Harrods Christens Its First “Avant-Garde Hair Director”
London’s inaugural men’s fashion week kicks off tomorrow, and Charlie Le Mindu is hoping to see long locks on the runways. “I hope we’ll get a return to the seventies, when men were hippies and wore long hair like Willy Cartier,” he says. Known for a particularly cutting-edge attitude (Le Mindu can be credited for everything from Lady Gaga’s acid blue dye job and giant lip wig to stylist Anna Trevelyan’s Technicolor locks), the beauty visionary could certainly make it happen. A patron of the Haute Coiffure movement—”when a hairdresser puts all his time and all his ideas into one creation,” the 25-year-old explains—Le Mindu is about to expand his influence in a big way: Harrods just named the Bordeaux-born, London-based stylist-turned-designer the Avant-Garde Director of its Urban Retreat Salon.
Stationed in his own corner of the pristine atelier, which he’s made decidedly Le Mindu-like (human hair hats and leopard-print smocks from his Fall 2012 collection abound), the hair artist not only hopes that his young-and-hip faithful will pay him a visit at his new digs, but that classic Harrods women will take a walk on the wild side, too. “I’d like to work with the ladies who love their big blow-dries, but I want to give them colorful hair,” laughs Le Mindu, who’s been dyeing his own quasi-shaved hair black since the age of 9. Currently taking special appointments and training a team at the luxury department store, Le Mindu will officially launch his Urban Retreat experience next month.
But that’s not all Le Mindu has on his plate. Come October, he’ll unveil a line of cartoon-inspired ready-to-wear wigs (think: Jessica Rabbit), which will weigh in at just under 200 pounds each, and next week, he’ll release a special-edition line of L’Oréal Professionnel Infinium Hairspray called Mademoiselle. “I think it’s going to be quite controversial,” he explains, alluding to the fact that the “M” word is newly outlawed on official documents in France thanks to a growing feminist movement that had it legally banned, citing the fact that there is no male equivalent. (Le Mindu’s hair spray was in production before this turn of events, of course.) Luckily, the man who makes sunglasses out of hair and dresses out of thousands of custom Minx nail overlays thrives on controversy.
“Le Cheveu de Mèche Avec La Science” Palais de la Découverte Paris / Chantal Rousselin; Courtesy of L’Oréal Professionnel