For his first ever hair show, Luke Hersheson and his team – Jordan Garrett, Nick Latham and Sean Nother – let loose with a fast fashion look – literally. Creating four cuts in the span of mere minutes, from a choppy pageboy bob to a Parisian-chic modern shag, the show culminated in a selfie shoot with the models snapping away while the team tweaked and styled as they would backstage. All of the looks were the sort of careless, effortless styling which has made him such a staple in session circles, and kept the new Hershesons salon a huge success.

As the applause died down and Luke took to the stage with Catherine Handcock, we were treated to a whistle-stop tour through his career. His drive to keep things moving and staying fresh is most certainly inherited from his father, Daniel Hersheson, who proudly sat in the audience. “You have to change things up and stay ahead of the curve,” he insisted. While recognising the incredible privilege of being born into the gold standard of salon hairdressing, Luke’s passion and desire to work in session styling was more contentious than it would be now: “I went into session to separate myself from what he did and got quite a frosty reception. Salon and session work were totally different then,” he explained.

From seeking out model agents and test photographers, Luke’s big break came in the form of a Missoni shoot with Giselle in the early noughties – and the rest, as they say, is history. “The digital revolution has changed fashion, changed magazines. Now you can build a profile through social media. It really feels like it’s levelled the playing field.”

His styling has always been for the woman on the street, brushing off criticism for his looks being “too commercial.” When the newly introduced congestion charge knocked over a third of their business out almost overnight, Luke and his family had the idea of introducing a blow dry bar into Topshop, one of the first successful examples of ‘menutizing’ hair. “It was seven looks, seven days a week, for £19. It was hard work, but we got a huge stack of press and gave us what we were looking for. It wasn’t easy but it put the spotlight back on the brand,” he added.

As for the new salon, Luke refuses to label it as such. “The space gave us an opportunity to change, challenge and question everything,” he said. “It became a whole different project, and I think we actually came up with something really special. We made the decision never to call it a salon, which has connotations which just weren’t relevant.” Never one to rest, Luke’s pioneering spirit sees him launching new products in a few short months, while the Harvey Nicholls premises is gearing up for a re-launch. “I think we’re becoming more reactionary,” he mused before the evening concluded, “but that’s always been the brand.”



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