Italian born, Caterina Maiolini is well-known in the backstage scene, a place where anything can happen before any show. She has worked with some of the most remarkable hair stylists such as Paul Hanlon, Sam McKnight, Luigi Murenu or James Pescis. She told us from the very beginning about her experience as a hair stylist first, and as a backstage producer later on.
What is the work of a Hair Producer like?
My job involves coordinating the models and the hair stylists with the photographer and stylist if we are doing a photo shoot, or if we are doing a catwalk coordinating the dressing team and the show production. It's literally coordinating everything and other tasks, such as hairstylist needs. Do we need to order anything? Do we need to organize cars or hotels? That sort of thing.
The strength of my role, what makes me Caterina, lies in the fact that I come from a hairdresser background and I can understand the process, so I can keep an eye on everybody to make sure that they're doing what the hairstylist requires.
What kind of shows do you work in with Paul Hanlon?
The most iconic one is Gucci, everybody's eyes are on it now. We've done Louis Vuitton for a few seasons as well. And Moschino too. I love Jeremy Scott, who has brought the fun back to the industry, Moschino's catwalk is always fun, the girls are smiling and he's not afraid to use big wigs.
Paul used to do Marni, it was one of his favorites. He had a really good relationship with Lucinda Chambers. It was beautiful for me to see him doing Marni because the creative team there used to tell him, 'do what you want, if the mood is 60s -for example-, just go for it'. It was great for me to watch Paul creating hairstyle right from his heart. It was amazing. Also, Chloé, Giambattista Valli, Roberto Cavalli, Paco Rabanne, and Sonia Rykiel, are few of the others.
I liked what you said: 'preparation is the key' and 'work as a team'.
I truly believe in teamwork. I do care about my team, I think there are not much people in the Fashion industry who think that, but I really do. I put them before me, if I can help them grow or develop, if they do something wrong, rather than behaving roughly, we sit down, we have a chat and talk about how they can improve, how we can improve. I mean, if they don't fit, it's ok. But if it is a mistake, can we speak to them? Can we put it right? Can we help them grow? I believe we can.
I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO IT YET, BUT I KNOW I WILL. NOT ONLY CONFIDENCE BUT DETERMINATION. I WANT TO GET THERE, I AM GOING TO GET THERE.
What would you advise young hairstylists?
Believe in yourself. Don't give up and don't be a bitch, there is no need to. Let's change the industry, if we all stick together, we're stronger together. Welcome new people to the teams even if you think they are better than you, rather than behave badly with someone, be nice and ask them to teach you. Research, learn about references and practice, don't be afraid to work for smaller shows or artists. Also, don't be afraid to be brave, I am where I am because I was brave, I tweeted Sam McKnight, I went to Luigi's show, I knock at people's door and said, I can do this.
Read the full Caterina Maiolini's interview featured in the Fall Winter 2018. Get your copy here.
Words by Edwin S Freyer & Abra Kennedy.
Caterina's Photographs by Daniele Fummo