He may be a long-standing veteran of the hair industry, but Jez Barnett is a complete newcomer to London Fashion Week. With an impressive portfolio from a career in hair spanning over 30 years, working with the likes of NHF and Wella, Jez used his expertise to conceptualise and create KeraStraight. His vision? To enable other stylists to achieve the sort of results he and his clients were always looking for: healthy, strong, and manageable hair.
Developing a family of innovative treatments and products, with the help of experienced Operations Director John Hubbard, the brand has gone from strength to strength. KeraStraight is well established within the industry, with salons offering the service on an international level and Trevor Sorbie being their Global Ambassadors. However, now is their time to really move into the limelight.
London Fashion Week marks a new era for KeraStraight, so what better day to follow Jez than the big day itself?
07:00am Today is the day: our (KeraStraight’s) sponsorship debut at London Fashion Week. I don't know what to expect, but I’m really looking forward to it. When starting to get ready I come across a problem: what do I wear? I know I'm not going to be featuring on stage, but it will be full of fashionistas, so of course I want to look the part! Time to get suited and booted.
08:30 I’ve just arrived at the Royal Society of Arts for London Fashion Week. We’re based in the underground vaults so I head straight downstairs into a busy hive of activity. Both backstage areas are jam packed with models, and the hair team from Trevor Sorbie are already prepping the hair for the first two presentations. Soon I find Katie our hard-working PR manager, and the excitement really starts to build.
09:15 John, our Operation Director and my business partner arrives on set. We catch up upstairs over a coffee as finishing touches to both presentation rooms are taking place.
10:47 And so, my first London Fashion Week presentation: Minki Cheng. The hair is full of texture, with the team using a combination of Root Lift Spray Gel and Ultimate Oil on pre-cut wigs. The clothing looks fab: I read this morning in The Metro about how sleeves are going to be a key focus of leading trends this year, and I saw this translated in Minki’s unique sleeve designs. It's great to see we're working with designers who create fashion that's so on the pulse. It's pretty crowded in the room, with photographers, bloggers, and fashion-lovers taking photos wherever they can.
11:00 I meander over to Judy Wu's presentation, where all of the models are standing in giant metal frames — it makes a striking statement. The models are such stunning visions, with sleek hair on the crown of the head styled into a delicate finger wave. It looks like a combination of our gel and oil again, which has helped achieve a wet look and add a healthy shine to the loose hair at the back of the head.
11:30 I pop back over to the Minky show, and now the models are moving to the music. Being static before, it’s nice to see some movement, interaction and engagement, as well as giving everyone a different perspective of the hair.
12:45pm After a busy morning it’s time for a break. I venture out of the RSA for lunch with a colleague from the KeraStraight office, who is also a first-timer to London Fashion Week.
14:35 I make it back in time to see the final prep for the Katerina Kukariva's show. The Trevor Sorbie team are finishing the looks, mixing fishtail braids into very natural earthy looks. It’s interesting to see the team using our Root Lift Spray Gel on dry hair to disrupt the texture. This is prime example of the inspiring creativity of the art team, using products in a completely different way than intended.
15:13 Now to see Steven Tai’s presentation. It's unusual to see the hair looking so dishevelled when they've used KeraStraight styling products. The team let me know that the designer wanted a less styled look, using Moisture Mist to disturb the texture and avoiding a ‘polished’ finish. This is typically the opposite of the look associated with our brand, but this is the world of fashion and session hairdressing, and of course rules are bound to be broken!
16:22 With the second round of presentations almost over I reside upstairs to take stock of the day so far and answer some urgent emails. I then manage to grab some of the Trevor Sorbie art team for a quick chat about how they've been using our products during the day, and how they use within their salons. It's always so rewarding to hear talented, creative hairdressers speak with such enthusiasm about why they love working with our products.
17:46 Preparations for the final presentation have begun. It’s really cool to see our irons being used to create dishevelled waves for Charli Cohen. Again, this isn’t a way in which we usually use the irons but it proves to be really effective!
18:15 Adam from Trevor Sorbie has just shown me an Instagram picture from Italian Vogue, it was from the Judy Wu show this morning and the hair looking stunning I think everyone still looks to Italian Vogue as a style Bible, so it’s hugely rewarding to see the look featured. We joked that it would have been great if they had tagged us, but we can only dream!
19:53 I final make my way home. I am feeling delighted with the incredible skills and fantastic teamwork of the Trevor Sorbie art team. Backstage at Fashion Week has a reputation for being very stressful, but I didn’t feel that was the case with this team — they almost made it look easy. There is an outstanding amount of talent in the team, and I feel incredibly grateful that they’re able to represent us and our products so well. Of course, the clothing was fantastic but I feel we really made a mark with the bespoke looks we presented today. It was incredibly busy, yet expertly organised. Congratulations to The Painting Rooms and our fantastic PR Katie Braden. Now time to relax.Want more exclusive London Fashion Week content? Get behind the scenes here.