Blog – Get Inspired!

Paul Wilson – American Crew Artistic Director

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Paul Wilson

Under the personal mentorship by John Berman – a Sassoon and Toni&Guy educator – Paul Wilson discovered his passion for hair and commitment to honing his skill. He completed various Toni&Guy advanced coursework that later lead to him becoming a sought after educator for the brand. He complemented his training with various additional courses at Vidal Sassoon and specialist creative courses done in London in 2002.

Paul joined the American Crew team in 1997 and has since managed to steward the expansion of the powerhouse salon into multiple locations. This American Crew Artistic Director is hailed as one of the world’s most influential men’s stylists and is considered a forerunner in the world of men’s grooming.

Paul had a chat with us and shared important advice to all beauty school students who want to make their mark in the industry.

Q: Who influenced you the most while you were learning your craft?

A: Before I became introduced to the icons of our industry I was mentored by a gentleman named John Berman. He really taught me the importance of learning the fundamentals as a means to mastering the craft.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: I draw my inspiration from the people that I am surrounded by. It is the reason why I love Art+Science Salon so much. The people I work with are full of talent, passion and I am inspired every single day.

Q: Where did you attend school?

A: I went to a cosmetology school called Americana Beauty College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I have great memories of some of my earlier days – especially the course instructors – during the early process of learning my chops!

Q: What was the turning point of your career?

A: I think that the turning point was when I joined the American Crew All-Star team. I learned everything that I know about men’s hair and developed relationships with some incredible people. It ultimately led me to move to Chicago to partner with David Raccuglia at Art+Science Salon.

Q: What is the best advice you have received?

A: I received amazing advice from a gentleman named Dave Lucero – the hairdresser that gave me my first great haircut, subsequently changing the direction of my life: “Become a hairdresser. Your art will have a profound impact on how people feel.”

Q: What is the biggest career challenge you had to overcome?

A: After selling Art+Science Salon to a big corporation a few years prior, David and I had to overcome challenges in order to purchase it back. I learned some hard lessons about why its important that salons are owned and managed by hairdressers.

Q: Are there any accomplishments that you would like to share?

A: I am just incredibly proud to lead a salon that stands for what is great about our industry: creativity, relationships, career building and giving back. We are in a unique place to be able to give back to our communities and, through an event called ART&SOUL, our salons have created an inspiring platform in which to do it.

Q: What advice would you give students who have just come out of beauty school?

A: Commit yourself to learning & never stop. You are entering the greatest industry in the world. Work hard, soak it all in and know what your intention is with your career.

Q: What advice would you give new students in finding a salon that is perfect for them?

A: This is the most important time in your career, so interview as many salons as you can. Make sure that the education and the culture that they have to offer is what you want it to be.

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Alex Ioannou – Nationally Renowned Salon Stylist and Educator

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Owner of Trio  salon in Chicago and nationally renowned educator, Alex Ioannou was named one of The Best Hair Stylists in Chicago by Refinery29.com.  Raised in London, Alex spent ten years with Vidal Sassoon and has worked on television, talk shows, magazines and runway shows for various music videos.

We wanted to catch up with Alex and ask him a few questions about his experience and success in the beauty industry, here is what he had to say:

Q: Who influenced you the most when learning your craft?

A: I had my formal training at Vidal Sassoon, so all my teachers, friends and staff I knew and still know were a huge influence for me. Prior to Sassoon, my teacher at Cosmetology school and my first boss Armand….all had very different skill sets and work ethics. All from whom I learned something and will be forever grateful.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: Mostly from my staff and students that I teach. Mistakes become works of art and teaching makes you a better hairdresser.

Q: Where did you attend school?

A: I attended school in London earning a City & Guilds in Hairdressing. My formal training was as a Vidal Sassoon apprentice.

Q: What was the turning point of your career?

A: Coming to the USA was a huge turning point in my career. Becoming Artistic Director of the Vidal Sassoon salon in Chicago, then National Director of Education for Heidis, a 40 salon strong company and eventually opening TRIO.

Q: Best advice you have received?

A: Practice, Practice, Practice!

Q: Biggest career challenge you had to overcome?

A: Spinning the plates of hairdresser, session stylist, teacher, platform artist and salon owner. All very different challenges…..the biggest is juggling between family and career.

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