// Behind every great success and achievement, there is hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Most people who have achieved something substantial in life tell you that there are no shortcuts to success.
Mention the name Philip Barwick to the hairdressing community and you instantly hear words like driven, mentor, a creative inspiration. Someone who invoke's what a true artist is.
Philip Barwick is an International Educator, Artistic Director and Business Owner of multi award winning salon Muse, recipient of the AHFIA Australian Hairdresser of the Year award on two separate occasions while also being awarded AHFIA New South Wales Hairdresser of the Year. Known as “One of the nicest guys in the business.” Phillip is up for the coveted session stylist of the year award at this years AHFA’s which will be held on April 2nd.
BTL spoke with Phillip and got a insight into his success.
How did you get your start in the industry?
My start in hairdressing was really pure chance. I walked the streets of my home town, Hobart in Tasmania, looking for a salon to start my apprenticeship. This was in the early 80's and there was no jobs so I was facing an uphill battle but, almost by chance I happened upon a salon on the first floor of a building in the city. I was invited back for a week's work experience and the rest is now history. I was super lucky.
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
I think I have always been attracted to "beautiful but different" so naturally this has been expressed in my work. The evolution of one's work over the years reads as an incredibly interesting story, there's a signature thread linking one moment to the next but also a vital progressiveness coupled with risk taking. Sometimes that risk has appeared as a powerful or striking statement and at other times the risk has most definitely been in the subtlety and simplicity. There's a huge link via simplicity and relating to a broader world in fashion.
What have been the most exciting moments of your career?
There are so many great moments, I'm incredibly lucky:
- Opening my own salon
-Celebrating my salons 20th year
- Winning Australian Hairdresser of the Year for the first time, then again
- Becoming a Redken Global Artist
- Becoming a Redken Exchange Artist in NYC
- Directing hair at Australian Fashion Week - Directing hair at NYFW
- Travelling to teach throughout the world
- seeing my apprentices grow and succeed - Knowing my salon truly makes great artists out of those open to the coaching. I could go on 😊
What do you love about being a hairstylist?
This career has been amazing for me, I can truly mix into my career so many attributes. The foundation of my passion is the art of what we do and the diversity in how we can express it. Some folks have an opinion that hairdressing is a dead end job or that it's for people who might to struggle to do something else. What rubbish! Some of the most incredible, resourceful, fun, crazy, vibrant, wealthy, successful, happy, grateful and intelligent people I've met are in our industry and that's what I love. The possibilities.
Who are the role models who have inspired you?
I love people who teach and have the intention to help change someone's life for the better. I've been super lucky to have worked with many amazing artists so to list them would be impossible but what I find now days is I'm able to learn from so many people as a result of a particular mind set I've been encouraged to adapt. We choose our role models for different reasons at different times in life and now I'm able to find gems in most situations. Keep your eyes and heart open.
If you could cut anyone's hair, who would it be and why?
Scarlett Johansson, I think she'd be fun to hang out with and she rocks short hair.
If you had not made the decision to be a hair stylist, what career do you think you would have pursued?
Actor, musician in one breath and in the other something to do with the land. My mind is an eclectic place.....always has been.
Top 3 Instagram accounts?
What do you enjoy to do when the brushes are down?
A healthy mix of exercise, travel, patting my dogs, building stuff and day dreaming.
What advice would you give artists starting out?
Dream large, truly learn your craft not just how to post photos of stuff popularised on social media. Have faith in yourself but don't believe your own bull shit, humility and dropping the ego makes for more joy in life. Be honest with yourself about how good you are and how great you want to be, then you can bridge the gap. Practice, practice, practice.
Ultimate dinner party guests?
Everyone from Sesame St like Snuffleupagus, Cookie Monster, Ernie and Bert and Ancient Greek philosophers like Plato, Aristotle and Socrates. Oh the conversations and the songs!