“My aesthetic is to always try and create work which has integrity and that stems from subcultures.”
What country are you from and where do you live?
I’m from the UK and live in London.
Title of what you do and what company you work with?
ANTI Global Creative Director – Session Stylist
Education background (Hair school, salons, self taught)?
I began hairdressing in the late 80’s in London with the Toni & Guy Art Team.
What is your signature style/artistic expression to your work?
My aesthetic is to always try and create work which has integrity and that stems from subcultures. It’s about creating a nuance that is unique to whatever I’m working on, whether the hair is very considered or resembles the opposite of not even looking like it has been touched by a hair stylist. Hair is subjective like art so as long as you get a reaction then I guess you’re doing something right.
Do you have a career turning point or big break that has helped your career? What was your scariest and proudest moment in your career?
I’ve had a few turning points, the biggest is probably walking away from a global creative director role with one of the biggest hair care brands in the world which included sitting on the board of directors and being a shareholder to going completely freelance. I thought I had everything, money, recognition, security etc. but was extremely unhappy with the person I had become. Walking away from that was the scariest and proudest thing I’ve ever done!
What is next for your career goals?
I believe that our brand Anti has the potential to be a game changer. That coupled with my passion for everything behind the camera will hopefully help me achieve what we are working towards.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your business?
Listen, listen and listen. Research and learn to reference everything you do so that it has depth and meaning. Learn your craft inside out and find a mentor you want to become. The rest will fall into place if you stick to these principals.
Irwin began his hairdressing career in the mid-80s in the north of England, eventually moving to London to work with the Toni & Guy Art Team. He went on to travel the globe with the international super group. Irwin’s ability to understand the aesthetic of editorial and high fashion hair quickly brought him to the attention of hairdressing icon Anthony Mascolo, who mentored Irwin, allowing him the space and opportunity to develop into the celebrated talent he is today.
In 2004, Irwin took up the role of European creative director at TIGI International. He was appointed Global Creative Director in 2011 and then on the board of directors in 2013. However, it was his leadership and creative direction of the TIGI international creative team that garnered him global recognition. Having taken the role of lead stylist at over sixty shows at the International Collections over the last five years, his ability to motivate and deliver is unquestionable.
Nick embarked on a solo career in 2014 and fully immersed himself in the session world. Nick’s work can be seen in global fashion magazines to international advertising campaigns. He has a star-studded clientele and works with some of the biggest photographers in the industry. His relationship with the iconic photographer Rankin and the team at Hunger Magazine is imperative in his creative thought process. Nick is one of the few hair stylists that can successfully work between the session world and the professional hairdressing industry.
October 2018 saw Nick appointed as Global Creative Director for ANTI Collective. ANTI is a brand that is aesthetically unique – merging style and performance to put the power back into a hairdresser’s hands. Nick’s appointment will see him foster the business and creative foundation of the ANTI brand.
“I’ve been waiting my whole career for a brand like this! Every element comes from my aesthetic as a hairstylist, and on a personal level. It’s time for change in the industry and in the world – ANTI is at the heart of that.”