He’s come a long way from growing up in Syria to now having his work grace covers such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and Glamour, Hair Stylist Riad Azar talks about what beauty means to him, his love for New York women and his new passion—photography.
Like many beauty mavens, Riad was introduced into the fashion world by watching his mother design dresses when he was a boy. He would watch her meet with clients, create, sketch and design various pieces. By the time he turned thirteen, his interest was piqued into the world of hair as his best friend, who worked in a local hair salon, would frequently visit to cut his mother’s hair. “I would tell him, ‘Give me the brush, I will do it!’ and he said, ‘No, let me teach you,’” explains Azar. Little by little he learned more about the artistry of hair cutting and styling and starting doing his mother’s hair, then aunts and cousins. “I really did not plan on doing hair. It just happened,” said Azar.
His drive would lead him to the fashion capital of the world—Paris, where Azar trained at the Franck Rausch Academy and the National Institute of Hairdressing. But his heart drove him to the Big Apple where he jumped right in and started working on runway shows for Gucci, Dior and Michael Kors. New York was and is the perfect place for Azar as it is an everyday inspiration for him. He loves observing people and the women of New York who have infinite style and beauty. “New York women are modern. They live in a very hectic city and are very business oriented, they have to look chic but not fussy and not high maintenance…I feel like [NY women] are modern, minimalistic fresh,” says Azar.
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