Laurie Foley, Artisan Owner

I, Laurie Foley, the owner and artisan/artistic director of L’Atelier de Laurie started my career as a hair designer/stylist AND hair colorist at the age of sixteen in 1975, in the small town of Lodi (located in northern California). From the very start, I knew I wanted to take the artistic approach, as, before entering Beauty College, (while still going to High School part-time), I was always drawing, painting, and sculpting throughout my school years (winning quite a few awards for all three). While working in the top salons in my local town, my big dream was to work in “The City” which for me, was San Francisco. Because of it’s close proximity and well-known acceptance to a creative-type population, I knew it was the place for me to further succeed in my career. I had a small detour of five years, in the city of Boise, Idaho, where I, again, worked in the “coolest” salon in town doing everything from big perms, new wave, and even punk Mohawks,(very “eighties”, obviously). During this time I also got very involved in styling wigs and hair for theatrical productions not only for Boise State University, (ie: Grease, Oklahoma, Mame), but for the city as well, (Camelot, John Brown’s Body) in their two thousand-seat , Morrison Center for the Performing Arts.

The gratification at being part of something based on teamwork and the instantaneous excitement at seeing my work on stage made me more prepared for what was to come later in my professional life.

My “Big Dream” was realized in 1987, when I reached San Francisco. While there, I worked in what was the top salon in town, a place called Features. I also became very active in hairstyling and haircutting competitions at various national and statewide hair expos, winning many, many trophies for such. My first taste of fashion work was styling hair for designer trunk shows (or road shows). Instantaneously, my “Dream” was changed , and very much enlarged, as the Fashion Bug hit me!.....Maybe Paris….New York?

My tenure of six years in the City, with countless test shoots, some local editorial work and fashion shows in both LA and SF ended with me making my way, {portfolio in hand}, to Paris to now conquer the big fashion capital. I very quickly got an agent, started styling on some small shoots and some very big shows, (my first being, Jean-Paul Gaultier on the team of Orlando Pita). I give much thanks and credit, (although, because of my skills, I worked on many other shows as well), to Orlando for opening my artistic eye as needed for the fashion composition, and letting me use my already honed technical skills in such diverse and highly artistic ways that while in a salon I would never have dreamed of. He showed me how to see things strictly from an artist’s eye , and as I have always said, that is the difference between an average/good salon hairdresser and a really great Stylist.

My Paris gigs grew into working the fashion circuit, traveling to Milan and New York every season for 12 years (styling the shows and sometimes doing color work as well). During this time Bumble & Bumble recruited me and, consequently, I moved to New York in 1994. After 9 ½ years doing both cutting/styling AND color (I was the only person able to break the barrier of only working doing one thing), I left in 2003 and opened L’Atelier de Laurie (Laurie’s workshop). I need beauty around me to create beauty; therefore, I fashioned my workshop after the beautifully artistic chateaus and ateliers in France.

To this day I feel very strongly about the concept of shaping and coloring as one complete work of art and contrary to what the press has led many to believe, I don’t specialize in one or the other. For me to be inspired I need to see and then be able to create the whole picture (no one told Michelangelo he could paint but not sculpt). I don’t have a “specialty” in my work unless you consider anything challenging, new, and not repetitive a specialty. In my 33 year career I have been able to continue loving my career by not locking myself into one thing. Thoroughly enjoying being able to master whatever it takes to manifest my visions and do the complete work of art is what it is all about for me.