Hairstylist Matt Benns thinks every man should own a handbag

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A longtime figure in the Aotearoa fashion scene, hairstylist Matt Benns is now enjoying success overseas.

Emma Anderson/Supplied

A longtime figure in the Aotearoa fashion scene, hairstylist Matt Benns is now enjoying success overseas.

Matt Benns began his hairdressing career in Auckland, as a salon apprentice to famed New Zealand stylist Stephen Marr. From the salon floor, he worked his way up to creative director of the company and, simultaneously, successful local beauty brand Sans. [ceuticals].

He spread his wings in 2016, moving to London and eventually New York to work with Australian haircare brand O&M.

While Matt was working in New York, he was approached by international celebrity and editorial hairstylist Jawara Wauchope, and ended up becoming her first assistant. Under Wauchope’s mentorship, Benns learned various new skills and worked with clients such as Proenza Schouler, Marc Jacobs, Mauve magazines, Dior and Versace.

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Benns colored Naomi Campbell and Beyonce’s hair, and he’s responsible for Lorde’s hair for all his Solar energy videos.

His work focuses on creating singular looks while working collaboratively, and he has a keen eye for other talented designers and makers from home in Aotearoa and abroad.

Five things I own and love: Loewe Puzzle Bag

Things

Five things I own and love: Loewe Puzzle Bag

Five things I own and love

1. Loewe Puzzle Bag

I started a collection of handbags. I say it here, every man needs it!

This is a really special item for me, as my partner Rhys gave it to me for Christmas. I love its cuboid shape and how it can be worn five different ways, from a shoulder bag to a clutch.

To me, Loewe is chic and complements any outfit. It’s also the perfect size for our Yorkie Lilly teacup, it fits in there perfectly and I can take it anywhere.

2. Jean Y Project Front Panel

My favorite pair of jeans that I beat. I love how they look from every angle. It’s a classic fit jean with attached panels that run down the front of both legs.

I put on my favorite T-shirt or sweater, then sneakers or my Jil Sander boots and it’s a good time.

Five things I own and love: Y Project Front Panel Jeans and Curio Noir 415AD Clay Candle

Things

Five things I own and love: Y Project Front Panel Jeans and Curio Noir 415AD Clay Candle

3. Curio Noir 415AD Clay Candle

Home wouldn’t be home without one of Tiffany’s candles. Every time I light this candle, it brings me home, and right now, home seems even further away because of quarantine rules.

415 AD has notes of tomato leaves, Iranian galbanum, Somali olibanum and more.

We light Curio candles whenever Rhys and I have guests over. It fills the room with its subtle fragrance and makes the room warm, inviting and sexy.

4. Frederique Mallé scent Extraordinary Vetiver

If you know me well, you know how important perfume is to me. A subtle scent completes every outfit.

Extraordinary Vetiver is the essence of an extraordinary man, magnetic without even seeming to try; every gesture is imbued with a sense of humor and sophistication, not harsh, garish masculinity. How not to want to be that?

Five things I own and love: Frédéric Malle Scent Vétiver Extraordinaire and the Noguchi Akari L8 lamp

Things

Five things I own and love: Frédéric Malle Scent Vétiver Extraordinaire and the Noguchi Akari L8 lamp

5. Noguchi Akari L8 Lamp

My favorite room in our apartment. Noguchi’s work is both subtle and bold, traditional and modern.

He is famous for his heavy stone garden sculptures carved from marble, basalt and granite, but his lightweight Akari paper sculptures are the perfect finesse for apartment living.

They were originally developed in 1951 using traditional Japanese materials and are still produced today. So simple and elegant!

Things I wish I had

a. Zac Langdon-Pole, Translatio Studii (Western Civilization Does Not Exist)

I like the ceramic fragments held together by brass staples. It’s so beautiful, the sculptural practice of found and made artifacts of all scales and ages, all connected.

b. Greek chain necklace by Sophie Buhai

I like jewelry to be less assertive. I like subtlety, that’s why I like it. It’s a modern take on a classic chain necklace, with interlocking rectangles.

vs. Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41

I don’t own a watch yet and won’t settle for anything unless it’s a Rolex.

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