“How The It List changed everything”

Sam McKnight, Josh Wood, Premier Hair & Make-up… They all see what our judges saw: Leigh Keates is a star, and since being named on the 2011 It List his career’s skyrocketed. We wanted to know more…

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Leigh was named The Fashionista and The One To Watch (Male) on the 2011 It List

Tell us what it was like the night you scooped not one but two It List awards…
“I was so overwhelmed; it was completely unexpected – I’d been a finalist a few times before so had become used to being the runner up. Fashionista was the first award of the night so I was floating on air from the moment they called my name. As for the The One To Watch Male award [now called The It Guy] my boss at the time warned me that the two could be mutually exclusive, so I was under the impression it was impossible to win both. When they called my name a second time I genuinely thought I was hearing things.”

So what happened next?
“I had a platform and profile that put me in reach of the contacts I needed to keep pushing my career in direction I’ve always dreamed of. Once you are on that platform it’s up to you to push and make the most of the privileged position that you have worked so hard for.”

You’re now signed to Premier Hair & Make-up – you’re really going places…
“My career seems like it has literally been on fast forward ever since. I had been hairdressing unnoticed for almost 10 years before winning my first award. That night I was spotted by Cloud Nine hair tools brand, who I am proud to represent as global creative director for the second year running. It was also the first time Josh Wood had heard of me – he later took me on as part time resident stylist at his Notting Hill and Liberty salons. The same night, I was introduced to Lindsay and Paul from Premier Hair & Make-up, who made one of my lifetime goals come true last year by inviting me to join their books. I also managed to network with a few session stylists who agreed to allow me onto their teams for my first ever time assisting at Fashion week. And last season, I put my own  team together for a scheduled show at Fashion Week. Reflecting back on the last couple of the years I owe a huge thanks to Creative Head and the It List awards for putting on such an important awards night.”

What would you say to anybody thinking of entering The It List 2014?
“Quit dithering and just do it! What have you got to lose? Each time I didn’t win it just made my next entry stronger. When putting your entry together make it your own, don’t just rely on a PR company to put it together; personalise it and let the judges see the real you. Blood, sweat, tears, sleepless nights, countless glue sticks and sticky tape went in to my entry and it made me all the more proud when sending it off. Good Luck x.”

Leigh is signed to artist management agency Premier Hair & Make-up

Leigh is signed to artist management agency Premier Hair & Make-up

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