Belfast Telegraph

Friday People: Andrew Mulvenna

The 42-year-old hairdresser is the official hair stylist of the West Coast Cooler Belfast Fashionweek. He lives in Belfast with his civil partner Sean McCann

My civil partner, Sean

Sean and I met in 1988 as teenagers at a gay advice centre in Belfast so we've been together for 25 years and we had our civil partnership three years ago. Sean works as a DJ and produces music so he's at home most of the time instead of out at gigs in the evening.

Sean and I are quite opposite in character. I'm not a great one for social life but he is, so he's the one who plans our nights out. There's a nice balance between us.

My best friend

I'm lucky to have a small circle of very good friends for the last 20 years; Michael, Miranda and Catherine. My partner in crime though was Grainne McSherry. We met when we were 19 working at our first jobs at a hair salon and I think it only took 24 hours before we were best friends for the rest of our time together. Grainne passed away two years ago from cancer which was a life-changing event for me. We used to joke that there were three people in our marriage; me, Sean and Grainne.

My parents, Patrick and Joan

My dad is a retired civil engineer and flying instructor. I remember childhood flights over the Mournes but I never did become an airline pilot as I think he might have liked. Mum was a secretary but she gave it up to look after us. There are five of us in the family; Paul, Stephen, Karen, me and Sarah. We're still a close family. Everyone lives around Moira or Bangor apart from Paul, who moved to Australia about 10 years ago.

Who I go to for advice

I love to take my own advice, but I frequently turn to Sean for another view. I'm interested in having an opinion that's opposite to my own. I always listen to him, but I don't necessarily take his advice.

My mentor

That would be my sister Karen, who was my business partner for seven years. She really taught me the ins and outs of business – how to manage and how to be a good employer. She has since gone on to open her own jewellery business.

My secret crush is ... Robin Wright

Someone who is like a muse to me is actress Robin Wright. She has acted in relatively small roles over the years, but recently she's been starring in a series called House Of Cards. She's almost 50 and looks absolutely stunning. I've been using her as inspiration when I'm styling women of that age. I think she's really starting to come into her own now.

My fantasy dinner party

I would first invite the comedienne Sandy Toksvig because of her wit and intelligence. Next I would ask Grace Jones to add a little bit of chaos. I've been a huge fan of hers since I was about 12 and I've seen her perform quite a few times. She's quite an artist. Next I would have Alexander McQueen because I see him as one of the most influential designers of the 21st century. Finally there would be Stephen Fry. Not just because of his intellect but also because I think he's a lovely person and he speaks his mind.

Belfast Telegraph


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