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Oribe

In 1992, The New York Times noted that runway hair, once designed to show off the clothes, had itself become a big deal. The occasion was a Chanel show at which the deliberately disheveled hairstyles created by Oribe, already a lauded "top stylist" and "hair maestro”, received as much attention as the clothes; Oribe had even obscured the faces of some of the models with hunks of hair. "All Karl Lagerfeld, the designer, asked me to do," Oribe told the newspaper, "was make the girls feel wonderful—and they did." Who would have guessed that the next hair legend would be the one-time bad boy from Cuba with the movie star good looks and the tattooed sleeves? Today one can't know fashion without knowing Oribe. He has defined the notion of fashion over the course of a career of unprecedented longevity and scope. Oribe's combination of session, celebrity and salon work spans over three decades, and he is always in the right places with the right people at all of the right times. Oribe working with Steven Meisel and François Nars. His collaborators include countless photographers, like Bill King, who introduced him to the fashion editor Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, a co-conspirator during his Steven Meisel years, who went from French Elle to American Vogue taking Oribe with her. There was the meticulous Irving Penn, who Oribe still refers to as Mr. Penn; Richard Avedon, who Oribe collaborated with as early as Avedon's time at Self magazine; Helmut Newton, who shot Cindy Crawford for American Vogue with hair that Oribe teased to infinity; and others like Patrick Demarchelier, Annie Leibovitz, Herb Ritts, Francesco Scavullo and Horst. Oribe has worked with creative directors like Fabien Baron and Keesha Keeble (who introduced Oribe to Meisel); make-up artists like François Nars, Pat McGrath, Kevyn Aucoin and Stephane Marais; and fashion designers like Gianni Versace, a mentor who inspired Oribe’s tattoos, and Karl Lagerfeld, who took the rock and roll hairstylist under his wing. All told, Oribe has contributed to just about every major magazine and worked on just about every major fashion show (he was one of the first American hairstylists invited to style the European collections). And then there are the models, the celebrities and the icons he transformed who won’t be mentioned here, save for Diana Ross who showed Oribe how to really secure a wig. Christy Turlington for Comme des Garçons. Photographed by Steven Meisel. Hair by Oribe. It began for Oribe in the late-80's, when fashion became fashion and its producers sought out its uncharted extremes at high speed. It was the start of an era-defining five-year collaboration with the photographer Steven Meisel. Theirs was a magical combination that demanded notice almost immediately, beginning with an image of Christy Turlington, then still a teenager with a career just as young, as a wide-eyed fawn for a Comme des Garçons ad campaign and catalogue.

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