Life Ball is celebrating its 25th anniversary. What does that mean to you?
Christian Sturmayr: The Life Ball means a lot to me, and above all I have so many wonderful memories of the past years. We’ve been a part of it for more than 15 years now, so naturally I’ve experienced a lot of moments that mean a lot to me. Of course, I’m always very aware and mindful of the fact that the Life Ball arises from a very serious subject matter, so my thoughts about it are also very closely linked to this.
How did your collaboration with the LIFE+ association come about?
Christian Sturmayr: It has come about over the years. In the early days we were employed as Wella artists, and this led on to us supporting the Life Ball as sponsors ourselves.
Why do the Life Ball and Coiffeur Sturmayr fit so well together?
Christian Sturmayr: The Life Ball is by definition an extremely creative event at which hair, too, of course, plays a very big role. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us and all our staff there to unleash our creativity and create elaborate hairstyles, drawing inspiration from the unique ambiance and fancy themes. We also take great pleasure in the fact that we’re working for a good cause.
Putting together the Style Bible at the original “Sound of Music“ locations wasn’t just a challenge for the models. How do you manage to keep the hairstyles so flawless when you’re at so many different locations on the same day?
Christian Sturmayr: Thanks to committed employees. This year the thanks goes to Daniela Baumann, manager of our very own Sturmayr Academy. At our end Daniela had technical responsibility for the hair part of the shoot. She and the team spent several hours every day of the shoot working on achieving the perfect styling. Every year we have many stylists from our salons all over Austria here, and we’re always delighted to have so many fabulous and committed employees in our team.
You have travelled all over the world and been to countless fashion shows and events. What do you think makes the Life Ball so unique?
Christian Sturmayr: What makes the Life Ball so unique for me is that this huge event – so unique and flamboyant, yet it devotes a great deal of attention to a very important issue, and moves people from all over the world. It also shows us in a very open and liberal light, which I believe is a very positive thing. For me personally it’s always lovely to meet up again with colleagues and friends I know from fashion weeks around the world, who also return to work for the Life Ball every year.
What do you think constitutes the perfect Sound of Music-themed Life Ball look for 2018?
Christian Sturmayr: The theme knows no bounds. It goes without saying that it shouldn’t be all folksy, but rather have a slightly more distinct and creative edge to it. I think that the theme leaves a lot of scope, and certainly gives the licence to be very diverse and colourful. It’s certainly up to each individual to interpret it as they see fit, and that’s what Life Ball is all about.
Are there hair styling no-no’s for the Life Ball 2018?
Christian Sturmayr: I think that it’s up to each individual. The Life Ball means that you’re open to everything. The most important thing is that you can explore the theme yourself and let your creativity run wild. The Life Ball certainly doesn’t want to restrict people, but rather encourage freedom.
Are there are appointments available at your salon in Vienna, or are all the slots leading up to the Life Ball already fully booked?
Christian Sturmayr (laughs): There are still some left, if you hurry!
Did you discover a “new” personal favourite place in SalzburgerLand whilst working on the photoshoot?
Christian Sturmayr: No. I can honestly say that I love Salzburg and although I’d been away for so many years, Salzburg has become THE absolute favourite place for me. I like being in the mountains or at the lakes, I know what Salzburg stands for and what I appreciate it for. As someone from Salzburg you get to know the locations of the photoshoots at an early age, but there really are so many more beautiful things to experience.
Do you have a personal connection with the Sound of Music, and when did you first see the film?
Christian Sturmayr: I first saw the film in secondary school, and should also say that I like the film. It may well come across to us Austrians as “normal“, but of course you have to look at it in an international context. Whilst I was living in America, I became aware of what this film sparked in people, and the effect that it has on them. It’s a Christmas film that the whole family watch together, and as a result it’s a terrific advertisement for our country that’s made us famous the world over. We’re always talking about “Mozart“, but the “Sound of Music“ arguably plays a larger role in tourism. Even when I was in the Australian jungle, the bus driver, after receiving the answer “Salzburg“ to his question as to where I was from, spent two hours singing every song to me. I thought, that’s just bonkers! But you have to admit that this film is a great advertisement for us and, above all, SalzburgerLand.
And finally, some insider information. Are you able to divulge a few details about the outfit you’ll be appearing in at the Life Ball?
Christian Sturmayr: Since we’re actually working for much of it and we’re not putting the focus on ourselves, but instead directing all our concentration on the fashion shows and production, nothing special. Usually the international makeup team will spray a bit of glitter on my face, but unfortunately there’s not really much else. As for the rest of it, I’ll think about it closer to the time.