ICON SERIES – 3# – Akin Konizi British super star
Hi there my friends,
I had the pleasure of interviewing Akin to discover the secret to his magic, Please check out the audio player below.
This Extraordinary collection rewarded Akin with the British Hairdresser 2013 of the year.
Akin has won this most converted award 3 times.
Akin Konizi, international creative director for the UK-based HOB salons, originally wanted to be a fashion designer. He had even enrolled in fashion school when, thanks to a cousin who opened a salon, he became thoroughly and completely seduced by hairdressing instead. Fashion design’s loss is this industry’s gain. After serving a three-year apprenticeship, Akin knocked about a variety of salons in and around London before joining up with his current partners, Clive Collins and Paul Simbler, and opening up HOB in 1983.
British hairdresser of the year finalist collection 2012
Fast forward to now. The business has grown to from one salon to 24 company-owned and franchised locations with over 400 employees and is still expanding. Featured in international magazines, known for its innovative, brilliant work and excellence in customer care, this powerhouse organization has taken London by storm, thanks to a winning formula of artistic flair and solid business sense. And in the process, members of its creative team, with Akin at the helm, have won some of the most prestigious awards in the industry (In 2008 a triple win at the British Hairdressing Awards).
Akin also heads up the HOB academy at Camden Lock, London, where he oversees staff training and education as well as leading a team of educators tasked with teaching beginning up to advanced-level students from around the world.
Akin spoke with me by phone from London about his winning formula for success—you’ll be surprised at how commonsense it is—the importance of losing, and about why hairdressing is now more exciting than ever. We present a bit of that conversation here. PLEASE GO TO LINK BELOW
Akin wants to see a re-embracing of the concept of hard work, of learning the old techniques and every aspect of hairdressing, particularly among hairdressers just starting out. He also wants established hairdressers, especially the stars, to acknowledge the struggle behind their success, and to make this transparent.
Even though he’s been a hairdresser for over 30 years, Akin still clearly recalls thinking during his days as an apprentice (as he was sweeping the floor for the umpteenth time) that he’d better learn something new every day or he’d be little more than “cheap labor.”
He may not have recognized it then, but this attitude forged the way for all that was to come—for example, winning British Hairdresser of the Year twice in a row as well as the British Masters Award, Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year, and more.
British hairdresser of the year 2009
His approach to his craft is pretty down-to-earth. “If you’re going to do something, do it the best you possibly can so you get the most rewards from it,” Akin says. “Otherwise it’s work, not a passion.”
It’s a simple philosophy isn’t it? But that’s what makes it so exciting, and so accessible. What Akin is saying is that with talent and the willingness to continually hone your skills, fire up your enthusiasm, take risks and throw creative caution to the wind, that whatever you truly want to achieve is possible.
It takes energy as well as the determination to wring the most from every experience. Akin had the courage to explore, moving from one salon to the next, flirting with all the different worlds. Many people stay where they’re planted; they may not like where they are, but they take root, preferring to complain rather than try something different. This isn’t Akin. Never static, always throwing himself fully into every situation, he never stops looking for something new to learn.
“The biggest challenge is to move forward,” he says. “I’ve never stopped moving forward because I’m so afraid of going backwards.”
“I resent the guys who are successful who don’t show the hard work that goes into it,” he says. “That is why we have a young generation of hairdressers who think success comes easily.”
It doesn’t, as he’s quick to attest.
Akin entered multiple times before winning his first British Hairdresser of the Year award. And HOB didn’t start accumulating awards until 2005. It’s the old-fashioned values of perseverance, practice, patience and living by integrity.
This is first and foremost in all aspects; do things the right way and you will be rewarded,” Akin says. “And also working damn hard.
And there you have it, Akin’s winning formula of success.
INTERVIEW WITH AKIN AND VIVIENNE – 2010
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I hope you have enjoyed this journey into greatness I am ready to get out my mannequin head and recreate these looks. Bravo to Akin, and thank you for your inspiration and brilliance.
All the best
Vivienne Mackinder Founder of HairDesignerTV.com
HDTV studio – 631.591.1079