Johnston takes great pride in his ability to mentor other educators and stylists. Via his role as International Artistic Director of KMS California, he's had the opportunity to jet-set around the globe presenting at shows and working on advertising campaigns and photo shoots.
A perpetual optimist and eternal student and teacher, Johnston's personal mantra for success is "The only real failure in life is the failure to try." He firmly believes that working as a stylist is not only about the art, but it's also about the people.
Q. Tell HOT about your own education and what it personally means to you.
A. Through hairdressing, I have the ability to continue to educate myself and to learn. I love learning new techniques and expanding upon them to help define my signature look.
Q. How has international travel shaped your vision?
A. I love to travel and see what's happening around the world. I can people-watch for hours. Travelling just grows our perception and gives us another way of looking at things. Also working with hairdressers globally opens up many inspiring opportunities.
Q. How does beauty differ around the world?
A. I believe beauty is something that we all see differently. It's subjective-just like art or design.
Q. What inspires you?
A. Sometimes I just get an idea and run with it. When I see an image or learn a technique, it often brings other ideas to mind. Creating a collection and working in a photo studio helps propel inspiration too. General inspiration comes from art, fashion, photos and music. I particularly love photo galleries such as London's Saatchi Gallery.
Q. What valuable lessons have you learned?
A. Never give up trying and practice makes perfect.
Q. Which creative genius do you admire most and why?
A. Angelo Seminara's creativity is beyond simple hair-he transports us into another dimension of thinking. I also get inspiration from photographers and have amassed a large collection of coffee table books by Helmut Newton, David Bailey, Patrick Demarchelier, Herb Ritts, Mario Testino and Richard Avedon among others.
Q. If you weren't styling hair, what dream would you live?
A. I'd be the lead singer of a rock band.
Q. What's your personal mantra?
A. You're only as good as your last haircut! In other words, don't get cocky and believe once you've hit it you can relax. That pushes me to continue to move forward.
Q. What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
A. Practice, Perfect and Perform.
Q. What coveted awards have you nabbed recently?
A. NAHA for Master Hairstylist and a Contessa Award for Canadian Elite Master Hairstylist.
Photographer: Jack Eames; Hairstyling, Edwin Johnston; Makeup Artist, Irena Rogers; Fashion stylist, Desiree Lederer