Thom Walker: “My job is to inspire people”

Textures, aromas or situations that go unnoticed at first glance can mark the path of our future, of our choices. And so it happened with Thom Walker who, with his childish eyes, watched in fascination as his godmother put on makeup, a fashionista lady who in the 80s and 90s loved beauty, fashion and all the details that surround that world. “She had a deep love for the luxury involved in makeup and packaging. It’s definitely one of the reasons I’m doing this,” he notes.

Time passed and Walker is, today, one of the benchmarks in the beauty world, especially since he became, just a month ago, the new Creative Director of Make up at Givenchy.

Born in the north of England, he trained in Paris, worked for the most important magazines and with renowned photographers. Hyper creative and avant-garde, he also went through his palettes with the makeup of celebrities such as Emma Watson, Claire Foy, Mia Goth, FKA Twigs, Rosalía and Kristen Stewart.

“Beauty can be found anywhere and in anything. I like simplistic elements and making that simplicity bold and impactful. That’s why I love all things design, and what fascinates me about makeup is the endless possibilities it offers, whether it’s new product formulas and textures or clever packaging ideas for a more sustainable world of beauty,” he notes.

If she could go back in time, she would have liked to do makeup for Amy Winehouse – “I loved that bold, black and instantly recognizable eyeliner she created” – and dreams of creating art with her brushes with Anjelica Houston, “she is just amazing, especially because of how she plays with her powerful femininity as well as with masculinity”, she assures.

“We are going to continue creating iconic products, telling inclusive stories. I look forward to further defining the brand’s simple and innovative approach to beauty.”

Precisely, and as she expresses in her multiple works throughout her career, for Walker makeup is not a gender issue. “I don’t think it’s masculine or feminine, it has to be for all genders, it can’t be categorized. Especially now, that we are leaving the pandemic behind, we want to show our faces again without masks, we want to get in touch again. Makeup is part of that freedom, it is sensory, it is a way of expression”.

Happy and still very mobilized to be the new Creative Director of Givenchy, Thom takes on the responsibility of carrying on the iconic legacy of the brand. And he is very clear about the message he wants to convey. “When I think of Givenchy, I think of powerful yet simple luxury, timeless and elegant, that wants to push the boundaries of beauty. I share with the brand that love for simplicity and bold modernity, luxury product innovation, and the coexistence of fashion and beauty to create a community. That’s why the Givenchy muse, for me, is timeless, elegant, bold and daring. He is fearless and shocking.”

Absolute admirer of the great Alexander McQueen, iconic Fashion Creative Director of Givenchy in the 90s, Thom still remembers his fashion shows, “as beautiful as they are daring, that’s how I discovered the brand”. Latent inspiration, which motivates him to continue the legacy of the Maison through hard work and innovation. “We are going to continue creating iconic products, telling inclusive stories. I hope to further define the brand’s simple and innovative approach to beauty and enhance the strong sense of community. I have already started working on future product collections and I am very excited to be able to share them”, he declares.

Foundations, masks, shadows or lipsticks, what defines good makeup? What is the beauty routine so that makeup really shines?

“I love the first moment where the model sits in the chair and we start preparing the skin. It is a real opportunity for me to meet the person in front of me. I love polishing the skin, massaging it. I can spend a lot of time doing that, it’s quite therapeutic for me. These skin care are fundamental, you have to treat it kindly. I don’t think there are rules when it comes to makeup. For me it’s about self-expression and how makeup can make you feel.” Thom Walker has a long road ahead of him and he knows that he can inspire many people, not only with his art, his brushes and colors, but also with his own story.

He worked as a salesman, was behind the counter in different businesses and was a freelance makeup artist. “I have come a long way to get here. My job is to inspire people, especially those who started like me, from the bottom. If I could get there, you can too.”

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