Dublin-based salon owner living the dream ahead of world-famous events
From a suburban hair salon to the Chanel show in Paris, Roy Leigh is fashioning the career he always dreamed of.
The salon owner from Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, took time out from his busy appointment book three weeks ago to work at the Chanel show during Haute Couture Week in the French capital.
This weekend, he is bringing his artistry to London Fashion Week, where he is booked for a number of shoots and shows.
It doesn’t stop there, as in two weeks’ time he returns to Paris for the Chanel Ready-to-Wear show.
“Doing fashion-week shows, it actually makes you become a more advanced and more confident editorial stylist,” the 34-year-old said.
I’m thrilled to have my own salon
“I’ve been doing fashion-week shows for the last five years and it definitely fine-tunes you and makes you more of a perfectionist – a better hair stylist. That translates into the salon as well.”
His Paris, Milan and London Fashion Week credits include shows for Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Simone Rocha, Roksanda and Peter Pilotto.
His schedule this weekend includes catwalk shows for Christopher Kane on Sunday and Yuzefi on Monday.
“You get experience at fashion-week shows, working on a much larger scale with a team and dealing with the pressure of making sure the look is immaculate before entering the runway,” Leigh said.
Working at Brown Sugar, he was part of the team that looked after Caitlyn Jenner when the television personality visited Dublin in 2017.
In June 2021, Leigh took a leap of faith and opened his own salon – No 72 The Gallery on Upper George’s Street, Dún Laoghaire.
“I’m thrilled to have my own salon, but I couldn’t do fashion weeks without the support of the strong, loyal team of 12 that I have around me,” he said.
As for the trends for London Fashion Week, Leigh said “natural hair is always a trend”, and added: “A lot of designers like to pare back the hair and make-up so the clothes speak more, but then you will also have the complete opposite of that with an avant-garde look.”
It definitely fine-tunes you and makes you more of a perfectionist – a better hair stylist
For his Fashion Week assignments, Leigh will assist stylists James Pecis and Sarah Jo Palmer. His job is to recreate a decided look for the show.
Time spent on each head depends on the number of models involved. Shows may have partnerships using specific brands, but Leigh always brings his own hair tools.
“That’s another thing that Fashion Week does – it allows you to really understand what you need in your kit, like a tool belt,” he said.
“You’re better off to wear something around your waist so you have all your essentials attached to you. I wear a Carhartt tool belt and half the time I look like a plumber.”