• Photographer: Richard Corman<br><br />
Hair: Michael Angelo
  • Hair: Michael Angelo
  • Hair: Michael Angelo
  • Hair: Michael Angelo
  • Hair: Michael Angelo
  • Hair: Michael Angelo
  • Hair: Michael Angelo
  • Hair: Michael Angelo
  • Hair: Michael Angelo
  • Hair: Michael Angelo
  • Hair: Michael Angelo
Nov 9, 2011

"Center Stage"

Hair by Michael Angelo

Michael Angelo, owner of New York City’s Wonderland Beauty Parlor, has tended to the tresses of celebrities, socialites and anyone lucky enough to fall down his rabbit hole of glamour. A veritable triple threat, Michael is just as comfortable wielding a hair brush, a makeup palette or a professional camera. We caught up with him to chat about his recent ballet-themed shoot for the Sean James Foundation, learn which Oribe product “saved” him and hear what Brooklyn Decker had to say about leaving his chair…

How did you get involved in beauty?

It’s like being a painter or a poet…you’re born doing it. One day someone gives you money and it becomes a livelihood. When I was younger, I had my hands on all of my sister’s Barbies, as well as her hair. I was always the boy in the girls’ room, assisting them with touchups.
I’m also very lucky that my mother was so generous to me. In my early teens when I started experimenting with makeup she gave me one rule: She said, “My makeup is expensive and organized. You can use it but make sure it’s returned exactly how you found it.”

What is your favorite part of being a hair stylist?

I love the one-on-one time with clients and the meaningful conversations. One of my favorite memories is spending time with my grandmother while I did her hair. It was just the two of us bonding.

Tell us about your recent shoot with Misty Copeland, Principle Dancer for American Ballet Theater?

The photo shoot was for The Sean James Foundation, a wonderful organization that provides opportunities for youths to pursue the arts and athletics. It’s such a beautiful thing to merge the arts and athletes. We had Sean James, ex-football player and founder of the Sean James Foundation, and Misty Copeland, who, shockingly, is the first African American principle dancer for ABT. When she mentioned that they do not make pointe shoes in her skin tone, my jaw hit the floor. She was using foundation to change the shoes to match her skin!

The vibe of the shoot was a glimpse behind the scenes. They taught each other their crafts. Misty was practicing and Sean was stretching. We did three different looks on Misty: a deconstructed ballet bun, loose with face framing pieces; an Old Hollywood Rita Hayworth look; and an interpretation of the style found in Richard Corman’s photos of Madonna from the early 80’s.

Sean James Student Athletes Foundation "Athlete Meets Artist" from Bunker Media on Vimeo.

Was this a typical photo shoot for you?

No, this was a rare type of shoot for me. Not in the sense that I was on set, but that I was working with someone who was not a professional model. There is something so charming about someone who doesn’t get to do this every day. It wasn’t a normal stage performance for Misty, but she seemed happy to be in front of the camera…to create something that’s going to last.

Favorite Oribe product?

I used Dry Texturizing Spray to achieve the looks created on Misty Copeland; it saved me!

What inspires you on a daily basis?

I am inspired by the person in my chair and by helping him or her build a self portrait. If you’re not inspired by your clients, you’re doing them a disservice. I ask them questions to get to know them, to get a sense of who they are. That way their hair becomes an extension of them.

One of my favorite compliments came from supermodel Brooklyn Decker. She said, “I love working with you. When I leave your chair, I still feel like a blank canvas.” It makes me happy to know that a client can still be her own person…maintain her own persona.

Misty Copeland and Sean James at B2PRO/Bunker Media

Hair and photography – Michael Angelo for Wonderland Beauty Parlor

Video Direction – Richard Corman

Video Production – Ruy Sánchez Blanco and Carolina Pimenta at B2PRO/Bunker Media

Video Post Production – Bunker Media

Video Executive Production – B2PRO
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