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By hairdressers for hairdressers - Nick Irwin and the world of TIGI

TIGI Global Creative Director Nick Irwin has had a very busy 10 years. His role at TIGI encompasses image shoots, major shows and seminars, as well as a seat on the TIGI leaders hip board of directors. Nick heads up the TIGI session team at international fashion weeks and works closely with the research and development team, testing and developing new, innovative products. Here he gives us an insight into his world.

TIGI Global Creative Director Nick Irwin

How would you define TIGI?

Our mantra is, ‘By Hairdressers for Hairdressers’. This phrase is as applicable today as it was in the early 1980's, when TIGI first launched. We believe in sharing everything we do, as soon as we do it, for the benefit of our peers. We might be a product company but at our heart we are hairdressers. Education, training, creative imagery, shows and seminars are all very much part of TIGI’s DNA.

How involved are you in the creation of new products?

You’d be surprised; we are involved with new product innovation from an early stage. In fact, very often products are developed because we demand it. There are 800 scientists working on research and development so we really get some incredible technology and future-thinking going into our products. Anthony, the team and I, regularly visit the R & D team in Liverpool – I’ve even got my own white coat now! We have input, but we also test and approve products. That’s really important to us and we feel this gives our endorsement to the products as well as adding credibility.

Tell us about working on the international fashion weeks.

Twice a year for two months, my life is on hold! The preparation starts in various ways. Firstly my European Session Director, Maria Kovacs, helps train up the UK Session Team for London Fashion Week. In New York, I work with the US Creative Director Thomas Osborn. Once all the shows are agreed, I meet or hold phone-conferences with the designers to reference ideas. A few days before each show we have a hair test and I then have to communicate the agreed ideas with the team that will work with me backstage. The preparation for a fashion show has to be 100 percent calm and focused. There’s no time for nerves, divas or tempers. It’s about organisation, planning, control and execution. We get through a phenomenal number of products and it’s really important that we have the key ones we need. The team member who packs the cases with all of our equipment and products has an incredibly important role.

Most importantly, the work we do backstage gives us information that we can communicate to hairdressers on the textures, shapes and feelings that hair will take for the coming season. We work on recreating the looks we do at the shows, so they work for hairdressers to use in the salon, and for clients to create on their own hair.

TIGI Education is highly respected across the globe. Why is education so important?

When we've created a new cut or a new collection, or have developed new creative ideas from shows or have new fashion information from the catwalks, we immediately add this into our training programmes – we share everything. We believe this is what pushes our own work forwards and keeps us motivated. Education builds teams, increases staff and client loyalty and puts your salon and your work ahead of the competition. In today's workplace, it’s really important to constantly move your work forwards. Education allows you to do this.

Tell us more about the new range of products, TIGI PRO!

TIGI PRO is a specialist diffusion hair care and styling range to help all hairdressers achieve fantastic results. The range, which is only available from our partner wholesalers, is uncomplicated, with functional packaging, while still maintaining the TIGI stamp of professionalism. To develop the range, we’ve combined some of our own favourite products with the expertise of TIGI R&D. It contains a superior dual action repair technology to repair hair from the inside outwards, with fibre actives repairing the hair from within and surface actives protecting the hair from further damage on the outside.

TIGI pro hair care products

First published in the Capital Hair & Beauty magazine.