For many fashion designers, putting out a collection and planning a runway show is more than just creating the designs. There is a lot of work put into finding venues, casting models, marketing the show and the collection, contacting media to cover the collection, and hiring an entire department of fashion stylists, makeup artists, and hairstylists.
For many designers, the makeup and the clothing are the most important aspects of the show. While this is true, the hairstyle that a model wears down the runway can also make or break the entire look. In the hair department, fashion designers and stylists sometimes have to get really creative in order to create a look that captivates their audience.
Over the years, fashion designers have started taking hairstyles more seriously on the runway, incorporating unique hair accessories and experimenting with different hairstyles. Designers like Pyer Moss and Moschino are perfect examples of this. They are not afraid to show the true beauty of Black hairstyles and natural hair, incorporating accessories like beads and rollers and various styles, like braids and afros.
Even though more designers are open to natural hair and Black hairstyles now, the fashion industry was not always so enthusiastic about our hair. In an interview aired with Vogue in 2020, many Black models opened up about designers hiring hairstylists who did not know how to work on Black hair. This often caused their hair to be damaged, or resulted in the models doing their hair themselves. This is why representation for Black people and our hair is so important. Not only is it critical to see ourselves and our culture represented, but it is also important for designers to start hiring and promoting more Black hairstylists for runway shows.
Let’s take a look at some designers who have incorporated hair inspiration into their shows.
Photo: Pyer Moss
Inspired by Black creativity, Pyer Moss celebrated Black inventors in his Fall/Winter Couture 2022 show. Pictured is model Chavi St. Hill, who wore hundreds of handcrafted rollers on the runway. The Creative Director of Pyer Moss, Kerby Jean-Raymond, crafted this look in celebration of Solomon Harper, who invented rollers in 1930.
For Moschino’s Spring/Summer 2022 show, Creative Director Jeremy Scott worked with hairstylist Danilo Dixon to create 90s-inspired hair looks for the runway show. The show featured an array of models walking down the runway with braids and multicolored beads to match each look.
Christopher John Rogers
Photo: Christopher John Rogers
In his Fall 2020 ready-to-wear show, Christopher John Rogers was inspired by neon colors and natural hair. The designer featured an array of models walking down the runway in their natural hair, with big afros and bright dresses on display.
In Versace’s Spring/Summer 2021 show, Donatella Versace goes for the wet hair look on the runway. Pictured here is model Precious Lee, who walked for the designer in an ocean-inspired dress rocking a shoulder-length mullet.
Jeremy Scott channels more hair inspiration in Moschino’s Pre-Fall 2020 collection. This collection, which is inspired by streetwear, featured models in braids and cornrows paired with street style accessories such as chains, belts, and fur coats. Pictured here is model Imaan Hammam in braids wearing sweatpants, a hoodie, fur coat, and gold chain accessories.