Star stylist and salon owner Ted Gibson’s mantra is, “Nice guys don’t
finish last.” Here, he shares how he proved it to the world.


Ted Gibson, The Nice Guy
Whether in the
salon or working
at Fashion Week,
always listen to
the client, says
Gibson. Who he’d
most like to
listen to
during a
week alone:
Nelson
Mandela.



Hairdressing
leads to exciting
international
travel, says
Gibson. Here, he
styles Academy
Award-winning
French actress
Marion Cotillard
in Morocco.


Asked how others habitually describe
him, Ted Gibson says
proudly, “As a nice guy.” He pegs
himself as “shy.” How then, did he end
up working runway shows for the likes
of Prada and Dolce & Gabbana, styling
the pinnacles of star power (Angelina,
Anne Hathaway), hosting TLC’s What
Not To Wear and planning 2011 platform
shows across the country? Respect,
discipline and knowing what
he wants, says Gibson.


A former “army brat,” Gibson
learned appreciation for diversity at
an early age. His biggest influence
was his mother, who taught him respect.
His most powerful memory is
when his father made him play baseball
in Japan.


“I didn’t want to do it but I ended
up being really good at it,” recalls Gibson.
“Sports taught me discipline.”


Flash forward to the Texas native’s
U.S. return. When he saw the car,
clothes and success a hairdresser friend
had he asked about the profession, and
his pal told him, “Do it; you’d be great.”
It was later, says Gibson, that he learned
how “beauty changes lives,” also the
name of an organization for which he is
spokesperson.


A Beautiful Career


Gibson spent several years at Aveda,
which led to fashion, editorial and
runway work; he never wanted to be a
“celebrity” stylist—back then it had a
stigma. When a culture shift made it a
must for doing magazine covers and he
styled Angelina Jolie, his entire career
changed, he says. His New York salon
was followed by a product line and a
Washington DC salon, where “the new
administration made it a better place
than LA to make a difference.” Gibson
plans a Ft. Lauderdale location next, in
the W Hotel.


Ted Gibson and Angelina Jolie share a
moment. “Keep your fist open; not balled-up;
what you give always comes back,”
he says of success.


Gibson styles actress
Anne Hathaway.


A fitness aficionado who exercises
daily, he immensely enjoys how his own
celebrity dismantles stereotypes.


“When I’m with Angelina, people think
I’m the body guard,” he laughs, “I tell them
‘no, that’s a hairbrush in my pocket.’”


With his 2011 platform shows, Gibson
hopes to help other stylists eclipse his
$950 cuts. Anyone can do it, he says: get
known by the local press, focus on service
(not yourself), set key goals, be clear
about what you want and assist a mentor.


A mentor himself now, he works with
Year Up, an organization that “closes
the opportunity divide,” by providing
urban young adults with technical and
professional skills, internships and college
credits.


“Now, it’s about me giving back,”
says Gibson. “I want to be an example
and show young people an incredible,
creative career alternative to corporate
life. I love what I do; it really does
change lives.”


Ted's Surprising Secrets


His Wonderful World: A loner and
professed “Gleek,” (fan of TV’s Glee)
Gibson says if he hadn’t been a hairdresser,
he’d have been a singer—
“Sam Cooke!”

Best Read: The Art of War

Guilty Pleasures: “Watching The
Little Mermaid and Mulan.”

Fave Inspiration: Classic films