My story starts in Hackney, East London. Back then, Hackney wasn’t the “up-and-coming” district that it is now. In fact, the area that this tale begins was endearingly nicknamed “murder mile”. So, there I was, in my parents house using the scissors as a tool for cutting hair – perhaps a controversial choice of weapon and use for this area. The streets were dangerous, and I was on a mission to escape it. Trust me when I say this – it was life or death. And life was hair. 

 

I had the pleasure of working as head creative on the Beardimation project with four-time Oscar-winning animation studio, Aardman Animations, to create the world’s first stop-motion animation film using beards. Created to mark the launch of the brand new Braun Styling Range, the Braun Beardimation video uses advanced stop-frame animation to take the viewer on a journey of eye-catching shapes, patterns and designs as they are etched into facial and body hair using the Braun styling tools. The video features faces, heads and chests of over 70 men to convey a scintillating story of precision that inspires creativity when it comes to shaving. The video’s below tells the story.

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Chris Foster - Creative Director - Harrods

I realised I had a fascination in hair. That fascination quickly turned into an obsession – an obsession which changed my life forever. I soon joined the local barbershop, where I worked from dusk ‘til dawn for an endless stream of clients. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved cutting hair there, but I felt like the chair was holding me back – I had so much more to give. Seeking bigger opportunities, I studied hairdressing, headed to London’s West End, and over a period of 10 years, I worked my way to the top, working for some of the most exclusive male grooming emporiums in London. By this time, I was starting to win awards, but I still didn’t feel like I was fulfilling my potential.

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You see, when I began my journey in this industry, barbers were not seen as session stylists. This sort of opportunity did not come easily and might I add was non-existent as a barber. 25 years ago, when I started barbering, all my hair heroes were hairdressers. Hairdressers travelled the world, worked in fashion – it was real sexy to be a hairdresser. Perhaps not so much a barber; a perception I wanted to change.

I wanted to break the mould. I wanted to prove to myself that I could shape a career which was completely unique to this industry and inspire the next generation of Master Craftsmen.

My career has allowed me to work with and meet numerous celebrities including Usher, Chris Brown, Kit Harington, Sam Smith, Jay Sean, José Mourinho, Pierce Brosnan, David Oyelowo, Kim Jones, Ozwald Boateng, and Matthew Perry and work on movies such as Come Away, Suicide Squad, Notorious and Pompeii. I've also had the incredible opportunity to work with oscar-winning production companies such as Aardman Animations.

As an male grooming expert educator I was commissioned to teach male grooming techniques at the Sassoon’s Academy in their Headquarters, at the time in Mayfair. My role as a global barbering educator has taken me all around the globe working in Chicago with the global hair brand Pivot Point to create the new barbering programme. Working in India at the Indian School of hairdressing to shape the new barbering programme with The British Barbers’ Association where my responsibilities included working as the creative director of the Association. With the British Barbers’ Association I’ve toured North America teaching in Vancouver, Toronto, New York and Miami, spreading the gospel of great British barbering

In 2011 I had an idea. We were in the midst of a global recession but I wanted to create a product that would help others develop their barbering skills. The Foss Academy app was the UK’s first barbering education app, an educational tool that delivers concise and clear tutorials, tips and techniques. The Foss Academy app was nominated for ‘Innovation of the Year’ by The HJ Business Awards 2013 and 2015.  Do not be afraid to do things first, put your service or product out there. Yes, we were in a recession and the time was not right, but I asked myself the question, “When is the right time…. what are you waiting for?” There will always be people trying to copy what you do, but be a constant innovator, continue to push those boundaries, focus on what’s in front of you rather than the people behind you. You see when I created the app it was my first introduction to the whole concept of passive income. This product allowed me to receive a four figure income every month. Don’t exchange time for money. You can make money while you sleep. I can help you do just that and turn your passion into a business. Product creation is the key. 

Foss Academy App

In my 20+ years career I have come across many people frustrated and asking questions about how to achieve their goals. They want to see their talents, product on a global stage but just don’t know how to get there.  Well, I developed ‘The One’ Programme in response to this need.