Eugene Souleiman, global creative director of care & styling for Wella Professionals, is one of the most accomplished session stylists today—you can find him on the set of shoots working with top models and backstage at fashion week in New York and London. Recently, at Wella World Studios in New York City, Souleiman took time from his busy fashion week prep to spill the tea on what it's like working with designers like Thom Browne, where he find his inspiration, tips for breaking into session styling, and how hairdressers can use social media to their advantage.
HOW STYLISTS SHOULD USE SOCIAL MEDIA...
"Put out on social what you want to put out there. I know it’s a very different time, and the market is oversaturated, but it's all very generic. I think anything that is good that has a point of view and that’s unusual will get seen. People will gravitate towards it. If I see something unique, I DM people—that’s probably how I met a third of my team. It’s quite a powerful medium. I think you should use it and not let it use you."
WORKING WITH THOM BROWNE:
"Thom Browne takes me to a different place. It's like finding a secret passageway to Narnia when you work with people like that. Thom will show me sketches of dots and lines for inspiration, but I totally get where he’s coming from."
HOW TO BREAK INTO SESSION STYLING:
"I’ve met a lot of people that have come up to me at hairdresser wholesalers. I invite them along to a show to see what we do. Or DM someone and send them your work. Write them a really nice message. If you’re expecting to make a lot of money doing it, you probably won’t, but you will get another richness out of it. It will stretch you personally, creatively and technically. You won’t be doing hair right way, but you’ll learn the things session hairdressers are known for, those little tricks. And those little tricks are big things—it's a completely different world from the salon. Backstage, there is a sense of urgency—three minutes a hairstyle sometimes. You can either get high on the adrenaline or just fall apart. And if you fall apart, then it’s not right for you. If you get a buzz out of it, there’s nothing like it."
HOW HE STAYS INSPIRED:
"I love really loud music—garage, rock. I like to draw. I’ve got two girls, and they’re really inspiring. I love watching them do hair, because they don’t have any boundaries. You can get inspiration from anywhere. One of the people that I find most fascinating is Heston Blumenthal. He used to be a physicist and he created this new way of cooking that’s about chemistry and understanding molecules. He’s brave about what he’s doing, and no one else in the world is doing it. I love that."
TRENDS FOR 2019:
"There are two very strong movements that are happening for me at the moment. Women are the new men. There’s a very big zeitgeist going on and it’s the new feminist movement, which needs to happen, and it’s making me think in a very different way about what I do. I think the new feminism has nothing to do with masculinity—it’s about being a woman and being feminine. Women in the real world don’t have the time to do their hair. There are other things they want to do—they want to run the world. I’m thinking about where we are in the moment culturally. So minimal styles, subtle styles that have strength."