Kérastase Pro Club 2021
MEET DARREN FOWLER
Who are you and what is your background?
Hi there, I am Darren Fowler the UK representation of the Kérastase Pro Club 2021 and the owner of fowler35 a boutique hair studio in London’s Fitzrovia. I am also a seasoned session stylist, international educator, and I have my own in-person and online academy: The Fowler Hair Academy. I have been building my personal brand, along with my own salon brand for over 15 years. I’ve always loved being able to have a studio space where I can design and work with a team that are able to look after our guests and clients. We’ve had some great times of late - winning London Salon of the Year 2019 (Hair Awards), the Creative HEAD Most Wanted Male Grooming Specialist 2019 and the Woman & Home Best Salon 2020 Award. I’ve always seen the beneficial link to entering awards after I won the first ever L’Oréal Colour Trophy Men’s Image Award in 1999. As the Kérastase Business Ambassador I represent the brand via a series of business and mentoring courses I designed for them which I love and is a position I have evolved over the years. Kérastase is a brand that resonates with my brand and I find this makes it easier to build courses that deliver and impact.
Favourite Kérastase products and why?
I love the versatility of Kérastase Elixir Ultime. It is a tri-dimensional product; it will treat, it is great for blow drying and finally it is an epic finishing product. It feels like a luxury treat every time I use it on my clients. It leaves hair looking smooth, shiny and I use it on anyone who has a blow-dry in the salon. It is my go-to.
I also adore Kérastase Ciment Thermique. To style properly you need heat and you need to protect the hair. It features a Vita-Ciment topcoat which literally coats the hair and protects it without leaving it weigh down.
The prescriptive haircare needs met by Kérastase are super impressive. Blond Absolu was a game changer for my blonde clients. The toning regiments will leave colour work looking fresher for longer. It is important to protect your colour from the minute you leave the salon. I am also a massive fan of the Kérastase Resistance & Extenioniste range. So many of my clients want to grow their hair and both of these regimes strengthen and protect the hair giving its best possible chance to grow and not break.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LOOK LIKE?
I am in the salon varying days a week and the rest of the time is spent on creative projects and teaching locally and globally; I like to dedicate a solid two weeks a month to my loyal clients. My interest is fashion and the arts (especially theatre) so I’ve been networking for decades to build my reputation in these areas.
WHO ARE YOUR TOP CLIENTS AND WHO HAVE YOU WORKED WITH?
Over the years, the studio has become a mecca for models, actors, including West End and Hollywood stars, TV personalities, and people from the media, theatre and creative industries. Some of my current and past clients include Ruth Wilson, Cillian Murphy, Yasmin Le Bon, Livia Firth, Salma Hayek, Tom Glynn- Carney, Gillian Anderson, Ruth Wilson MBE, Juliette Binoche, Kristin Davis, Kate Beckinsale, Asa Butterfield, Michelle Dockery and Hollywood legend Patti LuPone.
HOW DID IT ALL START? WHAT LED TO YOUR SUCCESS?
Starting out I took every opportunity, whether it was via the company I was working for or a manufacturer I was partnered with. I worked and networked wherever I could, creating great friendships. This led to me working backstage at London and Paris Fashion Week, including working with the late incredible Louise Wilson on a few of her Central Saint Martins MA graduate shows, and building a long term working relationship and friendship with Lee Lapthorne who has been championing young designers for decades. We’ve worked together on numerous projects including an immersive fashion, photography focused masterclass called Tribal London. Through my network I also met and worked with filmmaker and photographer Jordan Scott (and daughter of Ridley Scott) and have worked on many short film and advertising campaigns with her designing characters on her films and advertising campaigns shot in Argentina, Europe and the USA.
Through this work on runway shows and in the fashion and advertising industry, I fell in love with character creation and why storytelling is central to everything we do as hair designers. Many of my celebrity clients started going into film, so this solidified my interest in creating characters as a concept and I started making this central to both my work inside and outside the studio. Through networking, I teamed up with Campbell Young Associates who are definitely one of the best wig makers in the world, and I have designed characters on more than 100 shows working for top actors such as Gillian Anderson for the West End stage play ‘All About Eve’. We work together wherever possible.
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR SPECIAL COLLABS?
I was involved in character design for the multi-award winning play The Ferryman, and was the colourist and hair designer for the cast and took actor Tom Gynn-Carney from strawberry blonde to Irish Red for the season. When it transferred to Broadway, I worked with the cast on a shoot for American Vogue, which was shot by none-other than Annie Lebowitz! That was one special day and one of my career highlights.
One of my favourite collabs at the moment is with the super-modern tailor Joshua Kane. We met through my make-up artist friend Lan Nguygen-Grealis following a shoot we did together for Phoenix Magazine. I'm currently working on a number of TV productions from Catherine Tate to dark materials with my long-standing client Ruth Wilson MBE. and Kenneth Branagh in this sceptred isle alongside all the work we've been doing with Models and influences over the last year with magazine titles such as Grazia, L’officiale Arabia and Vogue India to name a few. I have also done a number of advertorials and collaborations in the last year with brands such as Prada, Versace, Todds, Ralph Laurent and Joshua Kane… what can I say I have been busy!
QUICK FIRE ROUND
Working with my team backstage for Yves Saint Laurent with Tom Ford
Daily source of inspiration?
MY Team and Partner
Favourite looks of 2021 – who are your muses?
I love real people and characters – the individualism of the everyday person
What will be big in hair for 2022?
The bold and the beautifully authentic
Three things every woman and man needs to know about looking after their hair?
A great haircut cannot be saved on!
Professional shampoo should be left on for a few mins to deliver its goodness.
Heating hair and then letting it cool is the key to great styling but be sure to include your Kérastase Ciment Thermique