Creative Chops with Lina Arrojo

Lina Arrojo, ARROJO Creative Director, Master Stylist, Mentor and Educator has been with ARROJO since 2003. Lina has credits for New York Fashion Week, Sundance Film Festival, and was named one of the top New York City stylists by Allure Magazine.  We caught up with ARROJO’s resident creative to talk upcoming collections, where she gets her inspiration from, and what’s next for the brand.
 
You have been with the brand since the early days. Tell us about your journey?
 
I started in 2003 when Nick moved the salon to Varick Street, coming from Vidal Sassoon where I was for 11 years. I came to work for Nick as a leap because I believed in him and I believed in his vision for ARROJO.  It’s all here and it’s all happening — 14 years later, it’s still growing!
 
I love haircutting, I love creating, and I love conceptualizing. I got a lot of fundamentals from Sassoon, but here at ARROJO Nick has allowed me to grow exponentially. I love cutting hair but to me it’s not just about that, it’s about the bigger picture. My creative journey is still a journey, because I’m not done yet.
 
 
Speaking of creativity, how did you get into your role as creative director?
 
Nick saw that creative direction was really my strength at ARROJO. He gave me the opportunity to take the brand and run with it. He saw my taste level really fits into what he was trying to achieve and allowed me to do my thing. Nick is a great cutter, a visionary, and an amazing businessman, so he really stepped aside with creative direction because he saw I could create his vision.
 
 
What has been your favorite collection to concept and direct so far?
 
My favorite collection is the next one I’m going to do.  I love working and conceptualizing. I don’t have a favorite collection because everything has its own story and is memorable in its own way. 
 
 
As the creative director of a brand that is defined by its creative output, where do you get your inspiration from?
 
It can be from anything. Now with social media, I see things all the time, there’s so much more available. Whatever I like I screen shot. I remember back in the day I would just go through magazines and tear out the pages. Now we do things digitally. The Web is an infinite resource for anyone looking for creative stimulus. 
 
I’m influenced by what’s around me and what attracts me in the moment. I’m the type that puts a puzzle together from the inside, I don’t start at the corners or the edges, I start with the essence of what I want to create. 
 
 
What about the next collection, can we have a little teaser?
 
Right now, I’m really inspired by projection and things on a 3D level. I’ll just leave it at that. I don’t want to lock myself into things. I’m happy to have an idea and ultimately end up with something totally different. 
 
 
What is your favorite role? Creative Director, Hairstylist, Educator? And why?
 
I love it all. I feel lucky that I get to have all these creative outlets. It’s great that I can conceptualize a photo shoot— I can inspire someone and someone can inspire me. It’s very rewarding teaching— seeing a light bulb turn on while teaching a student. I love working with my clients, having a good laugh, and making them feel good & look good. I’m truly blessed to do it all. 
 
 
Having worked in all of the salons, can you give each salon a collection name based on its vibe? 
 
SoHo is the heartbeat. It’s the beginning, it’s the mother ship. There’s a lot of people coming and going. A lot of energy. Tribeca is amazing. There’s a great team, a bit more of a mellow vibe. People there are confident in what they do. And then there’s Williamsburg. It’s cool, it’s hip, it’s Brooklyn.
 
 
What is next in terms of hair trends?
 
Trends are trends. People are people. It’s so great that you can just be your own chameleon. You can be mod, bohemian, punk; I believe more in individual expression than trends. 
 
 
Last but not least, who is your celebrity style inspiration?
 
I don’t have a favorite at the moment, but maybe old school Madonna. Kudos to anyone that’s out there pushing it forward and having a voice. I like people who put it out there. 
 
 
To book an appointment with Lina at SoHo or TriBeca, call 212.242.7786
To see more of her hair work, check her out on Instagram. 
To see her creative eye, check out the ARROJO collections she’s directed over the years— sugar candy, cosmic pop, sonic boom, nocturnal, sou'win, deconstruction