Steve Hiett – A Special Kind of Genius

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One of my closest friends and a person that I believe to be a practical genius in the world of image, photography, and graphic design, is named Steve Hiett. He is renowned for his wholly unique photography, which has been largely copied and still is to this day. As much as I love his photography, I’m infinitely more impressed by his eye for design, and I’m very lucky to have had his help on quite a few of my own projects. Typically, in one of our working sessions, I’ll ask Steve if he can do the layout for something. Very soon after he starts working, he turns it into something that makes me believe he has access to a creative realm that most other people do not. Over the years, Steve became a crucial contributor to several passion projects of mine such as Hair Heroes, Vidal Sassoon: The Movie, Vidal Sassoon: How One Man Changed the World with a Pair of Scissors, and current ventures not yet launched. More than anything, Steve has educated me on how integral good design is to the identity and success of a brand. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be inspired by him.

Most people who have any Apple product or are a fan of Steve Jobs are familiar with how inspired he was by the typography and calligraphy classes he audited at Reed College. What he took away from these classes hugely informed Apple’s groundbreaking visual language, and contributed to the brand’s success. Steve Hiett did for me what Steve Jobs did for Apple. His designs inspired me to do better hair, create better books, give better interviews. He elevated my work, so much so that everything I made became more important when Steve was a part of it. Recently, I was delighted to find out that (what I believe to be) the world’s best fashion retail institution, 10 Corso Como, is exhibiting Steve’s work in their gallery space in New York. Two weeks ago, I attended the launch of the exhibit, which also featured his last book, Beyond Blonde. I urge you all to buy a copy if you’re able. It’s so inspiring and so interesting and so Steve, and he reveals more of himself in this book’s introduction than he has in any of his other projects.

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If you are anywhere near the New York area in the next few weeks, I assure you that 10 Corso Como and their exhibit of Steve’s work is well worth a visit.  As someone who is familiar with so much of his art, I still found myself in awe of what was on display. A standout for me was a collection of Steve’s Polaroids; I want them all. There’s also a silent projection of a music video Steve directed, and it is truly so visually brilliant. Hopefully, Steve and I will continue to work together, and I’ve got lots of ideas for things I’d like to create with him. Just thinking about what he’ll come up with excites me. Steve is a special kind of genius, and I highly suggest you experience it for yourself, if you can.


Steve Hiett: Beyond Blonde will be on display at 10 Corso Como, 1 Fulton St, New York, NY 10038, until April 21 2019, Monday to Saturday 11:00 - 7:00, and Sunday 12:00 - 6:00.