Celebrated session hair stylist, Sam McKnight, is the hairdresser of all hairdressers. He boasts a legendary career spanning over four decades encompassing catwalks, editorial and advertising campaigns for fashion houses such as Chanel, Fendi, Balmain, Burberry and Tom Ford. A regular contributor to both British and international Vogues, W, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, i-D and Love, he has over 100 covers to his name from British Vogue alone.
McKnight has collaborated with some of the world’s most prominent photographers including Patrick Demarchelier, Mario Testino and Nick Knight. A long-time stylist for the late Princess Diana, McKnight was the creative behind her iconic short, slicked back hairstyle in the now-famous 1990 Demarchelier shoot for British Vogue, a partnership that led to him becoming her personal hair stylist for seven years.
One of the original session stylists, McKnight initially trained as a teacher before working as an assistant at a local hairdresser’s in his native Scotland. Moving to London in the early 1970’s, McKnight secured a position at Molton Brown, which at the time was a leading hair salon in London’s South Molton Street. He worked on projects for London-based magazines 19 and Honey before landing his first editorial shoot with British Vogue in 1977. While working in London, he was introduced to stylists Liz Tilberis (British Vogue and Harpers Bazaar US) and Lucinda Chambers (British Vogue), who were instrumental in hiring him for high-profile editorial shoots.
McKnight has been bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award at both the Scottish Fashion Awards [YEAR] and Creative Head Awards 2015. He is hugely respected within the hairdressing community and is often cited as a source of inspiration or named as ‘the hairstylist I would most like to work with’ by his peers.
On November 2nd 2016, Somerset House launched Hair by Sam McKnight, a major exhibition celebrating McKnight’s impressive career. Never before has an exhibition of this kind taken place, looking at hair from a new perspective and celebrating the significant role of session hair styling in both fashion and culture throughout the decades.
In tandem, McKnight also released his first book: Hair by Sam McKnight (Rizzoli), a hardback anthology of his magazine covers, editorial shoots and personal insights into working at the heart of the fashion industry.
June 2017 sees McKnight launch a range of hair products by the same name, Hair by Sam McKnight, in Liberty of London. It is the beauty launch that the industry has been waiting for, injecting fashion, glamour and ease into haircare and styling. The collection is the culmination of McKnight’s knowledge and experience in the industry, giving women the tools and confidence to style their hair themselves.