Right off the bat of being crowned New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year at the 2016 Schwarzkopf Professional Hair Expo Awards in Melbourne, Danny Pato of Auckland’s D&M hair salon answers some questions for Verve. We find out what he has lined up for the rest of 2016, where he finds inspiration, and just why he loves his job so much.
| What do you do?
I’m a senior stylist, creative director, session stylist, educator, business owner and husband.
| Why did you decide to become a hairdresser?
Growing up in a household with so many women – I had five sisters – so someone had to do it! I was always surrounded by feminine beauty and attracted to it.
| Where do you draw inspiration for your hairstyles from?
From everything – film, music video, people on the street, architecture, magazines, music, fashion, nature, art…
| What has your career highlight so far been?
My salon, D&M. My business partner and I started it nearly 10 years ago, and I am so proud of our salon team who are like family to me.
| What is your favourite part of your job?
Dressing up everyday how I want to, listening to the music that I want to, and helping people to look and feel better than they were before. I love so much about my job.
| What is on your to-do list for the next year?
I’ve got a full diary! Over the next few months there’s New Zealand Fashion Week, the AUT Fashion Design School Rookie Show, my show at Salon International in London, several magazine editorials, plus working full time on the salon floor, training staff and running the business. I’ve got a holiday booked in for Japan too to recharge.
| What is a lesson you have learnt the hard way?
Listen to your body.
| What is your philosophy for life?
Lead from the heart, and give everyone and everything 100%.
| What do you like to do in your leisure time?
| What is your favourite place for a holiday?
That would have to be Mykonos. The alleyways, the food, the shopping, the water… I love it.
| If you could be a colour which one would you be?
Red because I’m full of passion! Love! And sometimes fire…
| If you could invite three people (dead or alive) to a dinner party who would you invite?