Celebrity Style: An Interview with Andrew Fitzsimons
Celebrity stylist & Alterna ambassador, Andrew Fitzsimons is the hands behind some of the most sought after locks of the Hollywood elite. We caught up with him to find out how he cracked the celebrity circuit and which products he can’t live without.
Tell us your journey to how you got where you are today?
I’m very lucky to have an incredibly supportive mother who got me my first summer job at age 13 at a local hair salon, little did she know how quickly I got hooked!
My responsibilities quickly grew at the salon because of my love for beauty and passion for working with the clients. Despite her protesting, I decided to pursue hair styling full time at age 14. I did a full training apprenticeship at the leading hair salon in Dublin, then at age 16 got my first agent and started working on editorials and TV/film. At 18 I moved to Paris to study and immerse myself in the fashion/editorial world, including Paris Fashion Week. From there, I moved to New York City at 21 to further my career and have been traveling the world and working with incredible, inspiring people ever since.
You are a celebrity favourite – who have you worked with?
Adele, Adriana Lima, Ashley Graham, Courtney Love, Emily DiDonato, Jaime Alexander, Joan Smalls, Kate McKinnon, Olivia Culpo, Kourtney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner…to name a few!
How did you start work in the celebrity world?
After leaving the fashion world in Paris, I really wanted to expand my business by incorporating celebrities into my repertoire. Moving to NYC was super important because I got to take everything I learned from fashion in Paris and apply it to my celebrity clients. The first two celebrities I worked with were Adele and Mariah Carey, and it kind of snowballed from there. I think it helped learning the American business sensibility, but keeping my European artistic flair.
Tell us three of your favourite looks you have created for celebrities, and why you love these looks.
1. Ashley Graham Swimwear campaign – I’m so proud of Ashley for being an amazing advocate of women of all sizes, and her success is a reflection of her kindness, dedication and positive attitude. Ashley currently has a lob, but we wanted long hair for this campaign, so I dutch braided the underneath half of her hair & clipped in extensions to create seamless length.
2. Emily DiDonato for the 2016 AmFar Event – Who doesn’t love a super snatched, perfectly sleek look for the red carpet? Because we wanted this look to be the sleekest you’ve ever seen, before using the flat iron, I sprayed her hair with Kendi Oil Mist before using the flat iron to make the hair as shiny and smooth as it could be, the result was just what I hoped for.
3. Josephine Skriver for the Victoria’s Secret Valentine’s Event – These textured “model off duty” looks are some of my favourite to do lately because they can be so glam, but still seem effortless. For this really textured look on someone with straight, smooth, well-conditioned hair, put some volumizing mousse in when the hair is damp, scrunch dry with the diffuser to add a wispier texture before tying the hair up into a top know for a super undone model-off-duty look.
How would you describe your signature look?
I’m not sure I’m known for any particular look or style – my favourite thing is to collaborate with a client or editorial team to brainstorm and create a hairstyle that is perfect for the situation. It’s important that all the elements, like the dress, the event, the theme of the shoot, the makeup, all work together synergistically vs. me pushing a certain look to make it all about the hair. Sometimes the more simple looks can have the biggest wow factor.
You are now ambassador for Alterna – what do you love about the products?
I love that the products really work and do what they say they do. Whilst I’ve had Alterna products as part of my kit for many years, I loved that the more products I tried from the brand, the more products I would trade out for Alterna. Plus, my clients love the luxury of Caviar.
What is your hero product and why?
Right now my hero is Caviar Sheer Dry Shampoo – I use dry shampoo all the time for giving for volume and texture, great for those “model off duty” looks that are so in right now. And at any given time, my hair is about 80% dry shampoo!
What is your favourite hair trend this season and how can you make it relevant for clients
After a good run with the lob, I love that long Cher-style hair is back in. What’s more luxurious than long, healthy, shiny hair?
What advice would you give to hairdressers wanting to work in the session world
Really study beauty history, so you have a rolodex of references to pull from for inspiration, honouring history is so crucial in the beauty/fashion world. Trust your gut and have a strong point of view, great things happen when you do.