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July 13 2014

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2 posts tagged "Mister Marvelous"

EXCLUSIVE: Byredo’s Mister Marvelous Redux

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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.

Photo: Courtesy of Byredo

Meet Mister Marvelous

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Byredo’s Ben Gorham has shown his enthusiasm for the collaborative spirit on more than one occasion. His cardamom, geranium, incense, and vetiver eau de cologne for Fantastic Man was a smash hit with guys (and girls) when it debuted back in 2009; M/Mink, the flacon he created with art directors extraordinaire, Michaël Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak, drew the likes of Kanye West to its debut; and a host of scents (in both votive and spritz-able form) for Acne’s Jonny Johansson have proved some of the most coveted fashion-show keepsakes around. (We’re still on the hunt for a bottle of Svart Snö, the cinnamon, ginger, lavender, and clove room spray Gorham designed for Johansson’s Fall 2010 presentation, should anyone be looking to unload their stash).

Gorham’s latest launch is less of a collaboration, and more of an homage; Mister Marvelous, a new fragrance concept that will be a recurring series rather than a single release, aims to make a yearly tribute to male friends and colleagues whom Gorham defines as marvelous, as in “wonderful, exquisite, and astonishing with a bit of strangeness as well.” First on that distinguished list is renowned hair stylist Christiaan Houtenbos. Known by his first name only, the Dutch coiffeur had his hands in the hair of some of the biggest names in fashion when he burst onto the scene in the eighties—Grace Jones, Calvin Klein, and a coterie of models, included—and is credited, among other things, for pioneering the undercut. Houtenbos is still racking up styling credits for glossies (his were the magic fingers behind Emma Watson’s slicked-back July Vogue cover), and in his spare time, he busies himself with pottery, some poetry, and the occasional bit of woodworking (there’s the wonderful, astonishing, and exquisite bit). Gorham’s mandarin leaf, green lavender, bamboo, and black amber eau just went on sale on Byredo’s website, meaning that Houtenbos can officially add fragrance muse to his growing list of accomplishments as well.

Photo: Courtesy of Byredo