What made you seek out this special opportunity with Charlie?
Charlie posted a photo of Mercedes Benz Fashion week on his Instagram asking that if stylists wanted to participate to send him an email w/ their resume and a few photos. It has been a long time aspiration of mine to one day work at MBFW and being that Mr. Price is my hair God… CARPE DIEM!!! I figured what the heck, the worst he can say is great work please gain more experience and apply later.
So at 12am (20 minutes after he posted) I sent him my resume and 3 photos of editorial work I had done at Bellus Academy and UCSD Magazine TREND. Charlie said he had such an overwhelming amount of responses, so I was not only surprised I was chosen, but I nearly lost my dinner from a wave of nerves that were preparing me for the chance to not only meet Charlie but work with him and a team of like-minded Hair Nerds at an event that I have always dreamed of working at.
Give us the basic rundown of what the week consisted of…
The stylist in my group showed up on the 13th to begin their mini boot camp graciously hosted at The Redken Exchange. When I showed up I was greeted by not only Charlie Price but as an added bonus beside him were monumental tylists Ruth Roche, Lisa Vann, and Jill Leitz (who at one point mentioned that she started doing hair right after dirt was invented). Jill had us all sit down, introduce ourselves, and that was where I learned I was surrounded by a peer group of stylist who had 3 to 7 years more experience in the industry than my mere 10 months out of Bellus.
Then Charlie, Lisa, Ruth, and Jill spoke to us about the industry itself. They spoke about their high and low points in their careers, their experiences, how to get where you want to be, the work it takes, and how a stylist goes about working at MBFW. Charlie then talked about The Beauty Underground Artistic Team what it was about, and began to speak on Jay Godfrey, Fashion Week do’s and don’ts, and what to expect. From there we started our boot camp and that’s where I realized everything I thought I knew about a ponytail was about to change.
Yes!!! Now it is show day, and….
We met the next morning at The Pavilion located on the side of the Lincoln Center. Walking towards the pavilion was like the calm before a storm. It was the first time I had ever heard Manhattan so quiet. Maybe it was me and maybe nothing else mattered, but in that moment everything but the wind was still. At 6:13am I walked into to the entrance to be greeted by Charlie and Lisa Vann, and 15 minutes later the hairstylists, makeup artists, models and photographers came pouring in, and the greatness had begun!!! Modern Salon was there, Mia Liguori Mchugh was there and many more.
It went so fast that if you’d told me I was there for 3 hours I’d call you liar. I was there for what felt like 30 minutes and I’m sticking to it. After finishing we were welcomed to go watch the Jay Godfrey show and afterwards I slowly packed up my case savoring every moment of this wonderful opportunity. We all then said and hugged out our goodbyes to each other and just as quickly as it had begun it was over, and I will never forget it.
Favorite NYFW experience.
Seeing the work and the teams it took to make such an event possible. It’s hard to be selfish in that kind of environment when you see how hard everyone works together as a team helping one another, it’s such a wonderful thing to behold and be a part of.
What was most surprising to you about Fashion Week?
How smooth everything went. I expected the 9 circles of hell from Dantes inferno and instead I got paradise. There were no issues whatsoever. I can only assume that that’s what happens with a great team, or we just got lucky, but I’d like to say it was the boot camp as well as Charlie’s advice that had a hand in it. He told us that every model’s hair needs to look like the same person did it, and they really did.
You are a Bellus Academy grad. Do you feel like attending Bellus has opened doors or prepared you in a way other schools perhaps wouldn’t have?
I absolutely do. I’d like to think I was Bellus Academy’s “problem child”, because I feel they had to worked extra hard to help me develop my attitude and mindset as a future professional. Going into Bellus Academy straight out of the Marine Corps, to say I was rough around the edges is an extreme understatement, but they softened me up and gave me the tools, the skills, and one heck of an education to get me started on my journey into the hair industry. They don’t quit on their students and they push you to earn your opportunities so you appreciate them more.
Working with Bellus has given me the opportunity to work on events like Dress and Cover Vintage Fashion Show, Exhibit Ambush, San Diego Fashion Week, and now Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. The school even brings in stylists from all over the U.S. like DJ Muldoon, Oliver Shortall, and many more to show students what there is to accomplish in the industry. I even recall The Hair Nerds paying us a visit sometime in October 2013 and I was blown away. I remember thinking “HEY I FOLLOW THEM!!!” I was so bummed because I never got to take a picture with you ladies, but I figured I could someday earn that picture! I could go on for days about Bellus and how appreciative I am of what they have done for me.
What advice would you give to a Fashion Week first timer?
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, so be fast and efficient because timing is everything. Find your rhythm and pay careful attention to detail, but most importantly teamwork is paramount.
Were you just a tiny bit scared of Charlie? Don’t worry… we all are!!
I wouldn’t say that I was scared of Charlie, but I can say that I was scared of disappointing him. Charlie’s accomplishments are more than awe-inspiring, but I like to remind myself when in the presence of greatness that Charlie is just a man. A very hard-working, talented man, but like you and I he started from nothing once too, and he tells you that. He has the incredible ability to make you feel loved, comfortable, and welcome. He was encouraging, inspiring, and absolutely hilarious. There was never a dull moment with that man and he doesn’t sugar coat anything. He also takes a pretty fierce selfie.
I knew I was a Hair Nerd when…
I woke up at 3am on a Saturday because I was dreaming of a color formula/pattern. Without even a moment of hesitation I grabbed my dollhead, tripod, makeup, and salon attire and drove my hairbrained self to my salon Hair Body & Sol. I unlocked the doors and began furiously formulating and foiling. It was at that precise moment I knew I was either crazy, or just another Hair Nerd.
Justine Werline: @Justinewerline
Charlie Price: @CharliePriceHair
Lisa Vann: @LisaVannTexture
Ruth Roche: @RuthRoche