Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Industry Icon: There are more but I would definitely say Christiaan and Robert Lobeta.
Career Other than Hairdressing: Music. I play guitar and piano.
Now reading: I go online a lot to explore and read. I am really interested in the zeitgeist, in what people are thinking.
Hidden talent: Writing, directing.
Day Off Pursuits: There are no off days when you are always paying attention.
Title of your autobiography: Now that I’ve made it past 40, it would be "Enough".
Before I hit 40, it would have been called "More".
Michael Baker, Creative Director at Neil TSP, co-director for Serious Business education event, editorial stylist and founder of the 2nd Hand Scissor Project, like a rock star, got into beauty for the girls.
“I was really into girls and when I saw so many of them in beauty school, well, I thought it would be a whole lot of fun to hang out with girls all day. After school, I went to work with one of the coolest salons in Witchita, Kansas with people who knew the difference between great and good so striving to be great always continued in my career.”
One of Baker’s good Kansas friends was a then-unknown makeup artist named Sonja Kashuk. (Today, her namesake line of cosmetics is sold in Target stores around the world.) “Sonja had just moved to New York and she was working with this hairdresser named Christiaan. I told her I would love to be able to watch him work and, one day, Sonya calls and this guy gets on the phone and says, ‘Yo, Baker, write some thoughts, send me some pictures and we’ll see what we can do.”
I spent two and a half weeks writing a letter, took two dozen Polaroids but couldn’t find the right picture to send him. I was in the salon and there was this great image of a model walking down a cobblestone street and there was a quote on it that said, roughly, ‘If man wants to do great work, he has to have ambition for beautiful things and disgust for ugly things.’ So I wrote that down along with a note to Christiaan that said, ‘Christiaan, the universe says I’m supposed to be there, I promise you won’t have to hold my hand, give me a shot.’ Three days before the show, I get a call, ‘Yo, Baker, get your ass to New York.’ And three days later, I’m there and we’re doing Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and I’m holding sweaty bobby pins in my hands. That started my whole career.”