In March 2018, Marie Claire SA hosted the Marie Claire Image Makers 2018 to honour the team of creatives behind-the-scenes. An event that gives recognition to the stylists, designers and artists whose skills, talent and influence make an impact in the South African fashion industry. Saadique Ryklief won the award for Hair Stylist under ‘The Icons’ category, and it’s easy to fathom why.
For starters, if you haven’t seen or heard of Saadique, you’ve probably seen his work for commercial or fashion projects before. Some of the commercial clients you’ll recognise right off the bat are Coca-Cola, L’Oréal, Johnson and Johnson, Wella (Denmark & Holland), Dark and Lovely, Organics, MTN and even The FIFA World Cup Opening in 2010. He has garnered the status as one of South Africa’s (SA) most pioneering hair stylists, thanks to his knack to push the boundaries in hair design.
Fashion wise, he’s been involved in some momentous premier events such as his role as Head of Design (Hair) for The Nokia Face of Africa. He’s also worked at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) 2005-2007, Paris Fashion Week (PFW) 2005 & 2006, and London Fashion Week (LFW) 2008. Furthermore, this hair artiste is no stranger to the world of magazines. His editorial work has become a regular feature under titles such as Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and ELLE, to mention a few. Not to mention, he has worked with Italian and British Vogue as well.
And if he’s working with such notable publications, it’s a given he’s managed a few superstar’s tresses. Saadique has created mane masterpieces for celebrities both in SA and in the international scene. This includes everyone from Pearl Thusi, Charlize Theron and Bonang Matheba, to Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, The Kardashians, Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland and Shakira. But it’s not just models, socialites and celebrities he caters to. Saadique also has royalty on his list, with clients such as the Queen of Swaziland and Princess Charlene of Monaco.
Born in Cape Town, and later relocating to Johannesburg, Saadique started his hair guru career at the tender age of 15. Having identified his passion for hair as early as his primary school days, he began working at the neighbourhood local salon. This marked the beginning of his self-taught journey that now spans over two decades. He later opened his own salon in his 20s. Through that experience, he realised that the fashion industry was in need of hair art. He then made the decision to hone his craft, creatively harmonising hair and fashion through cultivated synergies. While he’s never undergone any professional training, Saadique’s creative predisposition, determination and ardour for his work has become a source of inspiration for the next generation of hairstylists.
And you can credit his authentic nature for his ever growing client list. Despite the body of work Saadique has done, he has relatively limited interviews available online. A move that further illustrates his goal to let his work speak for him. An objective that has paid off, with clients often voluntarily giving him public recognition via their social media platforms. Granted, he approaches hair as a craft which is often guided by his mood, he always considers the person sitting in his chair. He elaborated in as interview with W24, “I always want my clients to leave me feeling like a million dollars and that they trust in my ability and talent.”
Between the fashion and commercial projects, Saadique has already began thinking about the future guards in hair art and design. He has the future intention to create a hair school for the next crop of gifted stylists. That way, he can help to mentor and refine their skills, while leaving behind a legacy for other creatives.
Saadique started from humble beginnings. Yet, through perseverance and fortitude, he has been able to build a star-studded career. He not only learnt about the industry, but also set out to create different methods of creating novelty in hair and fashion. Constantly striving not to be subject to trends, rather, to be the trendsetter the industry can look to. Most importantly, learning to strike the balance between pursuing his creative vision, empowering his clients and grooming the next generation of hair stylists to effectively take the baton and make advances in the fashion industry.