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Through the looking glass

‘A lot of people are afraid of the big mirror. My work is to help them like what they see reflected.’ You might easily mistake these for the words of a counsellor or a psychologist, but the man who spoke them is a creative genius who has will soon mark thirty years as a hairstylist.

Serbian-born Milos Misković has been practising his art in Budapest for the last seven years. But he’s been in the business far longer. It started when he was 14, studying in a gymnaszium for lawyers in his home town of Santa. He played handball and was on the winning team. The coach told them all to get their hair cut before a photo shoot with one of the national papers. Misković went to the best stylist in town. She was busy. She didn’t have time to see him that week. Undaunted and tenacious, he stood his ground and stated his case: he wanted her to style his hair and would make coffee, sweep the floor, wash hair, do whatever it took to free up her time. She relented.

Watching her work, the young Misković found his calling. ‘I saw the change she brought about in people, the transformation she made, and how quickly she made it. I wanted to do the same. It was inspiring’, he said. When he told his parents that he wanted to swap his dream of being a lawyer to become a hair stylist, they insisted that he finish school first. So for three years, he studied one and trained in the other and at the age of 17, he opened his first salon in Serbia.

As a stylist, it’s important for Misković to know his customer, to see how they dress, what make-up they use, how they accessorize. Knowing this helps him find a look that they can work with, one that suits their lifestyle and fits who they are. With fashions changing at a furious pace, hairstyles are no exception. He has to follow what’s going on and know what’s happening internationally. This is perhaps easier for him than for many stylists.

As Swartzkopf’s International Ambassador, his reputation depends on being current. With a professional career that saw him to work in Austria, Canada, Italy, Serbia, Spain, and the UK, and a string of global awards to his name, Misković has a bevy of international clients who fly in to see him or fly him to see them. His secret to such loyalty? The realisation that his clients are his brand, his ambassadors, his advertisement. Whether in his studio on Bajcsy Zsilinszky, or in a hotel suite in Monaco, each client gets 100% of his attention and his creativity.

The artistic side of being a stylist is important for Misković. The shows he creates mirror his interest in a theme or icon (his latest was Queen Elizabeth I). He sees potential in every human face and has often chosen models for his shows from people he has met in restaurants or on the street. With the cosmetics industry touting an increasingly artificial world, his ambition is to recapture a person’s natural beauty and to develop that from within. ‘The sparkle in someone’s eyes as they take the mirror to check out their new style is my reward. That moment when they see the potential within themselves … it’s magic’, he explains.

And of the young pioneer who started out sweeping up hair so many years ago, of him he is proud. ‘He didn’t know enough to be afraid. And he still has a lot to learn’, he says, with a smile. ‘Every day, he tries to be a little bit better than he was yesterday. That, and loving what he does, that’s his secret.’

Milos’s number:  +36 30 319 9190.

(C) David Ajkai

(C) David Ajkai

First published in the Budapest Times 1 May 2015

 

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