Few people would probably take time off of their day jobs to go do the same work for free for someone else, but it’s different when you’re a hair stylist, and it’s New York Fashion Week.
Susan Brady, who owns Sugar Salon in Normandie, says there’s “nothing on that level” to be found anywhere else.
“Oh, my lord,” she says. “It was amazing. Just the experience alone of seeing everything that goes into it. It was exhilarating.”
Brady and Libby Rivera, who works at Sugar, worked six shows over two days last week, which followed two days of runway training in August.
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Sugar is an Aveda salon, and it was through the hair care and salon company that Brady and Rivera had an opportunity to go.
“It’s like clockwork,” Brady says of watching backstage in action. “It’s seamless how they get it done.”
While she worked on someone’s hair, someone else would give the model a manicure or pedicure.
“It moves so fast,” Brady says.
Adding to the hectic atmosphere were five or six people who shot videos of the stylists at work, and another five or six who shot photographs.
One day, Brady and Rivera worked from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“It just blew by,” Brady says. “It was so busy.”
Even though she’s been in the business for 23 years, Brady says she still learned a lot. It was more about different perspectives than different techniques.
“Just the way it’s all put together is a different concept.”
For instance, instead of just a bit of backcombing to give hair a lift, she learned about doing an entire updo with backcombing. Brady says previously, she would have thought that was too messy of a look.
“But then you realize that’s the look, and it looks great.”
Brady and Rivera are already talking about their next Fashion Week.
“It was so fun being there and watching it all happen,” Brady says. “All of New York as Fashion Week goes on is just hopping. It’s palpable. You just feel different.”
She says she returned a little different, too.
Brady says the experience makes her want to change everything, from her hair and wardrobe to her salon through some remodeling.
“Yes,” she says, “we have big changes coming in the next year.”