Careers – Trevor Sorbie Artistic Director Tom Connell
Discover how Trevor Sorbie’s Tom Connell uses his personal interests outside of the hairdressing world to innovate rather than replicate.
What was your route into hair?
My journey into becoming a hairstylist started from a young age. My parents owned a salon so I’ve been around hair almost every day for as long as I can remember – it was a natural progression for me.
Can you tell us about your present role?
I’m artistic director at Trevor Sorbie so my role is an extremely varied one. The job covers everything from overseeing the brand’s overall creative aesthetic and strategy to heading up our photo shoot and live show projects to looking after a busy clientele. It’s a role I always wanted.
What are the pros and cons of your role?
The pros are that I have been given the opportunity to have creative control over a prestigious company that I’ve admired for so many years. The cons are that this level of responsibility will always come with a huge amount of scrutiny. The aim is to cancel out that noise and stay true to the vision that I’m trying to create.
What are your tips for building a name in the industry?
Create original work for yourself and not for an award, money or fame. You should create for the work itself and if you do it for you, the right people will eventually notice and will want to see more from you.
What challenges have you faced in your career so far and how have you overcome them?
I’d say the biggest creative challenge I’ve had is being at a point of thinking the work I was creating had something original to it, but at the same time knowing it was nowhere near the standard it needed to be.
The only way to close that gap is to do a lot of work – each time assess its strength, and more importantly its weaknesses. Learn from that process and improve 1% with each piece of work. Hopefully over time the ideas you produce will start to live up to the ideals you have in your head.
What are your tips for someone aspiring to have a career like yours?
Use your interests outside of the industry to inform your work. If you look too much inside the hairdressing world, it will lead to replication rather than innovation.
What’s your styling philosophy?
To cut in accordance with someone’s character just as much as their bone structure or hair type.
What is your favourite account to follow on Instagram?
My favourite account is called @patternity – the feed is packed with inspirational patterns from the world around us.
What is the signature look you like to create?
I really enjoy carving out strong shapes with a razor.
What are the go-to products in your kitbag?
A very good water spray and olive oil Spray.
What’s next for you and your career?
I want to continue Trevor’s legacy of exploring what’s possible with hair, while creating experimental photographic collections and live shows around the world that will make people excited about hairdressing.
You can see Tom and the Trevor Sorbie Artistic Team live at Salon International 2019. For more information on their seminar on 6 October click here