Industry News

Choose Beauty: Angus Mitchell

Victoria Wurdinger | July 11, 2011 | 12:20 AM
It’s no surprise Angus Mitchell says hairdressing chose him. What is surprising: He didn’t take the easy route.

Angus' Surpise Secrets

Choose Beauty: Angus Mitchell
Pimping Cars:
“I’m a frustrated mechanic. I collect cars, and if I hear one odd noise, I’ve gotta’ get it fixed. I’m on car websites so much my wife calls it ‘car porn.’”

Guilty Pleasure: Interior design. “I’m always tearing out magazine pages of furniture.”

Heartfelt Cause: The Art of Elysium, which encourages artists to give their time and talent to children with serious illnesses.

Would love a week alone with: “My Dad.”

Angus Mitchell’s latest dictum:
“For a world
without conflict, you must have communication.”

Let’s get right to the misconceptions: Angus Mitchell, the only child of hair care mogul Paul Mitchell, wasn’t born rich or spoiled. “People think I’m a good-time Charlie, but I work 15 hours a day,” says Mitchell of the many false impressions about him. “I grew up in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, with my mother, uncle and grandmother. My dad’s first line, called PM, failed, and he lost a lot of money.”

Still, salons were in Mitchell’s blood. As a child, he’d played in his father’s Superhair salon: its curved walls, created to prevent hair from gathering in corners, were perfect for toy-truck racing. He says he never realized he was surrounded by celebrities (Raquel Welch, Barbara Walters), nor did he know his mother, the first Asian model to grace the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, was famous herself.

When the family moved to Hawaii, Mitchell helped plant Awapui plants in the hot sun. It was only when Mitchell was 13 that Paul Mitchell’s eponymous hair care line finally took off.

“I never took money for granted, and wasn’t the most popular guy in high school,” says Mitchell. “I became popular because I acted in plays. I wanted to become an actor but after a year of college, realized I needed something to fall back on.”

This sparks a recollection that his father, too, had the acting bug, but also had been advised to try a craft. Good thing both Mitchells listened, as the whole world became their stage.

The Son Also Rises

To prove he could make it on his own, Mitchell attended Vidal Sassoon’s Los Angeles school. “People assumed hairdressing would come to me naturally, but it didn’t—imagine being Paul Mitchell’s son at a Sassoon school,” he deadpans.

Having survived the pressure, he learned fast that “No job is too big and no job is too small—details matter.” Those details set apart his own work, he says; its refinement comes from looking at art and pushing his eye.

As will happen, destiny eventually called, and Mitchell joined the JPMS creative team, to which he brings his own multifaceted approach. A true child of dissimilar generational influences, he loves mash-ups, like old-school/newschool music via his friend DJ Soulman. Mashing-up his own responsibilities in 2010, he turned 40, opened Angus M salon in Beverly Hills, and married his long-time best friend.

When he’s not on stage or running his hectic salon, he, his wife and daughter are at his tranquil, 34-acre, wind-powered Macadamia nut farm in Hawaii. His future focus is on family life, he says, and continuing to enjoy the intense variety of a career he loves.

“I can’t believe I have this life,” adds Mitchell. “There’s not a moment I’m not grateful.”

Choose Beauty: Angus Mitchell
Mitchell’s newest collection was inspired by the textures and light reflections seen in metal sculptor Guy Dill’s work, and the curvy lines of ’50s automobiles.

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