HJ Careers: Akin Konizi

Published 29th May 2024 by Talana Sodiwala

HJ spoke to HOB Academy International Creative Director, Akin Konizi, who shared his love for hairdressing and how he will continue to push boundaries to impact the industry.

What has been your career journey so far?

My parents came over from Cyprus, and I grew up as a mini dry cleaner – but my passion was always in fashion. I originally enrolled at the London College of Fashion in 1979 and there was a revolution in hairdressing that was beginning – the industry was moving to a more unisex environment. My cousin opened a salon in the East End, which was like nothing I’d ever seen – for the first time I thought, maybe I prefer hairdressing. So, I did an apprenticeship at Alan International Academy in Leicester Square. I first met Clive Collins and Paul Simbler in 1983 and we joined forces to create the brand Hair on Broadway. We wanted a salon group that would have high standards of creativity as well as commercial work. Forty years later we still stand by those values.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I am passionate about precision work, which is the technician side of me, but also, aesthetics – a strong geometric or soft beautiful haircut. I’m excited about the actual creation of a haircut, the technique and how I can create this shape to something that hasn’t been done before.

What has been the proudest moment during you career?

Winning British Hairdresser of the Year four times. To be recognised by the industry and your peers is incredibly humbling.

What has been the biggest challenge during your career?

The introduction of social media and influencers, the perception of the industry, and now AI. Hairdressing is very different to what it was when I was starting out, some of it good, but some of it detrimental to our craft. I am determined to make sure that the most important factors of learning are passed down to the next generations.

What advice would you give to someone who aspires to have a successful career in hairdressing?

The most important thing is that you need to work somewhere of good quality. The fundamentals are the most important part of hairdressing, so learn the basics and learn from the masters.

What’s next for Akin?

I enjoy our industry so much, I am always drawn back in and there is always something new to achieve. Winning British Hairdresser of the Year four times is not something that I put on the shelf; I will keep striving and pushing boundaries and continuing to see just how much impact I can have on our industry.

1979: Starts training at Alan International Academy

1983: Launch of Hair on Broadway

2013: Wins British Hairdresser of the Year for the fourth time

2023: Celebrates 40 years of HOB Salons

Talana Sodiwala

Talana Sodiwala

Published 29th May 2024

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