Among the top models, designers and celebrities at Milan and Paris fashion weeks this month there will be a stylist from Armagh working behind the scenes to ensure there isn’t a hair out of place.
It will be the third run of fashion shows for Helen Reavey, who has had a whirlwind year, working with A-list clients including ex-Friends star David Schwimmer, and pop group Little Mix, having moved to New York to pursue a career in the fashion industry.
Now working as a session stylist - a freelance hair stylist who covers fashion and magazine shoots, runway shows and music tours - the 31 year-old is living the dream she had when she was just a little girl.
Having trained at Newry tech 10 years ago, Helen worked in the city before moving to Dublin to take up a job with Peter Mark, and from there she said her aspirations to become a hair stylist in the world of fashion really took off.
“I had actually met a lady who had worked at New York fashion week,” she said. “She invited me over. I met her at a competition I won in Dublin and went to London to do a show. That’s when I decided to make a move.”
Since then Helen has worked with Kendall Jenner, of the famous Kardashian clan and male model David Gandy for major advertising campaigns.
Though her career may sound incredibly glamorous - aside from the 4.30am wake-up calls for the 6am shoots - it is clear Helen is not in it for the showbiz perks.
“I’m not into the celebrity side of it,” she said. “I just love doing my work and if it’s a good shoot with good people and I get to see nice places that’s what I’m more interested in.”
Rather than mixing with the A-listers, Helen has a stand-out moment in her career to date that is firmly lodged in her memory.
“My most memorable moment was whenever I went to do Fendi in Milan last year,” she said. “We were prepping the hair until about four in the morning and then we arrived at the Fendi show and I met Karl Lagerfeld for the first time and then I see the girls walking down the catwalk with the hair that I had prepped. That’s a very special moment for me as a hair stylist, to see my work on the stage like that.”
Fresh from New York Fashion Week Helen, who lives in Manhattan with her fiancee Colm Mackin, enjoyed a short trip home before getting back to work as the fashion shows continue through to March.
While she misses friends and family back home in Northern Ireland, Helen describes New York as the place she wants and needs to be for her career at the minute.
“Life in New York is amazing,” she said. “I love the atmosphere, the positivity, that bit of magic that you only get in New York. I fell in love with the city the first time I came here.”