Friday, 19 February 2016

The INTERVIEW: Lee Radley, Third Senior Director at Nicky Clarke Mayfair

He's styled the tresses of everyone from Reese Witherspoon, to Jessica Biel and the British Royal family (to name a few), led the team at the BAFTA Awards for 5 years, glamourised stars at the Oscars, the Grammies, MTV and NTA Awards, and had his work featured in the glossy pages of Vogue to Harpers Bazaar. Lee Radley, is a name you need to know when it comes to the hairdressing industry. Luckily, I managed to catch up with him for a quick Q&A...

Was the hair industry something you always wanted to get into?

'From when I was about four years old, I went to the salon with my mum every week when she used to get her hair done. I would "help" sweep hair and ask questions, probably driving them mad. All my sisters’ dolls got haircuts, I cut my own hair and our dog's too, so that's a yes!' 
Who were you inspired by, and where did you start out?
'Vidal Sassoon was a name that everyone knew of in the UK, and that was my first 

introduction to a celebrity hairdresser. It was the 1980's and John Frieda was becoming a big name in the industry and it was where I wanted to be, so I went for an interview and got the job and started there as soon as I left school - on May 17th 1985. My job was to assist a young hairdresser called Nicky Clarke! I’ve formed a trusted and great friendship with Nicky ever since. It’s a great brand and he’s a great guy. It’s been rewarding to be a part of the team and see the Nicky Clarke brand grow.'
What would you suggest to other budding hairdressers and backstage stylists out there who want to get into the industry?

'I would say eat, live and sleep hairdressing. Always give 100% to everything you do, even sweeping hair, try and learn old as well as new techniques, knowledge is key. Pick other hairdresser’s brains and watch how those you want to aspire to, I know I did with Nicky. Knowledge is the key ingredient you need, you should soak it up like a sponge, you can't build a successful career on shaky foundations. Try and try harder with everything you do in life - there’s always room for improvement.' 
Are there any particular styles you've loved showcased at New York Fashion Week at the moment?

'Hair has been really simple this season, with middle partings on hair, either loosely waved or straight, so a real early 70's vibe with hair, which puts more focus on the clothes. I’m also loving the use of scarves, again the simplistic hair is dressed up with these, creating that boho chic look.' 
Your career has taken you all over the world, what to date, has been your most successful moment do you think?

'I couldn't possibly say, each moment is different and brought different things to me, but the success of taking memories, friends and stories to keep forever is incredible and I'm very grateful to have had the privilege to work with the people I've worked with.' 
You've styled the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Biel, Dame Helen Mirren, to name a few, what other celebrity's hair would you love to get your hands on and what would you do?

'Someone to really challenge me, who would get worldwide recognition for a new hairstyle that other people would want to recreate. Who that would be? (I’m not saying in case I jinx it, but it's known that I adore Jennifer Lopez!).' 
Which celebrity's hair are you currently loving?

'I love the obscure, like Sia, but love it when a nod is given to Hollywood old age glamour, which Madonna always does so well, and Jessica Biel's hair looks great at the moment. Jane Fonda looks great in the mature woman's category. ' 
Where would you like to see your career in 5 years time?

'I’m pretty happy where I am but it’s always rewarding to have continued recognition in the industry. I love doing hair for TV and film, videos etc and being in front of the camera is always fun, but also continuing to do what I love doing, making people happy with their hair.' 
What hair trends do you think will bloom over the next season? What would you say is the next cool look?

'I see us starting to lean towards a much softer return to bigger hair, 1980's inspired, but not as heavily structured and lacquered. The soft 1970's look has been around for quite some time now, so I can see a return to a more deconstructed structured look.' 
Provide us with a brief rundown of what a regular 9-5 day is like for you?

'The Nicky Clarke Mayfair salon is in a lovely part of town, so I'm incredibly lucky to work in such a fabulous area. I get to work in the mornings and I smile and greet everyone in my path. I tend to be kept busy from the moment I arrive until I leave.  I am currently more or less fully booked with clients from all walks of life. It’s demanding but rewarding and I feel humbled to have all these people coming to me and trusting me with their hair.' 
And finally...your hair kit is burning down...what three tools do you grab?

'Comb, scissors, my Nicky Clarke straighten and curl iron.'

A HUGE thank you to Lee for taking the time to answer my questions...! Lee Radley is Third Senior Director at Nicky Clarke Mayfair. For appointments 
visit the Nicky Clarke website HERE or call 0207 491 4700.

Image is sourced from Damson PR 

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