30 September 2023

Street Smarts: bringing reality to street style photo shoots

… when hair artists shun classic fashion editorial trend collections to assuage their penchant for something more spontaneous

Street smarts. Getting real. Looks that are less blatantly editorial and more personal. Sometimes even the most creative and artistic hairdresser just needs to break loose and opt for more spontaneous looks. We decided to take a closer look at some artists who are true to themselves. They seek extraordinary beauty in the quotidian, real people, not professional models. People with street smarts and their own original style in real settings.

Street smarts at the House of Pop

Douglas McCoy and his team at House of Pop in Spokane, Washington live and breathe spontaneity in their 2023 Street Style photo shoot. Curls and textures are natural and the settings are – obviously – the streets!

Creative Director Annie MacArthur expounded on the concept of the Street Style 2023 collection. “Streetwear today is easily worn by men, women, non-binary people and humans in general. The real challenge is trend forecasting and then making it your, and your client’s, own look,” she observes. “I’m seeing a huge resurgence in 90’s style, but with a nod to the 50’s in classic hair looks, wet sets and that bit of grunge added in.

Where did they get these models? Annie explained their choice. “It’s important to us as a salon to use real, everyday people. We must remember that this is who they’re working on behind the chair. This way our stylists can bring these looks to their clients.” Moreover, in the salon it becomes a team-building exercise. “Not only am I proud of my team for pulling off an amazing photo shoot, but the way they collaborate, stay on brand/concept, but bring it back to their everyday,” she comments.

In addition to the hair, overall street smart looks were completed with garments by Chosen Vintage. It’s important to feel comfortable in your own skin and your own threads.

Stylist Megan Dawson seconds Annie’s reflections, saying, “Hair is a reflection of identity, culture, and self-expression. Street style celebrates individuality and pushes the boundaries of conventional beauty norms. It was inspiring to create art with my model and with my fellow hairdressers. The entire shoot ignited a sense of connection.

I was inspired by a Ramones overgrown curly hairstyle mixed with a glam rock vibe,” shared Nick Pelletti. “What excited me about this theme was seeing a spectrum of ideas from each individual stylist about how they defined street style.” The shoot then became theme-specific by layering and mixing thrift store pieces to create these characters who meshed together as their own little gang of misfits.

Street Style 2023 Credits:

Street smarts with texture and pride

These pics instead instead show how Pravana’s Tim Bo Mack cropped hair and left natural texture, but opted for a springy lilac hue. The result is this beautiful understated yet original look. In fact, this metro yet outdoorsy vibe spurns any nod to haute couture. PRAVANA Senior Artistic Educator Thomasena Brown‘s model flaunts short, colorful, rainbow pride dreadlocks. This idea could be expanded to a variety of color combinations with an equally striking effect. “In creating this PRIDE look, I wanted to bend the rules on how color is placed to depict how life should be—free and expressive!” – said Thomasena.

Street smarts with a personal touch

Even if captured in a more formal photo shoot, Sebastian Professional’s Omar Antonio successfully came up with some original looks that fully reflect his unique brand of styling.

It is not surprising that Antonio had a specific objective in mind. “I started by deciding to use a line of products marketed specifically for men, but to switch thing up. It was important to create some thing masculine for all types of people, and not just men. My intent was to show masculine hairstyles on everyone: men, women, transgender, etc. I wanted something quite androgynous and style-fluid,” he recalled. So the key inspiration was versatility: in clothing, in the usage of the products, on different faces of masculinity. He summed up his vision by saying, “I wanted to take the word “man” out of headline.

Below we can see how it’s easy to switch up some looks, from big, voluminous curls to a dynamic wet look, especially in vogue this summer.

Antonio’s choice of models was in and of itself close-up and personal, in addition to being inherent to his concept for this collection. “Whenever I am asked “what inspires me”, I have to answer that my own children inspire me the most!” he oozes. “The younger generation, how they dress themselves, their own unique street style, the way they style their hair, the way that they DON’T style their hair… perfectly imperfect. It inspires me.”

So when i decided to do this photo shoot I decided to use my own children as models,” he continued. “Then I chose a few of our hair stylists’ kids, and even some of our clients from the salon instead of professionals. These are real kids with amazing stories and lifestyles. It was a pleasure to share this experience with the whole crew.” And the proof is in these picture-perfect images.

  • Hair: OmarAntonio @omarantoniosebastian
  • Photo: Viki Varga @viktovar


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