James Earnshaw

Creative director James tells us that when he does the ‘supers’ hair at London Fashion Week, he’s far too busy to be star struck – and how Jennifer Aniston could do with a snip

Whatever the talent of the youngsters we write about in these pages, there’s a common theme that comes through time and again – drive and determination. Musicians, athletes, artists, dancers, actors, even handy gardeners, we’ve covered the lot and without exception they’re driven individuals for whom failure is not an option. Take James Earnshaw; he knew early on that he wanted to be a hairdresser and not any old hairdresser at that, but the best. Nothing was going to stop him realising that dream. Aged 15, James told his own hairdresser about his career plans who snapped him up straight away on a part -time basis alongside school.


Ambitious as he was, James stayed for a while then moved to a bigger branded salon for a couple of years before an opportunity at the Francesco Group came up in Shrewsbury. He took it, then moved to the Birmingham branch in 2012 as a stylist. He remembered: “I wasn’t happy being a stylist. I wanted to better myself all the time. I was promoted to senior stylist and wasn’t happy with that either! I wanted to be creative director ultimately, so I pestered my boss about how to do it.” Her advice was to get noticed. James needed to be known to be a creative director – a sort of brand ambassador, so he got busy entering competitions, working social media and putting himself out into the industry and it paid off when aged just 24 he landed his dream role. As creative director he has a varied working week which he loves. He spends three days at the company’s academy nurturing new talent and two days in the salon plus photo shoots, catwalk shows and competitions. He was a finalist in the Wella Trend Vision awards this year and secured a highly sought after place on the Wella Professionals Generation NOW Team which opens doors within the industry. He reached the grand finals of the L’Oreal Colour Trophy and was a finalist in the Midlands Hairdresser of the Year category at the British Hairdressing Awards, but finalist isn’t good enough for James. He’ll be taking home the gong next time!


London Fashion Week is a particularly exciting date in the calendar where James styled supers Jordan Dunne and Cara Delevigne this year, but he was ‘far too busy to get star struck’. He was also involved in Style Birmingham Live for which the Francesco Group was responsible for the genius use of simple hair grips arranged to look like eye catching head pieces that shimmered on the catwalk. I wonder whose hair he’d like to get his hands on? “Jennifer Aniston purely because she’s had the same hair cut for such a long time. I’d take the length up and give her a Caroline Flack length bob to freshen it up a bit.” With his career flying I wonder what’s next for James? “I’d like to win at the British Hairdressing Awards. BHA is like the Oscars of British Hairdressing and the top accolade, so that’s next.”

GET SNIPPY ON SOCIAL Follow James on Instagram @jhair_stylist