In town for one week only, we caught up with the iconic French Hair Artisan and founder of namesake care & styling brand, Cristophe Robin.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you.
CR: I’m very down to earth. People tend to believe that because I mix in famous circles, I must [behave] in a [certain] way, but I’m a real country boy; I love gardening and have a passion for roses. I have a lovely rose garden in Brittany, France; it’s a divine region for gardening.
Where are you typically based?
CR: I’m based in Paris, but every weekend I drive five hours to Brittany. As soon as I awake on Saturday morning, I walk barefoot through the wet grass and work on the garden all weekend. It pleases me like you would not believe!
…it brings you back down to earth?
CR: Yes, and I love that. I believe that [nurturing] a garden is so rewarding.
You’ve had an evolving relationship with Paris…
CR: I did not like Paris so much before, but things are changing. I was [situated] in what they call ‘The Gold Triangle’ (an affluent area of Paris housing an array of high end boutiques), and I found it quite boring. Now, I’m in love with Paris again, and [living] in a new neighbourhood. [We have] a little Vegan restaurant run by a mother and her two daughters; [places like] this I adore. We have a new president in France at the moment, so there is a very different energy; we’re back on track!
Are there any other cities that you feel creatively connected to?
CR: It’s going to sound a little tacky… but I would have to say here in Sydney. Everyone makes the effort to talk to you here; people are so kind. It’s like being on an island, but at the same time, the economy is booming. I really like it here; it’s truely my favourite city. I love regions with a big park area in the city; the first thing I did yesterday was visit the park. It’s Spring here which is lovely, and so nice to see [seasonal] plants I will not see for a few months in Europe. Another region that I love is Papeete in Taihiti. I would love to set up a hotel in French Polynesia – it’s only a nine hour flight from Sydney, and close to New Zealand as well. I believe that for the second part of my life, I will live in this part of the world.
You work with a number of high profile clients; how do you approach each individual client?
CR: When we are styling and colouring celebrities, it is often to serve a specific role, and with actresses for example, this can depend on the film. Sometimes you may need to create something that looks ‘ugly’ in real life, but serves the movie and the character. For the regular woman, [styling and colouring] can be much more difficult, because you need to look at enhancing the eye colour, warm up the skin, and control redness. Sometimes, a small change on a regular woman can be difficult to accept. [Typically] celebrities don’t care, as it is part of their job. For example, when women are aging, they tend to feel as though they should become blonder, but for some, this enhances dark circles [under the eyes].
What can we look forward to seeing from yourself and the brand in the upcoming year(s)?
CR: I want to look more and more at clean products for the scalp. [I’ve been working on developing] a colour range for eight years; I believe it will be ready soon. I want to find a [natural] answer for greys.
And finally, if you could share one tip for choosing the perfect colour, what would it be?
CR: It is important for a client to be true to themselves; to embrace their personality and to express it through colour. It is almost vain to want to be somebody else – it will never work. Most of the time, people look at pictures of celebrities and [aspire] to have the same colour, but it is important to take into account eye and skin colour, and stay true to your self. Embrace, accept, and work around your personality.