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Avie, 19, East WilliamsburgPhotography Fumi Nagasaka

Capturing the transformative power of a haircut

Bumble and bumble. teamed up with Dazed favourite Fumi Nagasaka to lens a series of street-cast teens after their dramatic hair makeovers

TextJake HallPhotographyFumi Nagasaka

The transformative power of a haircut is well-known in the fashion industry. The last few years alone have seen Ruth Bell ascend to stardom with her now-signature buzzcut, Fernanda Ly become Louis Vuitton’s candy-haired muse and Peyton Knight make her Alexander Wang debut with a bold bowl cut, agreed to just moments before the show.

Bumble and bumble. is the respected salon looking to celebrate this power; artistic director Laurent Phillippon recently teamed up with photographer Fumi Nagasaka to create dramatic new looks for a series of New York teens. Nagasaka was largely responsible for the casting process, admitting “I don’t really go to the streets and look for them, I just find them when I live my everyday life. I find them on the trains, at Trader Joe’s, at Starbucks... Sam, who is in this story, I found him at a Bernie Sanders rally.”

This casting process is markedly different to that favoured by today’s industry, which usually harnesses the potential of Instagram influencers to communicate its message. “Nowadays everyone does Instagram casting but, for me, I want to find people with my eyes, speak to them and feel their vibes and personalities”, says Nagasaka. “I’m sure it’s easy to find people, and you can actually find a lot that way, but I like and enjoy the process of finding them by myself. When I take their photos, the stories I have with each one of them shows in the pictures and I get very attached; that is the beauty of the images.”

This pleasure in finding unpolished talent is evident in a series of distinctive portraits which reject stylised glamour, instead celebrating the individuality of modern youth. “Fumi captured the poetry of teenage years”, said Bumble and bumble.’s artistic director Laurent Philippon. “At this age, we all go through struggles – our bodies are changing, our personalities are blooming. Today’s teens love to experiment with clothes, make-up and hair, but they’re definitely opinionated and definitely aware of what’s cool and what’s not.”

“I don’t really go to the streets and look for them, I just find them when I live my everyday life. I find them on the trains, at Trader Joe’s, at Starbucks... Sam, who is in this story, I found him at a Bernie Sanders rally” – Fumi Nagasaka

Experimentation, however, can be daunting, especially considering the importance we place on our hair as a marker of identity. Philippon reveals that Tess was the most nervous of the models, arriving on set with long hair that she was reluctant to cut. “When I saw her angel face punctuated with those amazing, strong eyebrows, I knew that she could go for a daring haircut – I left the sides and back long and chopped off the top.” Luckily, she loved it.

16-year-old Sam received an equally drastic makeover, fueled by Philippon’s belief that young souls should be free to mix it up. “He’s very masculine, I knew he could take a different look. So I went a 1970s English rock star style with mullet bits in the back, heavy sideburns and a short fringe. He rocked it!”

For Philippon, a good haircut is the one way to revamp an entire personal aesthetic without going to extreme measures. “Hair is the one part of the body that can be changed drastically without causing any permanent damage. We can shape it to reflect our personality, to attract attention or to project a chosen identity or mood – it’s our crowning glory.”

Hair Bumble and bumble., Global Artistic Director Laurent Phillipon, Bumble and bumble hair colourist Zoe Wiepert, make-up Violette at Management + Artists, models Avie Acosta, Willa Best-Doyle, Louise Buckley, Tess Sahara, Sam Lazar, Scarlet Potts, photographic assistants Eduardo Silva, Kohei Kawashima, fashion assistants Ioana Ivan, Alison Isbell, Nina Perlman, hair assistant Ivan Matsumoto, make-up assistants Samantha Linn, Grace Fong, casting Fumi Nagasaka

www.bumbleandbumble.com