Q&A With John Frieda – OKA Europe
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  • Q&A With John Frieda


    John Frieda

     

    We sat down with John Frieda, the British hairdresser behind one of the most successful hair care companies in the world, to discuss his career, lifestyle and favourite OKA pieces.

     

    What’s the best advice you've ever been given?

    My father told me: “The harder you try, the luckier you get.”

     

    What brings you the greatest joy?

    Being with my family at home. I am lucky to have children of all ages and grandchildren too. They are my total joy.

     

    City or countryside?

    Both – the variety of being in the city and the contrast to the peace and quiet of the English countryside is wonderful.

     

    What do you wish you had known when you started your career?

    You do everything better when you’re relaxed and not stressed. Although that’s much easier said than done. Also, stop chasing after more. Happiness comes from accepting and being content with what you have.

     

    What hairstyle should you never ever try?

    Never say never!

     

    What’s on your bookshelf?

    I love reading and always find time to read. I’m currently reading “The Last Lion” trilogy, the fascinating biography of Winston Churchill (absolutely brilliant!), and “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand.

     

    Bookshelf

     

    How did your career begin?

    My parents wanted me to be a doctor, my father and my grandfather were hairdressers and in my teenage school years I decided a medical profession might require a great deal of schoolwork and study, so hairdressing felt like an easier option (generally not the best reason to choose a career but in my case, it worked out). My father told me that if I wanted to go into the profession I had to try to get an apprenticeship at the very best place - which is what I did. I worked at Leonard’s incredible salon in Mayfair – that was the best beginning I could have hoped for.

     

    What has been the best moment of your career?

    Can’t really say there has been “a best moment” but meeting up with my business partner Gail Federici and convincing her to leave her job and join forces to build my brand was without question the single key moment that set us on the path to success.

     

    What are the things you can’t live without?

    That’s a hard one. I try very hard, and have always tried not to depend on “material possessions” for my happiness.... although that’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed and gained great pleasure from those that I have had. But if my happiness depended on them I’d be in trouble. So I’m not sure that there is anything that I could truly not live without.

     

    Tell us something unexpected about yourself?

    That nothing would make me happier than spending five days at Lords watching the Test Match.

     

    Do you have a signature dinner party dish?

    Not really but I am told that I make a very good dry martini. My son Jordan has two wonderful restaurants, Trullo and Padella – and I love eating there - his food is simple, Italian and delicious. I’m so proud of what he’s achieved.

     

    What’s your favourite city in the world and why?

    London is a truly wonderful city. My other favourite place is Ibiza. I have had a home there for many years and it is definitely a place I love.

     

    Do you have a favourite room at home?

    My library. I love being surrounded by books.

     

    How do you dress a room?

    Hundreds of candles.

     

    Candles

     

    Are there any similarities between how you would style a room or hair?

    With great attention to detail.

     

    When it comes to interiors do you go for trendy or classic?

    Classic, modern, timeless.

     

    What makes a house a home?

    Sharing it with those you love.

     

    What are your favourite OKA pieces?

    Plates

     

    “These plates remind me of the sea in Ibiza…”

     

    Ottomans

     

    “Really useful when you’ve got friends around for added seating.”

     

    Glassware

    “These are good dry martini glasses.”