Chris Foster has amassed 30 years’ experience in the hairdressing and barbering industry, having been initially attracted by the endless creative opportunities available. Here he tells us about his latest creative work with luxury fashion house Gucci, introducing The Gucci Buzzcut.
Chris first worked with Gucci in 2019 as part of Paul Hanlon’s Creative Team, and continued to do so for the years that followed. Fast-forward to February 2022, and he was pitching ideas at the Gucci Hub in Milan – specifically, an idea that centred on showcasing the Gucci logo over a model’s head. On this occasion his idea wasn’t picked up, however his confidence and persistence paid off, as after pitching it for a second time a few months later, he piqued the interest of [then] Creative Director of Gucci, Alessandro Michelle.
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Chris continues: “The second time I pitched it I was able to test it out on a model, and I think that’s what helped me push the idea. I think sometimes people need to see something to believe it can work. It was then decided that I would create the look for the Gucci Cruise Show 2023.”
Discussing the creation of the Gucci Buzzcut in more detail, Chris shares: “In our quest to perfect the Gucci Monogram Buzzcut, we experimented with various techniques, including the use of stencils and painting the design onto the head. However, after consulting with Paul, he expressed concerns about the painted design and suggested using the hair itself to create the monogram pattern.”
Chris expands on this creative process, explaining: “I think he was mindful that when it was painted on, it looked very obvious that that’s all it was, and that in itself was “faking it”. For it to feel authentic and to feel like hair, we realised it had to be shaved in. This suggestion was perfectly suited to one of my hair specialisms, free hand hair art, however I was ultimately the only person able to do it – which added pressure.”
There was also additional pressure on Chris due to the extreme nature of the cut. He says: “When you change someone’s look like that, they actually cost a lot more than a regular model that walks down the catwalk – it’s a change of look. That means that the agency can say, ‘This model can’t work for a period of time as a result of the look, and will charge you more’.”
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“Five days before the Gucci Cruise Show, we flew to Rome to test our hair ideas and finalise the design on a model. The outcome exceeded our expectations, as the pattern was flawlessly incorporated into the buzzcut, creating a stunning and unique look that captured the essence of the Gucci brand.
“Alessandro Michele was thrilled with the result of our collaboration, and he decided to feature the Gucci Monogram Buzzcut on five models, making it a signature look for the Gucci Cruise 23 Show. The buzzcut’s distinctive design, combined with the gender-fluid aesthetic and the iconic Gucci pattern, captured the attention of the fashion world and made a bold statement on the runway.”
Reflecting on the success of the show, Chris adds: “The overwhelming response from social media users and the fashion community was a testament to the buzzcut’s unique appeal and the power of combining personal grooming and fashion in new, innovative ways. The buzzcut quickly became a symbol of Gucci’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of creative expression and embracing a more inclusive, gender-fluid approach to fashion.
“The Gucci Monogram Buzzcut’s success demonstrates the limitless possibilities that arise when we embrace collaboration, push creative boundaries, and champion inclusivity. The buzzcut’s legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire future generations of designers and fashion enthusiasts, encouraging them to think beyond traditional concepts and explore the vast potential of merging fashion with other forms of personal expression.”
When asked how he would elevate the look even further in the future, Chris responded: “I think I would put more colour in it, to make it stand out even more. That was something we discussed ahead of the show, but unfortunately we didn’t have the time.”
The buzzcut is a great low maintenance cut that works on all different hair types – here’s everything you need to know about the style here.