Life of a Stylist: BHA Winner Daniele De Angelis on Following His Dreams
For this month’s edition of Life of a Stylist, we spoke with Daniele De Angelis on moving away from home to live his dream, working at London Fashion Week and what winning 2020 London Hairdresser of the Year at HJ’s British Hairdressing Awards, sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional means to him.
What was your journey into the hair industry?
I knew I wanted to become a hairstylist from the age of 13, but my family wanted me to finish school. It started out as a hobby for me. I would cut my friends hair in the afternoon until I turned 18.
I began my hairdressing career in Rome and I was lucky enough to attend a hair show. I saw the TONI&GUY Artistic Team on stage and I was sold. I packed my suitcase and moved to London. My first attempt was not a success and after eight months I moved back to Rome. I then moved to Barcelona for almost a year, but my dream to become an artistic director made me want to give it another shot, so I moved back to London in 2007. I started my career with TONI&GUY’s sister company, Essensuals, and joined TONI&GUY in 2009 – the rest is history.
Can you tell us about your present roles?
I am a proud member of the TONI&GUY International Artistic Team, which means I split my time between shows, seminars, travelling abroad and looking after my clients. I’m also the London Academy manager. I work closely with Cos Sakkas, international artistic director and head of education, ensuring our education is always of the highest standard. I mentor up-and-coming art directors to get them ready for the next big step in their career. There are so many different aspects to my role and I love it.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I get to work with people who are passionate about what they do. I’m in an environment that is always changing and evolving, which keeps me motivated. I also work with talented young hairdressers and watching them grow is so rewarding.
What challenges have you faced in your career so far and how did you overcome them?
I’ve faced many challenges, especially in the early days when I knew what I wanted to do but couldn’t. There were a lot of rejections – but you’ve got to believe in yourself.
What have you learned from working at London Fashion Week?
I’ve been working at London Fashion Week since 2008 and it is vital to me. I learn something fresh at each show – a new skill or technique – not to mention the buzz you get from the fast-paced environment backstage.
What are your tips for someone who aspires to have a career like yours?
Join a successful company or salon, invest in yourself and your education and help experienced hairdressers in the salon and on shoots. Never say no to an opportunity, even if you have to work longer hours or for free – think of it as an investment.
What’s your styling philosophy?
I always want to portray a strong and independent woman while keeping suitability at the forefront of my vision. I believe everything has beauty but not everyone can see it.
What are your favourite accounts to follow on Instagram?
I have a few – @hairdresserjournal, @toniandguyworld, @fixer_upper_ before_and_after, @elledecorationuk, @fatstudio and @studioantonini.
What’s next for you and your career?
I’m enjoying this moment of glory from winning London Hairdresser of the Year at HJ’s British Hairdressing Awards, sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional. I’m also writing a book to share my journey – the ups, the downs, how I kept the faith and followed my dreams. I want to share my story with all the dreamers out there, the ones who are working and the ones who are just starting out. It’s for anyone who wants to prove others wrong, for the ones who left their family, friends, city, country and decided to follow their dream.