Working more than 60 shows at New York Fashion Week, Nathan Rosenkranz learned to style the hair during simultaneous make-up application.
Rosenkranz’s winning mannequin, “Ava” in Matrix’s Mannequin Mania contest.
Past Life: Sang backup for a Nine-Inch-Nails-style industrial band called Silence.txt.
Flash Forward: “My goal is to create an empire.”
Easy Rider: A motorcycle aficionado, he’s also been a snowboarder for 20 years.
The Mix: Even in his reading material, Rosenkranz loves mash-ups, like Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons, which “combines fact and fiction.”
Tattoos: career killer? Nathan Rosenkranz proves talent trumps tats.
As part of their dress code, some salons ban tattoos or require they stay hidden until a stylist is “established.” But Nathan Rosenkranz came to terms with ’tudes about tats long before he entered the profession—back when his mother gave him his Christmas cash with a note that read: “Not for tattoos.”
“She was worried about how people would perceive me,” says Rosenkranz.
Well, Mom can relax: Today, Rosenkranz is the fashion director at the renowned Patrick McIvor Color Studio in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a winner of the Matrix Mannequin Mania contest, an accomplished platform artist, a frequent backstage talent at NYC’s Fashion Week (Betsey Johnson, Diane Von Furstenberg, Tadashi Shoji) and a respected cutting and styling specialist who frequently shares beauty tips on WFMZ’s Channel 69 News segments. Did we mention he’s still under 40?
Rosenkranz grew up in Southwest Philly where his extended Irish Catholic family socialized him fast. He tried architecture in college and liked the art part— the math, not so much. So he chose beauty and post-graduation got a gig at Calista Grand Salon, where owner Sheri Cowan inspired him to excel. “She’s my personal hero,” says Rosenkranz, “She always said, ‘In 10 years, you’ll teach me.’”
Eventually, he was recruited by McIvor. When he told McIvor he was going to enter and win the Matrix Mannequin Mania’s Friends and Family category, he created a revealing three-step plan for success:
1. He had four months to enter, so he studied what other entrants did for the first three. Few did fingerwaves, so he knew they would make his entry stand out.
2. To go above and beyond, he used 41 wefts and fitted them to the head for layers of fingerwaves. (Most entrants used mannequin heads with implanted hair.)
3. Stepping it up, he used a full-body mannequin and enlisted friends (a photographer and one with great fashion sense) to help with his shoot.
For his semi-final and category wins, he won a total of $26,000, a portion of which he spent on an engagement ring for his girlfriend, which he presented in Paris.
For the artistic individual, meaningful coincidences can get downright idiosyncratic. Recently, Rozenkranz’s mother, who has long realized that people like him for who he is, tattoos and all, announced that at the age of 68, she’d like to try a tat herself.
Maybe it’s not so surprising she wants to “own it,” since that’s her son’s mantra.