Hairstylist Rebekah Forecast remembers the European fashion weeks that kick-started her career, and the lengths she took to get there.

Amber Valletta photographed by Mark Borthwick for Nylon, August 2008, hair by Rebekah Forecast

Growing up in London, all I ever wanted was to work backstage at fashion week in Europe. But I had to move to New York City to make that happen.

In 1993, I got a job at John Frieda Salon on Manhattan’s Upper East Side — I knew John from London and wanted to get my foot in the door with his clients. Orlando Pita [then the international artistic director] was putting a team together for the next season of shows, so I asked if I could join.

And even though I hadn’t met him yet, he said yes.

We were booked on CHANEL, FENDI, DOLCE & GABBANA, and RIFAT ÖZBEK, which was a massive show. The venue was a fancy, ornate building with a glass roof. When I arrived, the team was escorted to the hair station. Backstage is always a little primitive, but this time even more so, because we were located in the loo.

Jacquelyn Jablonski photographed by James Macari for Harper’s Bazaar Korea, hair by Rebekah Forecast

The space was long and open with stalls and sinks, the whole nine yards, and when the press came in to take photos, they kept bonking us on the head with their cameras.

I was stressed because it’s a completely different kind of hairdressing than at a salon, but Orlando liked how I appeared calm under pressure — a talent of mine as I’m always nervous — and how I made hair extensions look natural on the models. After that, I started doing editorial shoots and working with girls like KATE MOSS, STELLA TENNANT, and AMBER VALLETTA.

The experience was an amazing introduction to the glamorous, and sometimes not so, world of high fashion.

— as told to The Thick

Did you see? Skincare expert Tata Harper goes backstage with Carla Bruni and Hubert de Givenchy, colorist Daniel Sanchez takes The Thick Questionnaire.


Camille Rowe photographed by Nicolas Moore for Elle France, September 2013, hair by Rebekah Forecast