EXCLUSIVE: Byredo’s Mister Marvelous Redux
Last year, Byredo’s Ben Gorham ventured outside of his collaborative comfort zone to create a new fragrance that was less of a joint partnership and more of a tribute. With the release of Mister Marvelous—a mandarin leaf, neroli flower, green lavender, black amber, and white cedarwood eau—Ben Gorham immortalized a hair hero nonpareil: Christiaan Houtenbos. The Dutch-born coiffing star made a name for himself as an army barber while stationed in Curaçao before moving to New York in the sixties, taking the editorial world by storm in the seventies, serving backstage duties for Calvin Klein and Comme des Garçons in the eighties, and christening the undercut in the process; 40 years later, Christiaan remains one of fashion’s most sought-after stylists. “I’m just a singular character,” he insisted once when we had the pleasure of interviewing him. “I want to live like a painter or a writer who doesn’t have a secretary and just does what he’s supposed to do. [But] people keep asking me all these questions—I might start writing a book for myself.” For now, he’s picked up a pen for a different cause: to personally sign 200 limited-edition boxes of his namesake scent, which has been given an orange makeover—Christiaan’s signature color—and will be available on Byredo’s Web site next week. While Gorham has talked about adding other installments to his Mister Marvelous franchise, for now Christiaan remains the one and only.