The abundance of creative young Kiwis leading in their industries inspired us to catch up with four of our favourite guys about how they got started and how they’re ready for more.
All four boys are photographed wearing their own pair of sneakers from the new Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II Collection, which was designed and built for the next generation of creatives who are always on the move. First up is Hair Stylist and Creative Director, Matt Benns.
How did you start your career?
I’ve always been someone that loves to surround himself with people but the beauty industry was the last place I thought I would end up. When I turned 17 I went to live with my older sister in the UK – she used to be a hairstylist and had a friend who owned a busy successful salon, so instead of finishing high school I became her assistant - sweeping hair, and observing my new craft.
What does your role as Creative Director at Stephen Marr involve?
Veronica Crockford-Pound, Yasmine Ganly and myself develop the brand’s identity.
I work closely with our brand partners in Australia and the United States, educating at industry seminars and workshops, both within the company and with stylists throughout New Zealand and Australia. I coordinate and develop a beauty identity and lead hair teams on seasonal shows and presentations at both New Zealand and Sydney Fashion Week, as well as at our annual in-house show, The Marr Factory, which is a collaboration with five prominent New Zealand designers over five nights.
What's your proudest moment in your career?
I have so many, I’m proud of every project I’m involved in. But for me it’s definitely seeing a new generation of stylists that I work with develop and become successful. When you see someone change and become energetic, confident and passionate about their craft, there’s no prouder moment.
Are you ready for more this year? How do you plan to take it to the next level in your career over coming months/years?
I came into the year with a few solid goals, loads of personal development, but I don’t think I’ll tell you exactly what just yet, I think you need to watch this space!