As Nataal’s special project at AKAA opens, we introduce the artists who make up our exhibition
Meet Cyndia Harvey. Growing up in Jamaica, she first learnt hairstyling in her mother’s salon and moved to London aged 11. She was Sam McKnight’s first assistant for five years and is now one of London’s most exciting young hairstylists. She is making waves across the fashion industry and is represented by top talent agency Streeters.
Harvey’s fresh and authentic aesthetic had led to working on recent campaigns for DKNY, Kenzo and Calvin Klein, which features the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Young Thug and Grace Coddington. Harvey is also responsible for the hair in Frank Ocean’s music video for the highly anticipated single Nikes, and her work is regularly featured in Vogue, i-D and Dazed.
For Nataal’s special project at AKAA art fair in Paris this week (read the full story here), Harvey presents This Hair Of Mine, a personal project exploring the African diaspora through hair. “Within the black community hair has always been an integral part of growing up and everyone has a story, whether it’s getting cornrows every Sunday to see you through the week, hot combing your kinks or parading proudly with a beautiful afro,” says Harvey. She worked with a close-knit team to create a film featuring a diverse range of women, each one styled by Harvey and asked to talk freely about their hair. “With this project I wanted to explore the heritage of these young women by looking into what parts of Africa they were from, tracing as far back as I could to find out how the women of each tribe wore their hair historically, then recreating those hairstyles in ways I imagined the styles could have evolved. This film is about my love affair with hair and wanting to celebrate the undeniable beauty and diversity of black women and their hair.”
Creative direction and hair styling Cyndia Harvey
Video direction and editing Akinola Davies Jr
Styling PC Williams
Make-up Nami Yoshida
Casting direction Mischa Notcutt and Troy Fearn at TM Casting
Dop Jack Wells
Production assistant Nellie Owusu
Colourist Jason Wallis at ETC
Music 'Wound' courtesy of Arca
Sound Callum Harrison, J Harrison and Joseph Bond
Words Helen Jennings
AKAA is at Carreau du Temple, 4 rue Eugène Spuller, 75003, Paris from 11 to 13 November