Franco Della Grazia has a beautiful breathd of work, spanning 35 years in the beauty industry. He understands; to create beauty, you need the right tools. See some of his iconic creations, learn more about his impact, and what he is creating to make the hair industry a more beautiful place.
My love affair with hairdressing started when I was 14 years old, and has stayed by my side all these years. It began with an apprenticeship in Australia, under an amazing mentor (and my first boss), William Gilchrist. He taught me so much more than just hair, he showed me the inner workings of the industry and how hair could be a form of art. Along with William, there were so many others that influenced me throughout my career: Anthony Mascolo being one of them, and the quiet talented assistants being the others. They may not be known by everyone, but they will never be forgotten by me. Hair for me, is a love affair that has allowed me to see the world, given me the opportunity to touch the lives of hairdressers all over, and work alongside some of the most talented hairdressers, who continue to inspire me.
Hair originally piqued my interest in school as a way to meet girls. I even volunteered on Saturday's, but it was clear after my first day that I was hooked, and not just because of the beautiful women. I love how beauty makes feel, and how it can touch the lives of others. In my eyes it is the second most satisfying profession there is, nursing being the first.
When it comes to techniques; I have a few that I always turn to, but for me it’s the basic fundamentals that I believe in and trust.
There have been quite a few defining moments in my career. One of which was an accolade of being one of the Top 20 Hairdressers in London, that was quite the accomplishment for me. Although I have had so many lovely moments in my career, nothing takes the place of the messages I still receive from past staff members, simply to say “Thank You.”
Whether it’s for a magazine, salon work, or your NAHA entries; creating a collection requires a great deal of planning to create a cohesive shoot. You must work tirelessly with your team of makeup artists, stylists, and the photographer to bring all of the elements together. And in the end, you are the glue that holds the vision together; you must be the leader guiding your own ideas to completion. The only way to create greatness is by investing in your team, the model, and your time.
I get inspiration from all around me; from the staff I work with everyday to my travels abroad. I pick up shapes from roaming the streets and the grandness of the overarching architecture… what a beautiful world we live in. But more than any of the outside factors, much of my inspiration comes from within.
My entrepreneurial spirit coupled with my experience in the industry has led me down a new road, allowing me to continue my creativity. Focusing my efforts on creating a tool line to make styling easier and more efficient for professionals.
Over the years, my hands have been the tools that I have used to bring creativity to life. Working with them for so many years I began pick up on certain techniques or tools that had been previously lacking in the industry and I set out to bridge the gap between us. I have been so lucky to come up with groundbreaking ideas and see them through to completion with a team of talented engineers. From inception to completion, the entire process excites me.
In hindsight, the number one thing I would continually tell myself is to: work harder and listen more. I love this industry and the fact that we get to speak with others and create art for a living, but when it comes to learning a craft, we all need to be better listeners.