November 9th, 2015
Charlie Le Mindu is an artist unlike any other we’ve seen. Hairstylist turned designer, his work delights in the outrageous and the shocking, subverting norms and expectations everywhere he goes. From Lady Gaga’s hair bows and working with Peaches and Lana Del Rey to full runway shows and now a book – Haute Coiffure – Le Mindu has come a long way from cutting hair and wigs in the back rooms of Berlin drag shows.
WP: What first sparked your interest in hair?
CLM: Hair is a material that is produced no matter what all the time – by humans , animals, plants. It’s organic and it lives forever. I have always been inspired by eternal organic fabrics and hair is one of them.
WP: Where did you train?
CLM: I trained in a classic French hairdressing school. I was about 13 and I wanted traditional training, I didn’t want anything fancy.
WP: What was the biggest lesson you learnt from doing the hair in the Berlin clubs?
CLM: Time management! When you have 30 people queuing in the dark they do not want to wait, so I’m now extremely fast in doing hair ups and cuts. It was a great experience to do this before going on tour with Peaches, to not drink and cut at the same time.
WP: You’ve worked with some incredible artists, such as Lana Del Rey – what do you look for in people or other artists to collaborate with? How do you approach creating a look for them?
CLM: I look to work with exiting and different people and I love team work.
WP: How did Haute Coiffure come about?
CLM: Haute Coiffure is a term which already existed in France, although it was given a more specific meaning when I started turning hairdressing and sculpture into an art. Being an haute coiffure artist is a very difficult skill and a job where you learn every day, especially given that hair is so difficult to work with. I wanted to bring something different and fun to Paris, because live haircuts aren’t really something that’s done in Paris clubs. It’s something I created 10 years ago in Berlin. We do hair, extensions, and wigs. Anyone can get his or her hair done.
WP: What are your kit essentials? What are your latest discoveries?
CLM: I use lots of different brands and products. My favourite piece of kit is still a good hairspray and gel.
WP: What is the next big achievement or goal that you’re working towards? The next big ‘tick’ on your career checklist.
CLM: I’m working on a lot of exciting exhibitions at the moment. [In the art industry] they adore my work, which is super because I’m recognised for doing art. I would never say that I’m an artist, though. I say that I’m a hair stylist. It’s an amazing form of recognition, which is weird because it’s not a medium in which I counted on or exploited. I was in fashion, but apparently it’s better to do exhibitions with my wigs. It’s true that I find them more beautiful in exhibitions.
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