Anna has been a successful hairstylist for 11 years.  She has traveled around the world working on fashion shows and photo-shoots in Paris, Milan, and New York.  Her work has been featured in Dazed Digital, W magazine, Glass, Style, and ES, to mention a few.

Exclusively Fashion Magazine: Can you tell me how your career started as a hairstylist?

Anna Cofone: Hairdressing wasn't actually my first choice of profession but an interest that developed after completing a diploma in performing arts.  As well as singing and acting, it covered certain aspects of hair and makeup.  I loved it and was fascinated by period looks and how wigs were made. After finishing the course and a short stint singing in jazz clubs and blues bars, I decided that I wanted to learn more about hair and possibly a career as a hairdresser.  It wasn't long after that I secured a position at award winning salon group Harington's and within sixteen months I completed my apprenticeship.  My trainer and mentor Eamonn Boreham, was absolutely passionate about hair and instilled in me the core values of how to be a great hairdresser. He was also the first to open my eyes to how the industry stretched far beyond the salon environment by taking me to photo-shoots and international shows. I was in awe and would spend all my tips on fashion books and photography as well organizing my own test shoots.  After working my way up to art director I then decided it was time to leave so that I could learn more about session work.  I haven't looked back since!

EFM: How long have you been a hairstylist?

AC: For eleven years, eight of which were spent in the salon.  I then went travelling for a couple and moved to London in May 2008.

EFM: Who was the first hairstylist you have assisted?

AC: The ever inspiring Eugene Souleiman. He was an artist that I had admired since seeing his work at The British Hairdressing Awards ten years years ago.  I can remember seeing his images and thinking, 'wow, what a genius!' His approach to hair is so thoughtful.

EFM: You have been quite busy this S/S 2011; what fashion shows have you worked on?

AC: I have been lucky enough to work in Eugene's team for five consecutive seasons in Milan and Paris.  This season I also did New York for the first time.  We did shows including Donna Karan, Jeremy Scott, Stella McCartney, Kenzo, Ann Demeulemeester.

EFM: You've worked with many models; what was your favorite hair style?

AC: It would have to be the look we did for Hussein Chalayan for S/S 09.  My first ever season doing the shows. The hair looked like an aero dynamic Helmut-from the front it looked like the hair had been just pulled back but, then the side profile was of this shape that extended straight out from the head at 90 degrees.  The process of getting to that point were intense, we had to be disciplined, precise and controlled, making sure each step was executed.  It was a real challenge, but that's what I love!

EFM: You've created an amazing look on supermodel Natalia Vodianova; working with one of the top models in the industry, what products did you use on her hair and what was that experience like?

AC: Working with Natalia was amazing and I can remember feeling so nervous when I first met her, not only for being one the most successful models in the industry but also because the job was part of a series of events leading up to her charity's 'Love Ball' event, I just feel so honoured to have been a part of it.

 I used styling products from the Shu Uemura Art of Hair range including the Sheer Lacquer.

EFM: How important it is to have an agent?

AC:  I think for me it got to a point where, having assisted for a few years, I needed to make that crossover and start doing my own jobs.  I knew that by getting an agent it would help to propel me onto peoples radar.  I have never been good at self-promotion and Emma is a great. She totally gets me and my aspirations. We spent a lot of time prior to me joining, discussing where I wanted to get to and how we would get there. It's going to take time to get to a point where I feel completely satisfied with my work but I know we'll get there.

EFM: Can you tell me the favorite brands of hair products you use?

AC: Most defiantly the Bumble and Bumble range and in particular the Surf Spray, Holding Spray, Thickening Spray and Styling Crème.  I also love the Shu Uemura range and the way you can layer them up to create specific looks.

EFM: What tips can you give to keep your hair looking healthy and shinny?

AC: Have regular trims, I would recommend at least every 8 weeks.  Use a good quality shampoo and conditioner, I love the Shu Uemura range and in particular Shu SU Sleek for dry unruly hair.  I also tell clients to put a treatment on their hair at least once a week-the best time is before taking a bath, wash your hair, towel dry it and work the masque through the lengths and ends before twisting it up and letting it soak into the hair for a good 15 minutes.  Also when you dry your hair, make sure to use a heat protector. I love, love Shu Uemura Essence Absolu, its lights and smells gorgeous!

EFM: What advice can you give to aspiring hairstylist?

AC: Learn your craft well and never stop wanting to learn new skills and techniques.  Also test as much as you can, its by testing that you can practice your ideas and understand which  products work best for you, not to mention forming great working teams. 

Also, read! Magazines and books whether fashion, history or photography are great sources of inspiration and most importantly help to increase your level of knowledge – I will never forget the moment I walked into Karl Lagerfeld's studio in Paris, on a job assisting the legendary Sam McKnight, that I felt my jaw drop – floor to ceiling book shelves on every side of the room adorned with every fashion book imaginable…I was in heaven!

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Interview by Rochell “E” James


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