I’m often asked how I came to be in America. Honestly, I’m not terribly impressed by myself, but when I think about myself as a 15 year old boy starting work in the intimidating atmosphere and ambience of René of Mayfair, I don’t even have words. I don’t even know how I got to the subway station. And a lot of people think I’m from South Africa, because I lived there for five years, but it was more of a passing stop – a very pivotal stop that affected my whole life. Bumble and bumble in South Africa was essentially a test run before I came to America.
Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of Surf Spray’s launch. I was recently going through my photo archive and stumbled upon a collection of photos from a pre-launch shoot we did in Miami in 2000. There was a certain texture of hair I’d always liked that was perfect for showing off the way we cut hair at Bumble. Our razor cutting technique, created by Howard and Raymond McLaren and myself, seemed to go together with this idea of a salt spray. Howard perfected this technique way beyond the scope of anyone else, and it became part of the Bumble arsenal. Part of the Bumble mystique was that we married the cut with the right product – like finding a specific ingredient to enhance a recipe.Read More
Michael discusses his mother’s hairdressing business and the lasting impact it had on his life. Listen below.
My very first camera was something my father bought me when I went on a school trip to Switzerland when I was twelve. It was quite a long time ago so it was beautiful, but not terribly sophisticated or expensive. I had no idea how to use it. It was a classic black and white film camera, you gave it to the drugstore, and they processed and printed postcard-size pictures. My biggest regret in life would be not documenting everything I experienced, the way Jacques Henri Lartigue did from the age of five. I would have loved to have had an iPhone fifty years before anyone else did because I have so many memories of such extraordinary things, especially when I started working at René of Mayfair.Read More
We recently asked some of the people Michael has mentored throughout the years what this experience has been like. Below Gina, Dante, and Gerard share their stories and some of Michael’s best advice.
Interviewed and Edited by Cat Meyer and Ella Chodos-IrvineRead More