• Robert Verdi
  • Robert says of his signature look: 'Overall, it’s very easy to maintain.'
  • Robert attending a fashion show with Eva Longoria and Rachel Zoe
  • 'When I’m styling, there’s usually a strategy behind what I’m having the client wear,' says Robert.

Robert Verdi

The quintessential fashion guru, Robert Verdi is a world-renowned lifestyle expert and celebrity stylist whose client list includes Eva Longoria, Mariska Hargitay, Hugh Jackman, Kathy Griffin and Bobby Flay. In addition to styling memorable red-carpet moments, the effervescent New Jersey native has designed a slew of celebrity homes and weddings, plus hosted iconic shows including “Full Frontal Fashion” – which he co-created – and the Discovery Channel’s highest-rated daytime show, “Surprise by Design.” Verdi now stars in his own pseudo-reality show on the Logo Channel titled “The Robert Verdi Show Starring Robert Verdi.”

We spoke to the multi-tasking style expert about what hair products are best for his no-hair look, what we could expect from a Robert Verdi salon and more.

You’re known for your signature shaved head and sunglasses look – what kind of “hair” upkeep does that entail?What products do you use on your head?

Overall, it’s very easy to maintain. It’s all about sun protection and moisturizing, and other than that, the obvious shaving. I shave with Noxzema, and I use a Gillette Mach 5 razor. When it comes to moisturizers, though, I’m not a brand loyalist. I use products from La Mer, Dermalogica, Peter Thomas Roth and Sisley. Kiehl’s has a great spray-on sunscreen that’s great when you’re bald…not so sure how it is when you have hair.

From interior designer to style expert to television host…you wear a seemingly infinite number of hats. Can you single out any key points in building your brand?

I think the most important thing is being authentic. You have to be connected and interested in what you’re doing and what you’re talking about, or you won’t get the results you’re looking for. It’s the difference between having an orgasm and faking it.

You frequently host Twitter parties in your offices, which you appropriately call Luxe Laboratories. How have they helped your brand?

There’s a constant conversation around the world now. Obviously, you’re not usually limited to 140 characters like you are on Twitter, so it’s an abbreviated dialogue, but Twitter has helped me understand what people are interested in and what’s important for me to talk about.

In terms of branding, the opportunity to have a two-way conversation with people – unlike the one-way conversation you have when you’re on TV – has been great. I can interact and respond, which has broadened my ability to hear reviews and answer questions. Also, Twitter allows you to be more engaged in the conversation, and I think people want to connect with other people, particularly those who have strong opinions and interesting firsthand experiences.

Any downsides to being on a “reality” show?

Yeah, totally. You become un-dateable. I thought being on a reality show would be the best thing to happen to my dating life, but people see you as one-dimensional and don’t realize that you’re not always who you are on TV. I’m willing to be loud, and that’s what they use for the show – the moments when I’m doing these outrageous things – but I’m not always that person. So either people don’t like you because of your TV personality, or they like your TV personality and then are disappointed that you’re not always the way you are on TV.

Favorite celebrity client? Any nightmare client you can share with us?

I’ve never really had a nightmare client because I’m one of those people who runs from nightmares. I’ve always been in healthy, mutually beneficial relationships with my clients. I’ve worked with Eva Longoria for the past six years, and she’s been great. She’s so easy to dress…you could throw mud on her and people will still think you’re a genius because she always looks great.

What is the most challenging part of the client-service aspect of styling? Do you often find yourself getting resistance from your clients about what you think would look best on them?

I’m lucky to have clients who know it’s not worth fighting over. When I’m styling, there’s usually a strategy behind what I’m having the client wear. For example, way before Michelle Obama wore him, Eva was the first person to wear Jason Wu, same with Doo.Ri. I don’t usually get resistance, and when I do I don’t fight about it…but I’m perfectly willing to say, “I told you so,” when the dress the client didn’t want to wear ends up on someone else and gets rave reviews.

If you had free reign to design a hair salon, what would it look like?

Everyone would be bald - just kidding! I think going to a hair salon is an experience not unlike dining out: You’re having your hair done and having an experience with your stylist, but there’s still a community event where everyone can see everyone else.

I think I would have stations that were personality-driven. In most salons, everything is very uniform, with the perfect chandelier, the perfect station, mirror and so on. Women are not all the same, so I would probably have a Rococo situation with a very fancy Georgian mirror and a chandelier…something modern, something country, something Americana with a distressed mirror. I think I would create little experiences that would be as unique as the women who would come into the salon.

The stylists can pick the station that they connect with, and the customers can choose based on the stylist they like or the station aesthetic they most connect with.

What would the stylists wear in a Robert Verdi salon?

I’m all about free expression.

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?

I have a trunk from T. Anthony that opens up into a desk. It’s not my favorite thing, but it’s something that I would have a hard time living without because its serves me so properly.

What is a luxury item you don’t have that you’re dying to acquire?

There are several Piaget watches that are on my wish list. It would be hard to narrow them down, but there’s one that rotates - it has two different faces and the whole dial changes. It’s like magic.

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