Beginning in Turkey, growing up in Germany, and settling in New York. Mustafa tells an interesting tale of his history and how he views the history of the industry. Often drawing his inspirations from periods past, he looks for rebirth in "trends" present. Take a peek at his amazing collection and get to know more about him...
Can you tell us a little more about you and your background?
I was born and grew up in a small town in Germany, but I'm originally from Turkey. I spent a major time of my childhood in a hairdressing salon, where my mother used to work as a hair stylist. On days where I had no babysitter, she took me from kindergarten and brought me to the salon, where I had my first experiences of seeing hairdressers make people feel beautiful and happy. It was then, that I knew in the early ages, that I was going to be a hairdresser.
I started by apprenticeship to a hairdresser at Toni & Guy in Stuttgart, which was more than 70 miles away from where I lived. Every morning and night I rode by train to get there. After my apprenticeship, I was providing educational trainings at the Academy for professional hairdressers. After 7 years of Toni & Guy, I decided to pursue my career in cooperation with Schwarzkopf as a freelancer Educational Trainer and Brand Ambassador. During that period I gained the German Hairdressing Award in 2013/ 2014/ 2015.
In 2014 I became part of the session team led by Eugene Souleiman, supporting major fashion shows in Paris, New York, Milan and London. In 2016, my wife and I decided to move to New York, to pursue my dream of session styling in a city with more opportunities and higher competition.
What is your favorite technique to use?
I like braiding and finger waves the most, but I love everything to do with hair.
What has been ther biggest defining moment in your career?
Winning the Hairdressing awards in Germany.
Can you give us a bit of insight into what the typical creative process behind creating your gorgeous collections is like?
I always start a collection with creating a mood board. I get inspired from everything (nature, architecture, people on the street, history). For instance the history of the Ottoman Empire is a big influence and inspirational source.
Is there a specific area you often find yourself looking to for inspiration?
I often buy historical books detailing the Romance, Baroque or Renaissance periods.
Do you have any rituals to ensure a successful shoot?
Mood board preparation, and meeting with the whole team including Model, Make-up artist, Photographer and set designer. Being aligned with your team prior to the shoot is key.
What is the one product/tool that you can’t live without?
My fingers ☺, and dust powder for volume and texture.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I would travel through time and would love to see the golden twenties.
What is your favorite new trend?
I don’t believe in “new” trends. Everything we see today backstage or in magazines are recurrences from previous trends, just in another interpretation. This year's trend is definitely fingerwaves.
So far, what has your biggest accomplishment been in your career?
Winning the German Hairdressing awards and being a key team member in Eugene Souleiman´s team.
Who has influenced you most in your career?
My mother with her statement: never give up, all you touch gets to gold.
If you could talk to yourself at the start of your career, what advice would you give your younger self?
Follow your dream without doubt, never give, up as you can be whatever you want to be and live wherever you want to live.
What is some advice you can offer the next generation of stylists?
Currently social media is a big influence for the next generation of every creative job either hair stylist, make-up artist or designer. It is a great tool for inspiration and expressing your work - but at the end of the day, your technical capabilities are the most important to be timeless and sustainably successful. Getting fame needs to be always in balance with developing and improving your capabilities.
To see more of Mustafa's amazing hair art be sure to stalk him on Bangstyle!