“Every now and then, someone comes along who changes the agenda”, said Trevor Sorbie MBE about his previous mentee, Angelo Seminara. Four times HJ’s British Hairdresser of the Year and recently crowned International Hairdresser of the Year 2019, we are so lucky to have caught up with one of the most captivating and renowned stylists in the world.
Concept Hair: It’s such a pleasure to talk you! Can you give our readers an introduction to what you do?
Angelo Seminara: I am a very passionate ladies’ hairdresser with an enormous curiosity that follows me everywhere I go, 365 days a year, 12 – sometimes 18 – hours a day. I’ve dedicated my life to creating new elements and ways of complimenting feminine beauty.
CH: Tell us about your childhood in Italy; how has it formed you?
AS: I was born in Calabria, south Italy. My family life was typically Italian – noisy, laughing, loving, my mum making amazing fresh pasta, time outdoors and plenty of socialising. Calabria is warm with beautiful coasts and a wild, mysterious landscape. There’s pure, unpolluted scenery with rolling green fields, blue lakes and waterfalls. Looking back, I think this is what formed my awe of Mother Nature, who has become my trusted source of inspiration.
CH: Who was your first ever client?
AS: My first client was a visually-impaired man. He had totally white hair, lived in a humble, rural home and looked like an artist. When I asked how he would like his hair, he replied: “Do what you like, just make it tidy”. So I did my first mohawk, which he said felt fresh and great. However, I don’t think his son was too impressed!
CH: Who is the most influential person in your life and career and why?
AS: There are a few. Firstly, my uncle Peppe Ferrarini; botanist, plant doctor, farmer and politician. From childhood, Peppe taught me about trees, flora, fauna and the landscape, and taught me to respect all animals. Losing him was enormously difficult. There’s also Cesare Racioppa, who spoke seven languages and was an occasional interpreter for the Pope. Then Domenico Annetta, an academic who taught children with Down’s Syndrome. All three taught me something new every day.
CH: What is your philosophy?
AS: When I worked in London and met my great master – Trevor Sorbie MBE – I asked him, “What is your philosophy in hairdressing?” His answer? “It’s very simple, just make it look beautiful.” Trevor’s words confirmed what I was already doing. To trust my instincts, to never, ever compromise and to seek perfection.
CH: If you had to choose one of your collections to define you, what would it be?
AS: It has to be the ‘Gravity Collection.’ To me, its beauty is beyond compare.
CH: You were announced International Hairdresser of the Year in February, congratulations! How does it feel?
AS: I am fortunate to have been given so many awards over the years. But strip away all the accolades and praise and, at heart, I really am a pretty humble hairdresser. Being announced International Hairdresser of the Year made me feel very proud. It’s incredibly rewarding to get such an honour. It makes all those long, hard days of perfecting my work richly satisfying.
CH: What are the challenges facing apprentices and how should they deal with them?
AS: Disciplined hard work, loving what you do, being part of a team… these are just some of the challenges facing trainees. It’s easy to feel disappointed in yourself when things go wrong. It’s so important to move on from every mistake, keep practising until you get it right. Always look forward, never back. Dedicate to learning from the best in the business, master all the skills and never compromise.
CH: What would you do if you were an apprentice now?
AS: It would be amazing to be an apprentice now, there’s massive demand for young, talented people. I wish it had been that way in my day; it was much more competitive then. So, my advice would be: if things don’t go right, you go left – simple as that. I would find the next brand willing to take me on. I’ve always believed in myself and what I can bring to the table. If I couldn’t be at the main table, I’d be patient, improve my skills and try again.
CH: What are your three top tips for apprentices?
AS: Find your mentor, act like a sponge and have loads of fun while you’re at it. And practise, practise, practise – then practise some more!
CH: Can you describe your perfect day?
AS: Ten clients saying: “Do whatever you want with my hair”, haha! But in reality I’d love to work in New York’s Metropolitan Museum creating a live installation.
Best fashion week?
Paris, without a doubt.
Live and let live.
If you could cut anybody’s hair who would it be?
Sir David Attenborough.
Cutting or colouring?
Precision or speed?
Most famous client?
The Beatles’ family.
This interview first appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of Concept Hair.