First a working-class immigration area then an artist colony in the ’90s, Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, New York, has become a fashion capital. From hipsters to neohippies, neopunks and models, hairstylist Tyson Kennedy is the top master of the local look. FAB dropped by his salon to get the scoops on the latest trends in the neighborhood.
From Punk Rock To Scissors
A childhood in New Zealand and a passion for music and style. A staggering start in hairdressing and a L’Oréal Colour Trophy prize won at the age of 20, in 2002. A life-changing encounter with iconic hairdresser Rodney Cutler, one of the judges of the prize. A deal with Columbia Records and a wild adventure with his pop-punk band, Steriogram, which led to hitting recording studios in LA and to a Grammy award. Tyson Kennedy traveled the world, while rocking a massive mohawk, before settling in Brooklyn in 2007 and then working full-time at the salon of his now partner, Rodney Cutler. A random opportunity led him to open his first space in Williamsburg, adjacent to a quaint bar. The neighborhood rapidly transformed, becoming wealthier, filling up with high-end boutiques. Cutler Brooklyn grew and grew. Meanwhile during his free time Tyson concocted hair waxes, pomades and shampoos in his industrial studio further north. His brand, Fatboy, has now become a cult in the fashion industry and beyond.
The Brooklyn Look
“What I love about Brooklyn is the diversity of styles,” explains Kennedy, a tall, slender man with thick silver hair and square glasses. “You can run into guys in pink tracksuits carrying boomboxes, and I can wear fitted suits without a problem. For a while the hipster look was everywhere; all the men were wearing beards, fully tattooed body parts and short hair on the sides, but now things are changing. People don’t follow trends as closely; each person has their own style. The commercial pressure isn’t at strong as in Manhattan, where many girls still wear total designer looks.” This energy fuels Fatboy’s spirit, with sleek black-and-white design, whimsical product names and edgy hairstyles. At the studio, Tyson tends to the hair of his VIP clients, organizes the brand’s shoots and develops new products, while throwing barbecues and music-fueled parties in the true spirit of Brooklyn.
Tyson’s predictions for 2017: for men, the hairstylist is getting less of the strict style shaven on the sides and short on top, and more ’70s-style California surfer looks. The hair is longer, more relaxed, lightened by the sun. “It’s a refreshing, natural look that’s easier to maintain,” he says. As for women, the boldest will go for short cuts like the blob (long bob) and the pixie. “We’re seeing less and less ‘Sex And The City’-type blowouts,” he says.
The spirit of this Brooklyn in flux is bringing new styles to the streets – a constant source of inspiration for Kennedy, the ever-rebellious dreamer and eternal champion of diversity and individuality.