PEOPLE: Hairstylist Gabe Sin on the shoot that marked his creative rebirth
Photography: Hyunwoo Min
Hair: Gabe Sin
Interview: Emma de Clercq
Gabe Sin is an editorial hairstylist based in Seoul. Starting his career in his teens at the Seoul branch of Dessange, Sin founded his first hair salon, Bymiga, aged 29. Seven years and ten branches later, he was spending his days fully immersed in the management of the business. Yet despite this outward success, Sin found himself plagued by a sense of creative stagnation. “I began to feel a sense of futility and monotony,” he says, “I remember the big turning point came by chance, when I created some personal hair work with the photographer Hyunwoo Min. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of happiness and pleasure that I’d never felt before. I realised then and there that I needed to get back to hairstyling and leave the business side behind.”
Sin has since made a name for himself as a successful editorial hairstylist. His latest personal project, a new series created with his now frequent collaborator Hyunwoo Min, is a gloriously sun-drenched tale featuring a variety of gravity-defying straw coloured headpieces.
Can you tell us about the concept of this shoot? It’s a very poignant and symbolic shoot for me because it coincided with my decision to close my salon business in order to go back to hairstyling. My friends and I decided to do the shoot in the actual salon itself. The flowers in the hairpieces were part of the interior of the salon too. In the early days I’d dried hundreds of flowers to decorate the ceiling. I always thought I’d like to use them to my work someday…
What’s the most extravagant hair brief you’ve ever worked on? Probably this shoot!
What’s got you excited in the hair world at the moment? The thing that’s inspiring me the most recently is the naturally dishevelled hair that kids have when they’ve just got up in the morning. All messy with bits of food in their hair!
Which creatives are currently inspiring you? My constant source of inspiration is Hyunwoo Min. He’s my closest friend and I always get so many ideas and inspirations during our conversations. I also really admire the work of the hair artist Gary Gill.
What are you working on next? I’m preparing an idea of using hair on the human body to express the silhouette. I’m currently trying to work out how to make it witty without overdoing it.