PEOPLE IN FASHION: The man behind the models on the cutting edge

Guido is the hair stylist who can make or break a model's career with this season's seminal fringe or essential crop - and the designers don't think he's half bad either. James Sherwood met him

You'd expect hair stylist Guido Paulo to scatter names like confetti. Six years ago, Calvin [Klein] plucked him from the new London scene to style Kate [Moss] in a campaign shot by David [Sims] in New York. Versace used Guido exclusively for his famous Avedon portfolios with Stella and Amber. Even this year's model, Karen Elson, owes her signature fringe to Guido. Not one of the aforementioned came higher than "the boy they all copy" in The Face's annual 100 Most Influential People in Fashion list. Last month, he signed a five-figure contract with Nicky Clarke as stylist at large. Who would have thought?

"Well, I never thought I'd get here," says Guido with a shrug. He is wearing his work uniform: knackered deck shoes, shorts and baggy T-shirt. He has five o'clock shadow (it's breakfast). There is no hint of the polished facade we are used to seeing from celebrity hairdressers on Style Challenge. "Donatella always teases me about my look," says Guido. What would Charles Worthington give to drop that name so effortlessly?

Far from being a handicap, the little-boy-lost image has undoubtedly aided Guido's meteoric rise. Once he gets backstage at a catwalk show, Guido is a different animal. "I have this reputation as being a real... well, very hard. The same girls always show up late and you have to bully them into the chair. It's like: `Sit down, shut up and let me work.' You've got to behave like a stern father with them. Then, there's the girl who was `It' last season feeling neglected. You'll have to pay her a bit of attention and build up her self-esteem. There's a lot of paranoia if Guido's styled one girl and not another."

Despite talking occasionally in the third person about himself, Guido is intentionally low on both profile and pretentiousness. "You want to know what it's really like backstage before a big show? Tense. I feel nauseous and get extremely uptight. Then you wait. Some of the bigger girls arrive 10 minutes before the show. The hair will take 20. There is one shot at perfection and everyone is judging you. Afterwards, I feel completely drained. I criticise the work and never, ever feel 100 per cent happy with the result."

In an industry that feeds on young blood,this 32 year old has held his ground. For the past 10 years, Guido worked as the Toni & Guy stylist at large, earning a retainer in exchange for "Guido at Toni & Guy" magazine credits. Styling new girl Kate Moss for a David Sims' The Face shoot launched Guido in New York. "It was the era of grunge which totally shook fashion around. And not before time," he says. "Calvin took all of us as a package for his new ad campaign. We were a cocky, young, English gang let loose in New York and we had what they wanted."

"Ironic, really," he says, "When Vidal Sassoon fired me at the age of 21. My manager said I'd never make a hairdresser. I'd been travelling for a year and came up to London from Bournemouth [where he was born to a Spanish father and English mother] with no clue about where my life was going."

After working round "literally hundreds" of salons, Guido started to assist a senior stylist on photo shoots for Women's Own. "Oh, the glamour of it all," he giggles. "Did I think I'd hit the big time when I styled a Slimming cover on my own for the first time." Did he frame the covers? "No, but I think my mum's still got them. I don't keep any of my cuttings. My agent has them all." A cursory glance at Guido's latest book is like a guide to seminal advertising campaigns of 1997. "I am lucky now to have the luxury of time on a photo shoot. I remember spending two days on a shoot with David Sims - who's my best friend - trying to get the look right. I was distraught because it wasn't working. But photographers like Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber, Avedon and David let me work until we get it right."

Before the interview, a hairdresser breathlessly lectured me on Guido's philosophy of "hair architecture". "What?" he says. "I don't know anything about architecture. I think about girls I know when I'm working. I think: `What would a funky young girl like Kate do to look glam on a night out?' If Stella wanted to look punky, how would she do it? That's my inspiration. Everyone has input but nobody actually tells me what to do. Gianni [Versace] just used to say: `Guido. darling, do someseeng beooteeful.'"

Guido is as responsible for the longevity of a girl's career as a designer. "Sometimes, you need to take the clothes and the girl in a new direction," he says. "When I cut Karen Elson's hair into the off-centre bob, we sat in a hotel room and had a bottle of wine together before we cut the hair . I've had Stella in a salon for eight hours bleaching her hair for Gianni. At 11pm it started falling out, so I thought it was light enough. When you see the pictures three months later, you don't think of the pain."

Guido has bought himself a new London base and the time to take a month off. This season he will be working the London shows, a fashion pit stop Guido has rarely made. But the pace is not slacking. His diary is co- ordinated for months in advance. When asked if there are any sacrifices he had to make for the nomadic life, Guido peers from under his fringe and says, "Love?" With those puppy-dog eyes? Are you kidding?

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Maths Teacher

    £110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

    Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

    £40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    ***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

    £30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    ***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

    £35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    Day In a Page

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker