There was a point six years ago when a man named Adam Livermore entered photos into a Minneapolis hairstyling competition.
He wasn’t picked as a finalist but kept the copyrights of his images.
Declaring the photos a new collection — a futuristic spin on 1960s hairstyle classics — he sent them out as a press release to all the beauty magazines he knew.
First Beauty Launchpad came knocking, which led to an invitation from hair powerhouse Oribe to accompany him to the haute couture shows during Paris Fashion Week.
He went — hello, Armani Prive Spring/Summer 2010 collection. Soon enough he moved to New York to work with Oribe, and the rest is history.
A&E sat down with Livermore to talk, well, hair.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Music. Hairdressers are very visual people, but the thing that music and creating an image with a hairstyle have in common is that they’re both about creating a mood. I love the idea of listening to a piece of music and transforming it into a visual, sculptural look. Sound has texture in the same way hair has texture.
Any particular artists?
I really love Björk. [With Björk] the music is always so conceptual. She’d be the music version of what we consider in our industry to be the most “editorial.” She has a strong point of view and a strong concept. I think it’s brilliant. Working with her would be a career highlight.
What has been your career highlight?
Working with Cher was amazing.
Was her hair so soft?
It’s exactly like it was in the ’70s — long and silky. My career has been such an adventure. Tilda Swinton was another one, and that first Armani show with Oribe … I got emotional backstage. Lately I’ve been doing music videos with Petite Meller. We went to Nairobi and were just in Mongolia sleeping in yurts and shooting with the nomads.
Any other hairstylists you look up to?
Oribe (of course), James Pecis, Julien d’Ys — his work is like conceptual art or sculpture. I think a good hairstyle should always have a narrative.
Do you have a favorite thing to do [with hair?]
Not really. My career is very diversified — I love it.
Any pet peeves?
Hairstylists that aren’t open to learning new things — I’d like for my creative and educational journey to never end. At Oribe we’re launching an educational program called Journey to Mastery. It’s less about the mastery part, and more about the journey. I’m a big believer in evolving along the way.
What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to do hair?
[Honestly] I think my favorite place in the world is New York. New York is a place where the more fully — and completely, and vibrantly, and bombastically — you celebrate your uttermost individuality, the more celebrated you are.
What are some hair products everyone needs?
Three tips for hair survival: a good dry shampoo, a good moisturizer and a good sunscreen.
What would you say to the people that just absolutely hate their hair?
Open your mind! I think that people who hate their hair just hate it because they want it to be something that it’s not. This goes for people, relationships — not just hair. You have to accept; let it be what it is, and let it be beautiful.
Where might you be found on a day off?
At home, dabbling in some creative project or another. I also love the Brooklyn nightlife — the most creative, amazing creatures ever can be found, and they offer endless inspiration.
How about all of the college kids that need a little inspiration and help? How can they figure themselves out [hair wise]?
You don’t need to spend a fortune to have really cool hair. This might sound a little treasonous as a professional hairdresser, but I’ve had some clients do some DIY stuff that I thought was quite cool. There’s something brilliant about the untrained eye and untrained hands — you don’t need money to have style.
What are you seeing style-wise for fall?
Lots of braiding and a lot of texture. We’re not seeing buttery shiny, slippery, silicone perfect hair. We’re seeing rougher textures — natural or unusual. A lot of blondes, too … which in Minnesota is nothing new.
How is it being in Minnesota right now?
It’s a great thing to go back to your roots — it makes you realize how much you’ve evolved. I’ve evolved a lot professionally and personally. It’s not always easy, but I’m grateful for every lesson I’ve learned.