’s Brooklyn office (doing research, hosting model castings, writing curricula, and answering my endless stream of emails), while the next you might find me somewhere abroad (at a hair show or dining with international client’s as we plan amika’s global domination). I love it all – so much so that I can’t even believe that this is a job! I’m so thankful to the industry that allows me to lead this life.
Q. As it relates to beauty and style, what are your thoughts on perfection versus individuality?
A. Perfection is subjective. I'm all about individuality, and I encourage people to work towards being the very best version of themselves, just as I work towards being the best version of myself. I tell my new educators this all of the time. “I don't want you to go up on stage and be me,” I say. “I want you to be the best version of you.” That's what I call perfection.
Q. This January, you’re set to take Hairbrained’s master jam-style ‘Teach In’ stage. Can you share your motivations for becoming involved?
A. Being involved in ‘Teach In’ is such an honor. It’s kind of like an All-Star stage: players from different backgrounds shed their team logos and play together. The focus is the craft, and the common cause is education. I love that concept – and it’s a privilege to give back to an industry that has given me so much.
If you’d like to see Naeemah – plus other craft contributors – live, please visit hairbrained.pro to get tickets to our ISSE Long Beach ‘Teach In,’ today!
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