Hairstylist Duffy, not to be confused with the “I got you begging me for mercy…….” Welsh singer, is a British freeelance hairstylist currently living in New York.
Vidal Sassoon trained Duffy -who is one of the most chilled and laidback hairstylists I know- slowly worked his way into the world of session hairdressing by assisting various hairstylists on shows and shoots including Sam McKnight and myself where he started to learn the art of hair “styling” and “dressing”. ( not something many ex Sassooners always do with ease with it being the club for hair cutting geniuses). After being offered the chance to work on Eugene Souleiman’s team in the late 90’s, which he embraced by fully joining his team for a few years, he eventually broke out on his own in the early 2000’s.
Duffy’s work takes on the fundamental basics of hairdressing and then he turns them on their head and gives them a contemporary feel by changing textures or re-inventing the shapes, which has taken him on to work with some great photographers and magazines including Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Terry Richardson and Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin to name a few.
Duffy is also co-partner of the originally British formed salon company, TommyGuns with Russell Manley. Now based in the lower eastside of Manhattan, New York, the salons interiors have the feeling of an old style barbershop mixed with the late 1900’s American drugstores. Last year they opened a second salon in Brookyn.
So with out further ado Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I give you a small insight into the world of the very lovely, hairy but by no means scary…. Duffy:
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP?
I used to have a recurring dream that I was a dust man ………I was 5 at the time : )
HOW DID YOU END UP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING NOW?
I left school when I was 15 and started an apprenticeship at Vidal Sassoon in London. While I was there I met a couple of guys that were doing shows and editorial and it seemed like a lot of fun, but at 19 I left and gave up hair.
I travelled for 2 years living on the beaches and mountains of eastern and western Europe, working in bars, snowboarding, did a stint in an antique shop, but finally ended up back in London. I tried working in a salon again but the “groundhog day” effect soon set in. I contacted a few of the guys I had met before and started assisting, i worked with as many people as i could, it was like being back at school again. I started testing doing the odd little job here and there and slowly started to develop my own flavour. I think even now, 10 years on, I’m still learning and developing because every day you make a mistake and everyday you find something new.
It was hard leaving the salon on regular money and starting over again but the rewards of what we do pay you back ten-fold; the travel, the life experiences, the people you meet and just the little things you get to see and experience outside of brushes and combs along the way. Every day is different and I don’t think it will ever change, at least I hope it doesn’t.
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IF YOU WEREN’T YOU?
Neil Moodie or Sir Ranulph Fiennes …… one of the greatest solo explorers that ever lived! Either will do.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
Between Brooklyn and the Catskill Mountains, NY.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING IN YOUR CITY WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I would fix all the roads….. NYC has to be the worst city ever for riding a motorcycle in!
WHAT ARE YOU INTO RIGHT NOW? ( MUSIC, FASHION , ART, FOOD)
Music : Taurus Riley
And “future” Tony Montana
Fashion: Black; always, everyday : )
Art: Ella Kruglanskya @ Gavin Brown’s enterprise NY
Sarah Lucas@ Henry Moore Foundation Leeds
Food: The Snapper and Festivals at Miss Lily’s on Houston NY
IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE BESIDES WHERE YOU ARE, WHERE WOULD IT BE?
Treasure Beach, Jamaica.
WHAT MUSIC WERE YOU INTO GROWING UP - ARE YOU STILL INTO IT NOW?
I inherited my parents vinyl collection when I was very young; Bob Dylan, Donovan, Joan Baez, love etc. All my friends were listening to public enemy and NWA in class and I was listening to bad tape recordings of my Donovan records, I don’t have the tapes anymore but I still have the vinyl.
WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNER THAT YOU WOULD WEAR?
I’d love to be able pull off an early patch work/tweed Comme de Garçons suit every day but I think I’ve got a few more years of Black Levis and Nike’s first.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO NEXT?
Or go to his salon’s website by clicking here: Tommygun’s