Kirsty asked if she could visit us at the Salon so to do an interview with Reuben Wood in the summer of 2016.
And here it is…
I met Reuben Wood for the ﬁrst time this week at Reuben Wood Creatives in Stephenson Square, in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, which opened in 2013. His ﬁrst salon, Reuben Wood Hair and Beauty, opened on High Street, Manchester, in 2004. Walking into Reuben Wood Creatives, I was immediately welcomed by Karl Collins , Business/Studio Director and Photographer. The atmosphere was completed relaxed; it’s a place you want to hangout before your haircut. As a session stylist for Fashion Week in New York, Paris and London, it’s safe to say that when you book a cut and style with Reuben you’re in well experienced hands. Reuben and I discussed how he was going to style my hair, it needed serious assistance, so whist he tackled my tresses, taking off a few inches and adding long layers, I asked Reuben a few questions.
What inspired you to begin a career in hairdressing/design?
I started working at one of the country’s leading hairdressers, Toni & Guy, when I was still at school, so it gave me an early entry into hairdressing, and by 19 I was already providing training. I always wanted to be in the creative and fashion industry; hairdressing gave me the opportunity to do this. Hairdressing is actually a fashion focused job where you have to create and style. You have to stay focused on trends and what’s happening in the world to give clients the hair they want.
What was it about Manchester that led you to choose it as the home of your two businesses?
Well I’m from Manchester, and I live in Manchester, despite travelling the world because of work. We had the opportunity to open the salons anywhere, but the fact is I’m from this city which has changed so much and that change in itself is really inspiring. I travel a lot for work, so having the businesses here is great because Manchester is my home.
What is the difference between Reuben Wood Hair and Beauty and Reuben Wood Creatives?
It’s Reuben Wood Creatives that deﬁnes the difference. Reuben Wood Creatives is not just a salon, it’s a multi-functional space which also doubles up as a photography studio as well. The studio is run by my partner Karl Collins, and this allows us to create imagery of the work that we do for our clients coming through the door. Reuben Wood Creatives is a hair salon, but also a photographic studio which we utilise as a creative and educational space. On Sunday and Monday, a typical hairdresser’s weekend, we get the chance to use this space ourselves and produce creative work. That’s one of the best parts about the space, being able to play, to be experimental and creative.
What would you say motivates your passion for hair design?
Simply: fashion, my staff, and above all, the people I get to work with every day, my clients, who are so diverse.
What is the most important job you have undertaken as a hairstylist?
The most memorable job this year was working on the Givenchy Resort 2017 campaign in Naples. The setting for the shoot contrasted the rundown and the reﬁned look of the city. It was a really exciting backdrop to work in. I have also worked at Paris Fashion Week for the last 6 years, where I have been able to work with brands such as Stella McCartney , Chloe and Maison Margeila. What is the most interesting location you have visited? It would have to be Venice at the Diesel Fashion Show in 2014. Nicola Formichetti had just been appointed as the brand’s new Artistic Director after Renzo Rosso, the brand’s founder, retired. I was booked as an assistant to Martin Cullen and created styles that were inﬂuenced by the brands grunge style and industrial setting of the show. What are some of the most memorable challenges you have faced whist working at fashion shows? Working against time is always the biggest challenge, often I have a 3 or 4-hour window where we have to style 30 to 40 models’ hair before each show! Whilst we had been chatting, Reuben had created a smooth, relaxed ﬁnish so my hair still had natural movement. The layers have made it much lighter now that the weight has been removed and I really like the way the layers at the front frame my face; it’s the perfect combination of luxurious and undone. I would highly recommend Reuben Wood Creatives, not only for an exceptional haircut, but also for their professional and friendly atmosphere that goes beyond any other salon experience I have had.
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