WOODROW WILSON, ISTOCK PHOTO
Dressed in a black vest, tailored shirt and hat, James Razos proves he is a man of style. James explains how hair is not just about maintenance its about design, “a design which highlights and brings out the very best”.
After completing a hair training course at the highly-regarded Vidal Sasoon Institute in London, then classes at New York’s Bumble & Bumble, James has built a reputation in the industry for his creativity and flair. (He has worked on shows for designers such as Ralph Lauren, Cartier and Bvlgari.)
James has also worked as one of the stylists at L’Oréal Fashion Week and a judge on the 2000 series of Australia’s Search for a Supermodel.
He has worked on the hair of celebrities such as Jennifer Hawkins, Tina Arena, and has styled Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe on a photo shoot for 12 different magazines. James not only styles celebrities but also internationally acclaimed musicians such as Antonio Remos and Saki Rouvas. Growing up with a love for music, this proved to be one of the highlights of his career. “Growing up, I loved listening to them
on vinyls. That genre of artists holds a special place in my heart.”
James realised he had a love of styling when he began creating beautiful assemblages from his mother’s Pyrex dishes. “I used to collect all her pots and pans and take them to our cubby so we could play house.”
As a child James experimented with textiles, styled doll’s houses and painted interiors. The Melbourne-born son of a fastidious Greek family became a passionate learner and perfectionist.
James first started off as an interior designer working for Riddell Marly before moving to Georges Department Store on Collins Street. James soon realised that his true passion was not in his client’s homes but rather the clients themselves.
“I had always loved the whole thing about hair and what I thought was instant gratification,’’ he explains. “Clients can come in with a sad face, lonely heart, and within a few hours you can take them to another level. That is the most wonderful thing about hair.”
When James talks hair it is as though he is critiquing a famous masterpiece. “I love the pixie haircut, it’s the current-trend thing. Its cheeky, slightly boyish.” The pixie cut has been around since the early days of Mia Farrow and now Australia’s Mia Wasikowska, who featured in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, and Carey Mulligan, in An Education, are setting the trend with their short, chic, layered, cuts. James says the pixie haircut is feminine and sexy and it expresses originality and a freshness. He also says that the hair industry today is much more “fastidious about the dynamic of a great haircut”.
James also adds that hairdressers today are expected to not just style the hair, but also oversee the complete look of a person. “Its no longer about what’s just sitting on your head, its about what’s sitting on your entire body, your face, your clothing, your shoes.”
James believes that what makes a great hair stylist today is someone who can consider all the aspect of an individual’s look. “Each person has a smorgasboard of looks, and as a hairstylist I try to tap into a person’s presentation and perhaps offer them an alternative,
James is the creative director of Rakis Hair Salon which is nestled above the Paris end of Collins Street. It is evident within the first five minutes of being in what they describe as their “studio” that clients don’t just come for a great a blow-wave, they come to see James or his partner, Stavros Tavrou. The salon is “a stage of artists and players and performers who create entertainment that relates to fashion”. Before he leaves our interview – on his way to an appointment at Prada to design new wigs for their next fashion show – “It’s not just about hair ... it never is .... it is everything in the equation”.