How To Get Working With Top Models and Fashion Shows
Working Your Passion: How To Get Working With Top Models and Fashion Shows
Lydia O’Carroll is a hairstylist who started off in Dublin and then moved to New York and within a very short space of time she was working with the likes of Victoria Secret shows, Alexander McQueen, Fashion Week, the Grammys and Kate Moss to name but a few.
She didn’t have contacts when she first moved to New York so, I’m just going to have a chat with Lydia to ask her about how she did it, because I think her method of reaching the top will be of interest to anybody that is interested in fashion, or hairstyling or make-up or anything like that.
Lydia, just tell us a little bit about your background, about your training, and where you started? Were you trained to work with the stars or were you just trained normally in hairstyling?
I started off my training in Toni & Guy in Dublin; I was there for six years, I then decided I wanted to go to New York. So, I got on a plane to New York, I didn’t know anyone, and when I was there I worked in a salon for a small period of time and then I decided I wanted to do more fashion stuff, so I flicked through the magazines, Vogue and Cosmo and I’d look at the credits for who did the make-up and hair and I’d see names of certain hairstylists and I kept on seeing them, so I started searching for them, found their agents, started cold-calling the agents and sending emails.
I didn’t really hear from anyone for a while, but then I started getting calls back and eventually I started assisting everybody. So, once I started assisting people, I started doing the shows, then I became a First Assistant and then it just lifted off from there. A lot of hard work, but more or less just kind of finding my own way.
So it wasn’t because of the salon you were working for in New York? It was your own hard graft. You got the magazines and you found the names of the top stylists and you said, ‘Right, I want to work for them’ and then you called them or their agents.
I called the agents, cold-called them, I just searched for agencies and the agents and I called them lots, but no one ever called me back. Eventually, they did call me back and then once you get in, it is up to you to survive it, which I did. I just started working with them more, and then I became the Main Assistant for some of them and I would go around the world with them and things like that which was great. I get to all the big shows like Chanel, and Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton, all those shows, and Alexander McQueen, and that is how it all started – just by making phone calls.
So, they weren’t calling you back, but you just didn’t give up, you just kept on persevering really.
Kept going, yes.
Fantastic, I love that idea and you’ve worked on the big names and you’ve also worked on the Victoria Secret catwalk models!
I’ve worked with Victoria Secret for the past seven years; I did some of their photo shoots before I left New York. I still do some of the PR events with the Angels and they are starting to open worldwide so hopefully a little bit more of that, but I did all their shows. It’s been great working with them and Giselle and Kate Moss; I worked with all those girls so that’s been good.
Wow, that’s amazing!
So, now you’ve come back to your native Dublin and you’re settled here and you’re working, and you’re doing a lot of weddings because of my other little sideline in wedding planning, so I know you’re doing great bridal hair and you are doing all that sort of stuff.
Yeah, I started doing more weddings because I think they are fabulous, as every girl wants to have a bit of glamour, a bit of sexy hair, beautiful hair on the day, so I’ve started to do that and hopefully I’ll do a lot more, and I’m doing a few photo shoots as well, with some of the big photographers here. I’m still like tapping in to what I started off in, but definitely looking after every day girls, getting their hair done on their special day is great.
Also, you’re still getting contacted from the States and brought back over there for the big shows. The last time I was chatting to you, you were flying back to New York.
Yeah, still going to New York, I was in LA for the Grammys and Vegas for the Country Music Awards and still doing lots of stuff like that, but at home in Ireland for now, that’s the plan.
That’s fantastic! Okay well, that’s a great tip for anybody who wants to get into the big time of the beauty, fashion or hairstyling world. Thanks very much for that, Lydia, and we’ll talk again soon.
Brilliant, good to hear from you.
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