This gorgeous gal is Dominique Earle-Coppola, an image designer at Newton’s Fulgenzio Coppola Image Design Salon in Newton, MA. I was so intrigued when we met that I had to share her story with you. Read on to find out why.
1. Question: Why is Fulgenzio Coppola’s called an Image Design Salon? What is an “image designer”?
Answer: I use the term “image designer” instead of hair dresser because what I do is so much more comprehensive than cut and color hair. During a consultation, I ask my client in-depth questions about their style and makeup preferences, as well as their daily beauty habits, which allows me to suggest styles that really compliment their personality. For example, if they share that they like to wear dark, dramatic makeup, I would suggest blond hair because the light would compliment the dark instead of fighting with it for attention.
When I ask them about their daily beauty routine, I also get a feel for how much time they’re willing to invest in their hair, which will guide my style choices. If they simply blow dry their hair and pull it up in a ponytail, I wouldn’t suggest bangs because bangs need to be properly styled every day to look their best.
2. Question: What do you love most and least about being an image designer?
Answer: The most rewarding feeling in the world is knowing you made a client feel so good about herself, especially young girl, that she leaves the salon feeling like a million bucks.
What I like least is the stereotype that unfortunately still exists of beauty industry professionals; we are looked down upon as shallow, vain, uneducated people who are obsessed with our physical appearance and have no interest in anything intellectual. I am still haunted by the memory of my high school guidance counselor; in a meeting one day about my future career choices, she laughed when I said I wanted to become a stylist because she didn’t think that was a “real” job, much less a career path with growth potential. She then proceeded to sing “Beauty School Dropout” from the movie Grease, which led to me leaving her office humiliated and in tears.
People like her simply do not understand the power of one’s appearance, not only to others but to yourself! No one, woman or man, can tell me that they don’t hold their head just a little bit higher and walk just a little more proudly when wearing a great new outfit or rocking a fabulous new hairstyle. If appearance truly didn’t matter, why would we put so much effort into dressing for a date or a job interview? It matters!
3. Question: Can you describe the biggest fashion disaster you’ve ever seen and how you fixed it?
Answer: Boxed hair color is my greatest enemy, especially when touching up regrowth. One client was a dark brown with gray regrowth and she tried to go sandy blonde with boxed color, which also happened to be expired! She rushed to the salon in a panic when it turned her roots a metallic, brassy orange. If that wasn’t bad enough, she also tried to give herself bangs simply by combing her hair in front of her face and chopping it off, which left her with choppy layers all down the back of her head. I had to strip her hair by bleaching it out and then cut it to the shortest layer to repair the destruction left by her bang adventure.
Everyone, PLEASE don’t cut your bangs at home or use boxed color, especially if it’s expired! There is a reason why it costs more than $7.99 at a salon; you get what you pay for.
4. Question: Since you’re not plus size, how would you assure plus size clients that you truly understand their unique concerns?
Answer: If a plus size woman asks for a certain makeup look or hair style to look slimmer, it’s just like a 60-year-old wanting to look younger; certain styles work better for different features, whether those features are caused by weight, age, or anything else.
5. Question: What are some style tips you would share with us curvy girls?
Answer: No bangs! Bangs accentuate a fuller face. If anything, do a side bang.
Too-long hair hanging without shape also makes your face look fuller. Creating shorter layers while keeping the length creates more bounce, volume at the roots stops hair from hugging the face, and adding highlights creates dimension. Rule of thumb: the bigger the hair, the slimmer your face looks.
During a consultation with a curvy woman, I show them a book of women with face shapes similar to theirs wearing different styles, so they get an idea of how a certain style will work on them.
6. Question: What would you say to critics who claim that encouraging women to accept their bodies will add to the obesity epidemic?
Answer: First, mind your own business because it’s not your life. Second, you can’t force someone to change themselves. They need to love themselves first; by telling them to lose weight you’re depressing them. For the record, I don’t think curvy is the same as obese.
7. Question: What are your hopes for yourself, Fulgenzio Coppola’s, and the fashion and beauty industry over the next 5 years?
Answer: Within the next 5-10 years, I definitely want to open up more locations in the Boston area, especially on Newbury Street, since everyone has such unique styles in that neighborhood.
On my own, I want to do more fashion shows in different cities around the world. I don’t want to just be known as “the hairdresser from Newton”.
I hope the industry will someday soon accept everyone. I’d especially like to see more curvy people and more people who are not celebrities gracing the covers of top magazines.
I firmly believe that in order to be successful in any industry, one must adapt to change, especially in the ever-evolving fashion and beauty industry, so no matter what I do or where I go, I will always make it a top priority to stay up to date on relevant trends, technologies, and people