Hairstory

- Edition 8 - 


I first heard of graphic designer and photographer Steve Hiett when I was working as a hairdresser on a shoot for Italian Vogue in Florida in the 1980s. The photographer and fashion editor were discussing how to mimic his dramatic, graphic, saturated photographic style. A few years later I came across his work in a model’s portfolio represented by an agency called Name.

But what got me really excited about Steve’s work was a book called Models Manual that he designed for Arthur Elgort, one of the most influential American photographers of the ’80s and ’90s. It blew people away with his expressive graphics, and it is still a reference point for anyone in fashion and beauty. Over time, Steve and I became friends and collaborators. Both being British, we share a sense of humor, if not always an aesthetic, but he’s someone I admire a lot, and he seems to be able to make something out of anything.

Hairdresser Tony Kelley had this idea for a shoot with a tech-savvy gang of neo-goth girls, which was very fluid, very intuitive, and very easy, actually. The combination of Tony’s work, the casting, the clothes, the venue (the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn) was pretty inspiring. I love shooting on location because I love daylight, and although one traditionally avoids shooting in mid-day sun, we ignored it and made it work.

When we looked at the pictures, it seemed like a job for Steve to put this abundance of connected images into a story. We didn’t give him much direction except for the title ‘Goth Girls.’ Tony had written his piece, Clara Rae, our makeup artist, had written hers, and when we got the layout back from Steve, the title had become ‘Girl Go,’ which none of us questioned because ‘go’ seemed the better word to encompass all of Tony’s ideas.

Anyway, we’re very excited about this visual story about how style is appropriated and interpreted by young people, and it makes a strong statement about hair. It’s a chance for us to show something in a somewhat out-there, thought-provoking, and hopefully memorable way.

– Michael Gordon, Editor-in-Chief