In the competitive worlds of hairdressing and high fashion, Tyler Johnston cuts a unique swathe, combining technique, street-based attitude and adventurous creativity in an unequalled manner. His work is immediately recognisable from the pages of many of the world’s most feted international glossy magazines, as are his much-talked-about haircuts for private clients including David and Victoria Beckham, Charlotte Rampling, Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightly and Lilly Allen.
Tyler’s expertise is in creating strong styles that fuse both the refined beauty of cutting edge fashion editorial with the edginess and suss of the contemporary scene beyond the catwalk or studio. His adventurous approach, approachable manner and technical expertise have seen him establish himself as one of the industry’s most sought-after session stylists. The combination of influences that Tyler brings to his craft are truly individual.
Beginning as a stylist at Vidal Sassoon in the creative hotbed of Eighties Manchester, Tyler progressed rapidly up the ladder at Sassoon, culminating in a move to London where he became Art Director at the prestigious Knightsbridge salon. Tyler spent six years in this high-profile position, working on Sassoon’s seasonal collections and TV commercials, before finally leaving to pursue an adventurous freelance path. His work was soon gracing the pages of magazines from Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ to more edgy titles like Pop, i-D and 10 magazine. Fashion photography names including Steven Klein, Patrick Dermaechelier, Alasdair McClellan and David Bailey all turned to Tyler for directional editorial assignments.
Any discussion of Tyler’s celebrated work amongst other hairdressers turns inevitably to his infamous “Beckham Mohican” of 2001. But it should not be forgotten that David Beckham’s hairstyles remain regularly reinvented by Tyler to this day, while other high-profile male icons from Paul Weller to Liam Gallagher to Ian Brown have also graced many magazine covers with trademark Johnston haircuts. Victoria Beckham ‘borrowed’ her husband’s hair stylist with dramatic results, a lead Lily Allen and others have followed in more recent months as they’ve looked to ascend the fashion hierachy. When the glossy bible Pop underwent a relaunch in 2009, the magazine’s creative team turned to Tyler to help create a new-school fashion icon out of the 13-year-old American blogger Tavi. The resulting cover story was received to huge international acclaim, becoming Pop’s best ever selling issue.
For the past decade Tyler has consulted for many of the world’s leading beauty brands. He has revitalised brand images, spearheaded new product development, pioneered educational programs and produced influential seasonal trend reports. Tyler also has found time to be in the thick of it backstage at the four big international fashion weeks, equally at home in the chaotic buzz of smaller London shows such as Camilla Staerk or the super trouper Milano glitz of John Richmond et al. It is Tyler’s willingness to take on a real spectrum of creative challenges that he believes keep him evolving and also learning. It’s an approach that surely explains why he is now well-established as an important talent in the hairdressing world with work spanning the breadth of editorial and advertising creativity.