Miller is credited for creating dozens of trends and systems in cutting, perming, coloring and hair fashion. He also developed many collections, including Sheer Blonde for John Frieda, Vidal Sassoon-London, Systeme Biolage and Anasazi. In addition, Miller conceptualized styles for advertisements, product brochures, packaging, promotions, commercials and educational videos.
Q. What key attributes have truly defined your career?
A. The desire and willingness to acquire more knowledge and broader learning. I also believe in being in the right place at the right time. When I was a national lecturer with Redken, I had the incredible experience of helping build a new, powerful influence for salon professionals. In the early '70s I felt the tug to broaden my horizons, so I moved to London to join Vidal Sassoon. Later, with a sister agency in London, I founded h.a.i.r. internationale-an agency for platform artists. In 1981 I took a corporate position as International Artistic Director, Zotos, which kicked off another significant part of my career. Later I served as International Artistic Director at Matrix and helped grow the brand into what it is today. In the '90s I was in Korea building another company. In hindsight I see that years of discipline, hard work and new experiences afforded me the ability to influence growth.
|Dwight Miller at work|
Q. What upcoming fashion trends are you eagerly embracing?
A. In uncertain times we seek certainty. Since principles are concrete, we can always build upon them. Razor cutting and standard cutting methods from the '50s have regained popularity. Setting in pin curls and finger waves also made a comeback.
Q. Which creative geniuses do you admire most and why?
A. Ann Bray, Trevor Sorbie and John Sahag. Each artist has put years of learning and practice into developing their skills and abilities. I admire what each has achieved since I know the amount of time, sacrifice, hard work and experimentation it takes to achieve.
Q. How has the industry and/or the customer changed from the 60s through today?
A. Salon professionals have always played an integral role in clients' lifestyles, but what has changed is the actual lifestyle itself. When I started, clients came every week to have their hair washed, set and combed out. Every client had color, lots of double processes, bleach and toners, and there were lots of perms. Since assistants weren't a part of staffing at that time, we juggled all of the work. Also, our clients never styled their own hair, which would seem ridiculous in today's world. A major part of our role today requires us to develop excellent communication skills and to empower our clients to recreate the look we created. Advancements in technology enable us to make recommendations for every age group, cultural group and specific hair type.
Q. What valuable lessons have you learned?
A. The importance of building teams, combining talent and working with people who are more talented than I am. In that case, everyone wins!
Q. If you weren't in the industry, what would you be?
A. An architect. I would approach my work with formal and practical training. I'd strive for perfection and creative expression.
Q. What inspires you most?
A. I love reading biographies. I'm also very inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement and I love riding the country on my Harley. I always have a list of things to see, including stylists, buildings, museums, and state and national parks.
Q. What's your personal mantra and why?
A. Surround yourself with talent greater than your own and take on challenging projects. I believe that I can achieve rapid growth as I work to continually refine my skills.
Q. Which awards have you won and what do they personally mean to you?
A. I've won the A&FG World Master, NAHA (on my first entry) and Intercoiffure Guest Artist of the Century, as well as numerous styling competitions. It's great to be honored with awards, but the highest achievement is when clients tell me they love their hair!
Q. What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
A. Refine your own personal skill. Hair dressing, designing, styling and coloring are all crafts that can be perfected with practice and refinement.
|Photographer: Courtesy of Dwight Miller;
Hairstylist: Dwight Miller;
Makeup Artist: Nesti Mendoza;
Creative Directors: Brett Jackson and M Marne Zafar