We speak with Cameron LeSiege about his love of Gucci, life as a celebrity hairstylist, & adjusting to a new normal
We met Cameron LeSiege through spontaneous Instagram interactions, and quickly realized that his broad love of fashion, affinity for Alessandro Michele’s Gucci menswear, and expertise in on-air TV hairstyling make for fascinating conversation.
We reached him during the current quarantine from his home in New York to discuss how he’s adjusting to a new normal, what the future might hold for fashion and retail, and the benefits of having a pet while socially-distancing.
Q: First things first: you LOVE Gucci menswear. What makes the label special to you? Why do you love it?
A: It’s funny you ask, because that’s a question I get A LOT. I feel like I have an ever-changing sense of fashion and I don’t like playing by the rules. I like to be comfortable, so I wear a lot of tracksuits and elastic-waist pants, but I also want my style to be unique and different. In this way I think Gucci fits my personality.
One of my favorite things about Gucci is how any individual piece can work together in an outfit, regardless if it looks old or futuristic. Gucci is a mix of everything. If I close my eyes and pick any Gucci menswear piece on italist, I know it will be something beautiful that I can pair with any of my current wardrobe.
Q: What other brands or designers do you like? What are your top 5 if you had to choose?
Q: Tell us a bit about your background. What brought you to work in the celebrity/on-air/photoshoot hair-styling space? It must be very different from, say, working in a salon?
A: I started my career back in 2008, working in a hair salon in Jacksonville, Florida. A few years later I became an educator for a leading haircare brand and started collaborating with professional photographers. During this time I did some work as a contributor for two beauty magazines, and my creative hairstyling work was published globally.
I moved to NYC in 2015 with a goal of working in television. At that time I was working at a salon in NOMAD (flatiron district) and living in Brooklyn. I had little experience in television hairstyling, but made it my goal to be working in TV by one year. For my first three months in NYC I hustled. When I wasn’t in the salon for 12 hour days, I was meeting photographers and doing photo shoots, working fashion week gigs and fashion shows—literally anything I could do to make connections.
I reached my one year goal in only three months, when I started freelancing full-time and left the salon. I did some hairstyling for big brands and networks like 21st Century Fox, Showtime, MTV, VH1, Trojan, Smirnoff, ULTA, and more. In 2016 I became a full-time staff hairdresser for Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network in New York City. I love working in television mostly because of the unreal opportunities and experiences it brings—like working in the actual oval office, or on the set of my favorite tv show.
Q: When not under quarantine, what does a typical day look like for you?
A: I work in TV news, which means early hours. I’m usually at work with a blowdryer in my hand by 7:30am, but there are times when it can be as early as 3am. Mostly I work with my regular on-air talent, but like in the movies, with live tv you have to be flexible because things are always changing.
Q: What’s your favorite aspect of your work? What’s your least favorite?
A: As I mentioned earlier, I love the unbelievable experiences that my work brings. Early in my career, I would have never imagined that my job would take me places like the White House Oval Office. My least favorite aspect used to be the inconsistent hours when I was a freelance hairstylist. You say yes to everything and the hours can be very crazy.
Q: What’s the best way to take care of one’s hair? Two or three pieces of advice (just curious).
A: I feel like this is so relevant at a time when so many people are cutting and coloring their own hair at home (DON’T DO IT). For years I was an educator for Paul Mitchell, so there’s plenty of advice I could give, but for your readers sake let’s go with a short answer: everyone’s hair situation is unique to them, and for that reason…find a professional hairstylist you like and make sure they are well educated. Stick with them and follow their recommendations.
Q: How has living in New York changed your sense of style or fashion?
A: Since moving to New York, I’ve definitely become more comfortable making a statement with my fashion. It’s easier to dress a little eccentric and draw less attention in NYC.
Q: You grew up in Florida, close to the beach—does that ever impact how you feel about hair design or fashion?
A: Growing up in Florida didn’t impact the way I feel about hair or fashion, but learning to do hair in Florida did. It was an adjustment for me to create “New York City” hair when I first started working here. I was used to styling hair very polished and somewhat more of a classic hairstyling approach, so I had to get really good at creating a more effortless look. I think I’ve always had a NYC fashion sense, even as a little Florida boy I used to get my fashion inspiration from watching Total Request Live on MTV.
Q: How have the last few months affected your life and your work? What does a typical day look like during quarantine?
A: A lot of hair stylists are out of work right now. TV and Film productions have shut down and might not restart until September. I’m very grateful to still be receiving a paycheck during this time, because as you know the news doesn’t stop. I’ve been at home with my partner Omer and our dog Percy for over a month now, so I haven’t had my hands in anyone’s hair. I have been watching TV, working out, shopping from home, and working on creative projects.
Q: How do you think fashion and/or the retail industry will change as a result of everything that has happened?
A: I am not the biggest fan of the suiting movement happening in fashion right now. I don’t have to wear suits everyday, so it’s hard for me to get excited about investing in them. It would be nice to see more harmony between streetwear and suiting. My favorite suit that I own (one of three suits) is a Fendi two-piece jogger suit, and it feels like wearing pajamas. Hopefully we will see a broader spectrum of what fashion is. It’s really been inspiring to see so many brands (big and small) step up and donate masks in the recent weeks. Hopefully we will see more designers working to help others and create a better future for all of us.
Also, I think the future of shopping is moving more online. I’m more likely to make better long-term and less impulsive decisions when buying online, and I think most people will be looking to buy pieces that last forever instead of the next trend. I personally would love to see Virtual Reality stores become a thing.
Q: How did you come to find italist? What has your experience been using our site?
A: I found italist in a GQ article published online a couple years ago. My experience using italist has been thrilling. There have been a few times I have literally jumped for joy because of a great deal I found on italist. My coworkers can definitely vouch for that.
Q: What do you like about italist and what do you think could be improved?
A: I like the competitive pricing and in-season selection italist offers. It’s like shopping in a designer boutique from home, work, or anywhere, only with better sales. Items I am eyeing are regularly having price drops, and the only downside is they sell out fast. As an improvement, I would like to be notified when price drops happen. Also, I have big feet, so more size 13 shoes!
Q: What is your personal style philosophy? Any principles you live by and would like to share?
A: Be independent and wear what makes you happy. I consider myself an art collector when it comes to clothing and I think more people should see clothes that way.
Q: Which Gucci menswear items are on your italist ‘wishlist’?
- Gucci Ultrapace Sneakers
- Gucci x Disney Mickey Mouse Trench (above right)
- Gucci Piped Blazer (above, second from right)
- Gucci x Disney Mickey Mouse Fleece (above left)
- Gucci White and Blue Striped T-shirt (below)
- Gucci Track Pants (below right)
- Gucci Chore Jacket (above, second from left)
- Gucci 1955 Horsebit GG Duffle Bag (below)
- Gucci Red and Blue Striped T-shirt (below)
- Gucci Leather Jacket (below left)
Q: Are there any emerging brands or designers that you particularly like or plan to watch?
A: J.W. Anderson has some really cool coats and loafers with chain accents, coming out later this year that I have my eye on.
Q: As an insider, what are your favorite spots in New York (or Jersey City) to eat, drink, and shop? Favorite bars, restaurants? Are there any places you would suggest our readers not miss if they visit? (assuming life returns to normal in the short term)
A: I live in Jersey City and work about 5 miles away, in Times Square, so when I’m going out to celebrate, it’s usually not far from my work. One of my favorite new neighborhoods in NYC is Hudson Yards. There is a lot to do at Hudson Yards. Shopping, restaurants, and sightseeing. Soho is another one of my favorite neighborhoods, where I’m always finding a fun pop-up shop to explore.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add? How is Percy holding up with all this?
A: With everything going on in the world right now, I’m taking this moment to practice positivity, enjoy life at any pace, and express myself through creativity. I encourage everyone to find a way to be creative with what they have around them. Both Percy and I are staying home and he’s been getting lots of love from both of his dads. Isolation won’t last forever, and I believe a lot of good can come from this new world, if we allow it.
Thanks again to Cameron LeSiege (@cameronlesiege) for speaking with us. Discover more Style Icon Q&As: Vanessa Zoppas, Hilary Walker (Queen of Milanese Resale), and Xavier LeBron, Hollywood Wardrobe Stylist.
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