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Interview: Stylist Lyndzi Trang

By Pablo BretonFacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily

Lyndzi Trang is a fashion stylist, model and co-founder of ModelURL, a model networking site. She is also Creative Director of Zooey Magazine. We first met Lyndzi as a runway model for a BrightLightsLA show at El Cid in Hollywood. Since then she’s gone on to become a stylist with a very cool collection of work, as well as co-founder of the aforementioned ModelURL. We spoke to Lyndzi about her career path and plans for the future. You can find more of Lyndzi’s work at www.LyndziStyles.com, and follow her on Twitter @lyndzitrang.


IFDaily: So as I recall, we first met you at a runway show at El Cid in Hollywood. It was a great show, though I also recall Beckie and I had some problems with the manager, haha. It seems like you’ve been super-busy since then. Tell us about your journey from model to stylist to website co-founder / Creative Director.

Lyndzi: Thanks Pablo. I somewhat fell into everything I’ve done, but don’t regret a single thing. I appreciate every opportunity that I’ve come across. I remember the runway show back in El Cid, to be honest I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do then.

Modeling was fun but I needed something more promising and stable… I couldn’t stand going to auditions and castings and not know if I was going to get a paycheck that week or not.

I love fashion and clothes. What girl doesn’t? My family came from a background in the textile / fashion industry and after working with many photographers / stylists as a model, I felt that styling was something I could definitely get into. The connections were there, so why not? So I tried it, and I have loved it thus far.

IFDaily: Tell us more about Zooey Magazine and what makes it unique in the marketplace (or why you’re enthusiastic about it in general).

LyndziZooey Magazine is a fashion, lifestyle and entertainment magazine catering to 18 to 25 year old women, printed on 100% recycled paper – a movement we encourage all other magazines to follow. Many of the fashion and entertainment magazines out there are widely dispersed / divided. There’s Teen Vogue andSeventeen that cater to 13-18 year olds and then there’s CosmoMarie Claire, etc. that cater to women 25 and older.

We need a modern voice for young women, especially “college student” aged women.

That generation is so crucial in empowering all things positive, and that’s what Zooeyfocuses on. I was asked to style their September and October issues, and am so proud and grateful to now be their Creative Director, beginning with the current issue. It’s still surreal to see my name on the masthead; I didn’t think something like this would be offered to me so quickly!

IFDaily: How did ModelURL come about exactly? What need does it fulfill, and what makes it different? (And what does a Community Manager do?)

Lyndzi: ModelURL is an ongoing project my friends and I decided to start up.

There are many online networks for the modeling industry, but nothing like ModelURL.

It’s user-friendly, socially active, and combines all the tools and social media outlets that other competitive sites don’t offer. I encourage everyone to sign-up – it’s free and will give you some basic industry knowledge if you’re interested in becoming a model or photographer

My role as a Community Manager means I am pretty much members’ “go to” person, somewhat like “Tom” of MySpace. I am the face of ModelURL, where users can freely write / message me with any questions / concerns they might have regarding the industry and the site.

I like to offer this to them because it’s like saying, “Hey, I am a real person, not some creepy GWC behind a computer.” I also update the newsfeeds and blogs and am active in the Forums to answer any questions that I, well, can.

IFDaily: How did you get started in fashion?

Lyndzi: This question always seems obscure to me, haha.  I feel that everyone has their own sense of fashion; just some people (like me) care about it more than other people. I’m the youngest of five and have three older sisters. So I was lucky to have ALL of their hand-me-downs when I was younger. They always loved to dress me up like I was their own Barbie doll. Each of my sisters has their own unique sense of style and I seem to have grasped all of theirs. My mom was also a Levi Strauss seamstress for over 25 years; sewing the inseams of the classic 501 jeans.

IFDaily: What makes you most excited about the fashion industry today?

Lyndzi: I guess what everyone says: that the fashion industry is constantly changing / revolutionizing.  It never remains the same and every day is a different day.

I feel that fashion has hit one of its high marks in terms of evoking high self-esteem and empowering beauty inside and out to people everywhere.

For instance, celebrities have to take on a lot of pressure from their jobs / gigs, media / paparazzi, yet also be a role model for the viewers that look up to them. Celebrities’ bodies, figures, and how they dress are highly promoted in the news / media outlets.

If I can spark some positive energy with readers because of how I dress my clientele, then I did my job.

IFDaily: What makes you most frustrated?

Lyndzi: Perfectionism frustrates me the most. I tend to stress out when I shouldn’t have to! I was talking to a photographer / friend of mine the other day and we were discussing the pressures of being just “you” at work. I always want to give 110% and make sure I deliver it at all times.  I never want to disappoint myself or other people I work with… and that, in itself, can be frustrating.

IFDaily: In a sentence, what is the key to your success? Or, for that matter, to success in general?

Lyndzi: Success is a state of happiness and knowing that you’ve done, and went out of your way to do, all that you can in life. It’s not a state of content or satisfaction; I can never sit back and be “satisfied” with everything I’ve done. What do you want to accomplish and with whom … with ALL of your life?

IFDaily: On a more personal note, do you have any fun vacations or trips planned? Any fun news?

Lyndzi: Funny you ask! One of my 2011 resolutions is to travel more. This February and March, I will be in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Austin, and Hawaii. All for work and pleasure. I hope to hit Asia the end of this year and expand my styling endeavors overseas!

IFDaily: Have fun!


ModelURLZooey Magazine

Website | Twitter

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Conversation with Hairstylist / Artist Michael M. Haase

By P. Lopez

Are hairdressing and fashion dangerous?

He’s been called the “Simon Cowell of hair” due to his outspoken manner, but anyone can see Michael M. Haase is an artist.

IFDaily: Before I went to France, a French woman told me the philosophy of hair cutting in Europe is different than in the U.S.: that they look at the whole face and body and make the cut around that. Is that true, or is that basically the difference between any good hair stylist vs. a mediocre one? Is there any other difference between European and U.S. hair styling philosophy? What makes a great stylist, vs. a merely
good one?

MMH: The biggest difference between Europe and the U.S. in hairdressing is the professionalism and the training. European trained hairdressers create looks with a more artistic eye to detail for the individual: their bone structure, profile, lifestyle and fashion sense: the complete person. The work ethic is also completely different. The mediocre hairdresser seems to want to be noticed for what they can do and not take as much care in what or how the client feels with their look. A lot of “copy-cutting,” if you will. 
Hairdressing is not just about how the client looks, but helps create his or her persona with the right style and shape.

Between the two parts of the world we should take note of how diluted our skills can become without continued training, which the
Europeans are so good at.

There is a huge difference within the craft between hairstylists working to get by or working for the pure love of the art. I find the latter to be very rare. Passion is something you can’t really teach; you have to be born with it.

IFDaily: It seems like every time I see a youth-market TV show or movie where the lead is supposed to be “dreamy,” he has the same look: basically a version of the Ashton Kutcher cut. (Before That ’70s Show I can’t remember seeing the shag around much except in pictures from the ’60s / ’70s.)

The same is true of musicians: there seem to be two haircuts going around at any given time: the shag and the long-hair-with-beard look. Music, even “indie” music, has become insanely homogenized, the reason being labels (and people!) have become profit “bean-counters” and popularity-mongers. (The “More is better, period” philosophy.)

Do you think the same is true of Hollywood? What do you think accounts for the decline in quality and variety in entertainment choices today?

What accounts for the stylistic and mental super-homogeneity we see all around us?

MMH: The one thing that Hollywood has forgotten about in recent years is true quality in hair and fashion style. “It’s not what you wear, but who,” seems to be one of the big problems as I see it. When celebrities are guided by individuals who feel they know fashion, I always like to see who is the one at the wheel. Most of the time, the one guiding really doesn’t know fashion at all.

I suppose the word “celebrity” has been misused for many years now. Bad behavior in public, drama, etc. in the right place can get you exposed, making you a celebrity for the moment. Our society has become very comfortable with being a celebrity with a lifespan of yesterday’s tweets – and with about as much substance. The style of Hollywood has become very casual because we don’t expect anything else; it’s good enough, at least for the moment.

The “Formula” as it’s called, is created for financial gain: if it sells, it’s good enough. This creates a comfort zone that does not allow the change for Hairdressing or fashion to move forward. The looks remain the same because the folks that guide the celebrity arena seem to be influenced by the hype or fad of the moment; making fashion financial instead of creating movement forward. [Editor’s Note: And in music.]

The birth of the celebrity hairstylist is not for the artistic in the hair industry, it’s for the fame of being recognized. Nowadays, you can be anyone you want on the Internet and in the media, but once you walk through that door, you better have the skills to bring it. Hairdressing is an art that has of late been watered down and misused; everyone wants to be famous. Fame is a matter of importance, not quality.

IFDaily: Fashion is a funny thing, and closely tied to physical beauty ideals. I think it was Andy Warhol who said that back in the ’50s, it wasn’t especially important that models or women look super-young to be beautiful or glamorous. That the “youth-as-beauty” trend was something that came about from the advent of early rock “youth culture” in the ’60s.

To a certain degree, fashion is about giving us choices to express ourselves.

Do you think that when beauty ideals become overly homogenized, it restricts our ability to feel, think and BE in certain ways? Doesn’t that mean fashion can have a dangerous side?

MMH: If properly influenced, fashion and hairdressing can be very dangerous. (Thank goodness!) When you have your own style, people sometimes think you’re weird because it’s different. Most people don’t get fashion. Yet, designers and hairdressers may see this as a fantastic new look and trend that can influence the next seasonal collection. Fashion isn’t about being the same as everyone else, it’s about creating your own style … your own trend.

Youth is of course beauty and it is what we are used to recognizing. However, there is also immense beauty in a mid-aged woman with her own style – the confidence to wear fashion well and have a hairstyle that compliments that style and her personality.

Looking at hairdressing greats like Vidal Sassoon, Robert Lobetta, and Alexander of Paris, you can see how they influenced fashion in hair by creating looks for some of the most famous Hollywood movie stars — the real celebrities of our time.

Without that danger, the creation for hair history would never have been noticed.

Fashion icons such as Betsy Johnson, Galliano, Gaultier, and Alexander McQueen, all have taken their visions to create newness in a very stale environment of “ready to wear.” If not for these and other talented and dangerously thinking individuals, fashion and hairdressing would be wearing sweats with “uggs” over-dried, lifeless long hair in a banana clip, believing this is fashionable.

To have your own style takes guts, you will separate yourself from the crowd.

IFDaily: You have a number of celebrity clients but you’ve said you don’t want to use them to further your career. Is there a deeper personal philosophy behind that, or is it simply out of respect for them? 

MMH: It’s a little bit of both. What Hollywood considers celebrities today is unfortunate because it can’t distinguish the difference between the well-trained professionals and the minute-by-minute wannabes looking for a few minutes in the spotlight. Celebrities that have the experience, the manners, the work ethic, and the social skills that made Hollywood what it was, required a grace that well-trained fashion designers and hairdressers understand. This deserves respect and an appreciation for their art form as they respect ours. It’s a mutual collaboration in beauty. What society today considers a celebrity is quite laughable. The lack of manners and less than spectacular styling, seem to be the flavor of the moment that peole want to be like. It’s really disappointing

Give me Grace Kelly, Charlize Theron, Natalie Wood, and Marilyn Monroe anytime … and you will see real professionals and true elegance in the hairdressing and fashion world. True celebrities.

IFDaily: Returning to our earlier theme, fashion has always tread a line between new-yet-recognizable looks (what it means to be “in style”) and individual expression. What and where is that line? (If it hasn’t been addressed already.)

MMHThe line is created between street style and the couture houses of Europe. The synergy between them is where hairdressers and fashion designers get their influences. The blending of both creates the danger of modern design. And it also creates the history in the making of new trends. There is a great difference between European and American style. The European grace and elegance of street style is much more individualistic than the brand recognition of casual wear in America. It would be nice to see a change to wearing a logo-less garment that represents the individual rather than the corporation.

IFDaily: You support Unite Eurotherapy. What is Unite Eurotherapy? What makes it different?

MMH: I started working with Unite Eurotherapy about 5 years ago. Unite is a premium boutique product brand driven by the fashion industry and supports hairdressers with education.

What made it so unusually exciting for me, was not only did the products work well, but they exceeded what was on the market today.

Whether backstage, on set, or behind the chair, it is a product that allows me to create what I do best with complete confidence. I have always worked with the best and Unite supports me as a hairdresser to move my art forward.

IFDaily: Anything else you’d like to add?

MMH: Fashion style and influence in hairdressing has always been by decades. The previous decade seemed to be very shy of a real “wow” moment in hairstyling.

It would be nice to see the industry remove itself from drama and expose the artisty for what it is … as its own art form.

Sharing the creativity in the fashion world and promoting individualistic style. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing someone walk down the street with the complimentary accessory of a good hair style and wearing self chosen clothing to really make heads turn.

If Hollyood and society in general could count on their own fashion sense to create trends, the diveristy in new trends would be much greater … allowing for more choices.

Why is it that the Oscars have a category for make up and wardrobe, and no category for hairdressing?

Why is it that magazines don’t recognize the hairdresser for the art that it is?

Is it because our skills have been diluted because of the requests of the entertainment industry to not be too forward? Is it because society has chosen that it’s good enough? Or is it because the collaboration between the different disciplines has become a bit insecure?

We must challenge ourselves and the respected industries that we work with so that we can follow along in the lines of the great icons in the beauty and fashion industry.

If we would take our art to the next level, we could be recognized as the masters we are, instead of a celebrity hunting wannabe searching for the same recognition that the C class celebrities have found.

It is so important that we train ourselves with the skills necessary to create a new history for this decade and for that we need the danger of being fashion forward.

That’s hairdressing.
 How can we not be passionate about an industry that has allowed us to change with the seasons and to have the support of the fashion industry?

It’s proof that it can be done and it has been for decades. It’s a beautiful thing, maybe that’s why they call it the beauty industry. 
Hairdressers need to exceed the boring norm and push the limits as fashion designers do to create newness and a history of beautiful hair.

It’s time to set aside the need for stardom and do what we do best on the stars around us.


Michael Haase Website | Unite Eurotherapy

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