Backstage

  • Tony Lucha
  • Emma Roberts, styled by Tony
  • Credit: Conde Nast Traveler
  • Tony styles Hollywood A-Listers like Kim Kardashian
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Tony Lucha

Tony Lucha’s been around the hairstyling block. From primping some of Hollywood’s hottest A-listers to creating spreads in glossies including Harper’s Bazaar, Allure and Vanity Fair, Tony has earned his bi-coastal street cred. After sharpening his skills in L.A. and New York, he now calls Miami home and runs his own salon, Lucha Studio.

We chatted with Tony about breaking into the industry, using red-carpet secrets at home and fool-proofing his strategy for editorial shoots.



How did you get your foot in the door with hairdressing?


After college, I worked at Alan Edwards salon on Rodeo Drive. It was amazing to work at a place that was so professional. One day, completely out of the blue, I knocked on the door of an agent on Melrose. She told me to take any free work I could find and took down my information. Two weeks later, she called me for my first shoot with Seventeen magazine.

How has the industry changed since you got started?


I think the biggest change is the saturation of people—models, fashion designers and makeup artists. Everyone who works at a salon wants to do photo shoots now. Agencies used to be more refined with models, and the girls they picked for shoots were supermodels.

What’s your favorite part of your job?


I love getting to create something and making sure all the pieces fit to form a story. I like styling editorials, celebrities, and in the salon because I get to do a little bit of everything, and I think it’s important to work as part of a team to build relationships with both photographers and clients.

Any tips for stylists just getting started?


Be professional, listen and be on time. On photo shoots, you have to really listen to what the story is going to be so you know exactly what to do.

It’s about working as a team, not about you. The worst is when someone leaves unhappy. Everyone is entitled to their own style and should be comfortable and happy about the final look.

You’ve worked with many celebrities. Any favorites?


Gwyneth Paltrow and Drew Barrymore were so down-to-earth and fun to work with. Recently, I’ve been working with the Kardashian sisters. I did the hair for the second season of their television show down here in Miami, and now they call me whenever they’re in town.

Have there been any crazy celeb stories?


No, I’ve been very lucky to work with everyone I have, most of which have been amazing. When I first got started, I was so starstruck by photographers that I was working with like Herb Ritts, Patrick Demarchelier and Annie Leibovitz, because I already knew their names and their work.

I remember going into Francesco Scavullo’s studio and seeing all the Cosmo covers with Brooke Shields and Barbara Streisand and just being in shock of his work.

What’s your number one rule as a stylist?


Having a strong relationship with clients is absolutely necessary. I want people to feel comfortable when they come to see me.

Do you have a go-to hairstyle for women?


I love full hair that moves. I like seeing a woman look sexy with bouncy, shiny hair from big rollers that she can run her hands through and feel like a million bucks.

Where do you find inspiration?


Old movies, art books, museums and magazines. I like to look at retro styles and give them a modern twist. If you look at each decade there is something that you can pull into today, but I especially love the 1950’s.

Your favorite Oribe product?


I love Dry Texturizing Spray. I also reach for Crème for Style when blow-drying because it’s moisturizing and has an incredible shine.

- LAUREN JOHNSON

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