If you ever wanted a whistle-stop tour of fashion and beauty icons over the last 40 years, you need only look at Sam McKnight’s CV. He’s styled the hair of models, mega-stars and royalty (including Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Lady Gaga, Madonna and Princess Diana to name just a few), plus with more than 190 Vogue covers, countless catwalk shows, a Somerset House exhibition and a eponymous styling line under his belt, his global impact in the world of hair cannot be overestimated.
It’s little wonder then that he has been crowned the winner of this year’s Most Wanted Hair Icon award – presented to the most influential hairdresser in the industry today by our sister magazine Creative HEAD. And Sam is nowhere near ready for retirement yet…
A prolific image-maker and trend setter, he is a permanent fixture backstage at the big four fashion weeks. By the time you read this, we can guarantee that Sam will have already racked up another cover shoot or two, and will be packing his kit in preparation for a stint at the styling front line at LFW. In addition, Sam’s creative relationship with the late Karl Lagerfeld was unlike any other within the industry – each catwalk look was a true collaboration, and the perfectionist designer didn’t trust anyone else to translate his Chanel vision into hair.
He may be more readily known for his awe-inspiring styling and signature cool-girl glam, but Sam’s humility and sense of fun are equally legendary. Just take a look at his personal Instagram, where adventures in baking, hilarious capers with wigs, and snaps of flowers from his beloved garden are as likely to feature as his stunning work.
“Being a hairdresser has brought me so much joy,” Sam says of his career so far. Us too, Sam, and long may it continue.