NICHOLAS FRENCH—AVANT GARDE GURU
Born into a world famous British hairdressing family (his father was Freddy French of French of London), Nicholas French has gone on to make his own considerable mark on the industry.
After owning several salons in the U.K., French moved to the U.S. in 1994, where he soon connected with the Matrix owned Logics brand of haircolor. That was the beginning of his relationship with Matrix, and over the years he has served as a multi-faceted, global artistic designer, responsible for the development of many of the company’s most significant trend collections and products.
Nicholas has produced more than 1,500 high energy educational shows for professional hairdressers worldwide in the USA and in glamorous destinations around the world including Japan, Australia, Italy, France, Spain, Hong Kong, Thailand, Canada, London, Holland, Switzerland and Croatia. He has received numerous main stage, educational and artistic awards, including four NAHA titles in the Avant Garde category (along with nine nominations) and three British Hairdressing Award nominations. He was selected as one of Modern Salon Magazine’s Top 75 Educators of the Century and was nominated as a behindthechair.com Stylist Choice Award Platform Artist of the Year. French’s work has appeared in a vast array of publications, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Oprah and ELLE. He has also worked with many A-list celebrities, including Elizabeth Hurley, Jerry Hall, Dame Judi Dench, Hugh Laurie and Princess Margaret. Nicholas has been inducted into two British Hairdressing Icons Books called "From Salon to Celebrity" and Top 50 Hairdressers." Nicholas’ exploits have extended to designing the runway hair for such designers as Emanual Ungaro, Eres, Luca Luca, Apana Bawa, Guess Jeans, Levi, Doll House, Mavi, Eres and Betsey Johnson. He has appeared on Fashion TV, E Channel, Channel 7, Asia Today, Oprah, Good Day New York, and the Today Show. His work runs the gamut of producing and developing trends to film and print work with top film directors and photographers. Most notably, Nicholas has been invited to appear 10 times at the Alternative Hair Show.
His list of awards include:
2013 - NAHA- Avant Garde- Finalist
2012 - North American Hairstylist of the Year Award for Avant Garde- Winner
2012 - Beauty Maker Award by BE Magazine- No. 1 Platform Artist of the Year
2010 - North American Hairstylist of the Year Award for Avant Garde- Winner
2010 - Voted by American Hairdressers as featured in Beauty Entertainment Magazine- No. 1 Platform Artist (USA)
2009 - North American Hairstylist of the Year Award for Avant Garde- Finalist
2009 - North American Hairstylist of the Year Award for Masters- Finalist
2008 - North American Hairstylist of the Year Award for Editorial- Finalist
2008 - North American Hairstylist of the Year Award for Texture- Finalist
2008 - North American Hairstylist of the Year Award for Avant Garde- Winner
After losing his mother to leukemia, Nicholas became heavily involved in the Alternative Hair Shows, appearing in the shows at his own expense, and helping to produce for 10 consecutive years. The Alternative Shows are dedicated to raising funds for leukemia research.
Despite his many personal accomplishments, one of Nicholas’ greatest sources of pride is mentoring his fellow stylists to explore and perfect their artistry. “I know how to do everything. The nitty gritty is to get out to the people and help them be better hairdressers. My mission now is to develop teams of young hairdressers –to bring them to the edge and convince them that if they jump, they will actually fly.”
Get to Know Nicholas French:
Proudest Professional Moments: “Being a British Hairdressing Awards finalist three times. Earning nine NAHA nominations and four wins. Doing 10 Alternative Hair Shows to raise money for leukemia research.”
What Inspires Him: “Urban culture, graffiti, architecture. I do lots of drawing, sketching ideas and trying to bring hairstyles to life. Fashion. And I often refer to archives of my father’s work, as well as my own.”
Mentors and Role Models: “Vidal Sassoon. Trevor Sorbie. My father, who was marvelous but mad. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him.”
Personal Style: “I’m the old guru. Eccentric. This isn’t my first barbecue.” Professional Style: “Runway to reality. I am committed to interpreting the textures, moods, colors, etc. of high fashion and translating them for stylists behind the chair.”
Best Advice He Ever Received: “’Never put your hand out unless you’re going to help someone up.’ Also, ‘It’s all about the ‘P’s: Passion Precision, Perfection and Pain.’”
On His “To-Do” List: “I did some work for films and theatre at one time—I’d like to come back and design the overall look for a ballet or perhaps a Cirque du Soleil production.”