Fashion & Beauty

Hair by Sam McKnight

A bounty of hairstyles, from nostalgic to androgynous, that have transformed women throughout the past forty years, from the legendary Sam McKnight, one of fashion’s leading hairstylists. With photographs spanning Sam McKnight’s entire career, this book is a dramatic anthology of looks—from retro to androgynous, romantic to sexy, red to platinum—all from the master hairstylist's deft hand. Featured are some of the most iconic images in popular culture—Princess Diana’s short, slicked-back style, Madonna’s Bedtime Stories cover, Tilda Swinton channeling David Bowie, both Lady Gaga and her male alter-ego, Jo Calderone, plus countless editorial stories featuring the ultimate model for everywoman, Kate Moss, in myriad demonstrations of hairstyles. McKnight has won numerous awards and has worked with some of the top names in fashion—Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight, and Mario Testino to name just a few. From ingenues to tomboys, from the girl next door to the Hollywood siren, the book is organized by theme and includes McKnight’s informative commentary throughout. Richly illustrated, it features photographs by leading fashion photographers and styles commissioned by Vivienne Westwood, Balmain, Chanel, and many others. A unique reference book that is at once a glamorous look through the past forty years of some of fashion’s most memorable looks and a style bible for glorious locks.

About The Author

Sam McKnight has been working as a session stylist since the late 1970s and is one of the first hairstylists to carve a career solely within fashion.

Tim Blanks is editor-at-large for the Business of Fashion. He has been covering fashion around the world since 1985.

  • Publish Date: October 25, 2016
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Design - Fashion & Accessories
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 9-1/2 x 12
  • Pages: 296
  • US Price: $65.00
  • CDN Price: $85.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4878-2


"[Chapter in Hair by Sam McKnight] which begins with a gushing intro by Karl Lagerfeld: "There are few artists . . . as gifted as Sam in the worlds of Hair and Fashion," he says, before his silvery ponytail makes way for hundreds of other signature styles, from '80s poof-balls to Linda Evangelista's pixie cut and Lady Gaga's silver locks."
—W Magazine

"Once someone lands in the stratosphere of their career—in Sam McKnight’s case, among the editorial hair legends in the fashion world today—it’s easy to forget what it took to get there. “It seems strange that I actually fell into hairstyling by accident. I should have been teaching French to 10-year-olds,” he writes in his new book, Hair by Sam McKnight. Uninspired by the hippie scene on his college campus in the 1970s, he found an escape by way of his friends’ salon, Josef, where he got his start “doing cuts for kids who wanted a Bowie look or a soul-boy wedge,” he recalls. “Something just clicked. I was good at hair.” The rest, as the book vividly lays out, is history.

"Hairstylist extraordinaire Sam McKnight has compiled a comprehensive anthology of some of his most famous coifs and shares the secrets behind them in Hair by Sam McKnight."
—Harper's Baazar

"Mr. McKnight has had a hand in shaping and shifting our perceptions of some of the most recognizable people of the modern age."
—New York Times

"I’ve had many highlights — meeting Princess Di, growing up with the supermodels, meeting wonderful actresses like Tilda Swinton and Cate Blanchett, and doing all those Vogue covers. I’ve worked with Karl Lagerfeld for about the last nine years, and that’s been an incredible experience and an enormously creative role at this time in my career, in my fifties. I’ve had an extraordinary, amazing time in this business — it’s brought me so much joy. But do you know what? I would honestly say, this week, seeing the response to my book has been really, really wonderful. This month is probably going to be the real highlight of my career. I think I have been very good at grasping opportunities, and I’m really glad that I said yes."
Sam McKnight, New York Magazine

"The hairstylist who has been in the business for 40 years shares his greatest hits—from Princess Diana’s famous short coif to fashion editorials with Kate Moss—in this beautiful Rizzoli book of photographs."
15 of the Most Covetable Fashion Tomes to Hit Bookshelves This Year, Vogue

"For the past 40 years, legendary hairstylist Sam McKnight has cut and coiffed the hair of some of the most iconic women in the world, including Princess Diana, Madonna, and Lady Gaga. He's worked for prestigious fashion houses like Chanel and Burberry, and collaborated with some of the industry's top fashion photographers like Patrick Demarchelier and Mario Testino. Remember when Kendall and Gigi swapped hair colors? Yep, you can credit McKnight for that social media frenzy. Coinciding with the Somerset House's retrospective of the same name, this new book is an in-depth photographic look at the hairstylist's illustrious career. You'll find some of the most memorable images in pop culture, including Princess Diana’s portrait for British Vogue in 1990 and Tilda Swinton as David Bowie for Vogue Italia in 2003."

". . . the celebrity and editorial stylist's new book Hair by Sam McKnight is an anthology of his work spanning throughout a 40 year career. Along with images captured by famous photographers such as Patrick Demarchelier, Mario Testino, and Nick Night that showcase McKnight's famous looks, the hair tome also includes commentary by fashion heavyweights Karl Lagerfeld, Carine Roitfeld, and Tim Blanks. Consider flipping through the coffee table book the anecdote to all future bad-hair days."
Yahoo! Beauty

"When you've played a role in creating iconic imagery for forty years, it's time for you to publish a book. For good reason, legendary hairstylist Sam McKnight is celebrating his decade-spanning career with his first anthology."
CR Fashion Book 

"This amazingly good-humoured and joyous book is a compilation selected from 40 thousand images. They are all superb"
—Colin McDowell,

Author Bookshelf: Tim Blanks

Author Bookshelf: Karl Lagerfeld