The Cocktail Hour
Celebrity Hairstylist Woody Michleb Sits Down With Josh Cohen to Discuss Fashion Week, His Salons and More
Who: Celebrity stylist, product line creator and salon owner, Woody Michleb
What: Hellisøy Habanero Vodka Spicy Screwdriver
Where: Woody Michleb Salon, 400 Hibiscus Ave., Palm Beach / 561.655.2700 / woodymichleb.com
1) What people don’t realize about the scene backstage at New York Fashion Week is: just how many designers you are dealing with all at once. You have to create with an entirely different look in only 10 to 15 minutes. It’s very chaotic. As a hairdresser you sometimes have to actually give the designers direction.
2) The biggest difference between styling for New York Fashion Week and Los Angeles Fashion Week is that: New York is much more hectic and stressful, and because of the location, it’s much more difficult to get around. Designers now create their own venues, which makes it very stressful. Los Angeles Fashion Week is all held in one place, one location. The weather is always great, and it’s easier to do hair. The energy is very different, but it’s definitely not what you’d call “relaxed.”
3) A celebrity styling session I’ll always remember is: “90210” actress AnnaLynne McCord at LA Fashion Week in 2015. She was a lot of fun, she was very beautiful, and she was very easy to work with. She looked like a model should look while walking down the runway. Some models can be very difficult to work with. She was a pleasure.
4) The biggest mistake I regularly see women make with their hair is: how they are willing to spend thousands of dollars on a dress that they will wear two or three times, but the hair they wear 24/7 they often are unwilling to spend money on. From styling, to coloring, to product, many fail to invest in themselves. The truth is that 75 percent of your total look is your hair.
5) When I was a little boy growing up in Lebanon I thought that I would become: an electronic engineer. I liked designing and building things. I would spend a lot of time after school visiting radio shops and watching them fix things. I could build a house from scratch right now. I’ve applied my studies of art, math, physics and chemistry, and even biology into designing different, unique looks for hair.
6) This salon being located just steps from the center of the famed Worth Avenue means: that our guests have huge expectations, and we had better be ready to meet them. They care that we are here. The perception is that we are a high-end salon with a high-end product, and we make sure to keep it that way.
7) The most surprising place I’ve found inspiration for my artistry is: from birds. They have so many beautiful colors, and their feathers inspire with color placement and how they expand. I’m inspired by flowers in the garden, all of those colors. I’ve even been inspired by gasoline on the surface of water, creating such beautiful colors. Nature has always been my greatest inspiration.
Born and raised in Lebanon, Woody Michleb was severely injured at 5 years old during a Lebanese Civil War bombing attack that claimed the lives of several relatives, including his father and uncle. He credits his grandmother for saving his life. Assuming the bread-winning role in his family, he opened his very first salon at age 16. Two years later he relocated to France where he began styling celebrities for a popular French TV talk show. At age 20, Michleb immigrated to Toronto, where he would open four signature salons. Winning countless awards and lifetime achievement honors in styling and color, he arrived in New York City in 2013 after being appointed artistic director for Elizabeth Arden. Now the owner of three styling product lines—Woody Michleb, Switch and Style the Runway—Michleb and his wife, Amy, work and travel as a team. They opened the doors of their Palm Beach salon on Valentine’s Day this year. A father of four children, Michleb currently resides in Boca Raton.
About The Drink:
Hellisøy Habanero Spicy Screwdriver
2 ounces Hellisøy Habanero Vodka
6 ounces fresh orange juice
Fill shaker with ice, vodka and orange juice. Shake vigorously, strain over fresh ice. Garnish with lime wedge.
Editor’s note: Hellisøy Habanero is distilled in Riviera Beach by local company Citrus Distillers.