Royce Samuels, Runway Hairstylist and Creative Director Ceezys Styling
BNS: How did you make the transition from freelancing to working backstage?
I started off as a saloon hairdresser, then decided to move into the fashion industry, and started having creative collaborative photoshoots with known photographers and make up artists in the industry, so that lead to me doing fashion shows, because I mean it’s a highly creative space.
BNS: When was your first lead hairstylist role?
That was in 2015, and in 2016 I did a runway show featuring some of my creative hairstyles in two different fashion shows
BNS: What’s your creative process for a runway hair test?
For me it’s the best time for me to create and think, so it’s really not a process I can explain, because it just happens.
BNS: How do you prepare for Fashion Week?
I always make sure I pray first, for wisdom and divine intervention, and I also make sure I have all the necessary tools that will be needed and even extras, because backstage is always a rush (crazy rush) so you don’t want to lack anything trust me, then I like to do a hair test before the day of the show to be sure of what I’m doing on that day, so basically I have had my creative rounds before the day of the show.
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BNS: Once the models are ready and the show is ready to begin, what’s next on your agenda?
You start preparing for the next set of models or change of looks, that process is in repetition until the final walk
BNS: What advice would you give to a hairstylist who wants to work backstage?
You need to be a fast person first, because the rush might break you down if you are not, and you need to be able to handle pressure, because trust me there would be a lot to go around in those few hours of the show, also you need to be very confident, because some models, designers or fashion stylists might mess with you if you don’t look like you know what you are doing, because it would be frustrating to them and they would pass on the aggression of the frustration to you, I always tell my interns or students, if you are not sure of something act very confident and ask questions to confirm, never act dumb or numb backstage, you won’t like the reactions you will get.
BNS: What are your thoughts on runway beauty trends? Do your regular, everyday clients ask you to translate runway looks into wearable looks?
Well trust me, runway in Nigeria for now is more focused on the designers and make up. The hair 80% of the time is always basic, it’s only in few occasions where particular designers wants outstanding hair looks for the show, or the fashion stylist curating the show wants really creative hairstyles, and that’s why for now I’m not really into the whole runway process anymore, I have just been doing more of my personal creative shoots that would be published on renowned fashion magazines and blogs in the likes of Vogue, Elle magazine, BellaNaija Style and BellaNaija Beauty and the likes, for me I have never had any client pick a hair look from any fashion show in Nigeria and wants to recreate it, it’s always the make up or they get the dress from the designer, then I create a look for them or they get looks from my published creative hairstyles. So hairstylists (mostly the lead hairstylists) in the runway process need to really do more and try to make the hair a statement also, really tired of hearing statements like “the hair is not the focus so let’s make it simple” “let’s make the hair all to the back” “let’s make a low pony and make the hair sleek to the back” “Please pack the hair into a little bun, so the hair doesn’t show” I can go on on and on. Let’s do better with the hair, and that will probably make me get interested in the runway process in Nigeria once more.