Meet Fashion Hairstylist Damian Monzillo

By: Valeria Ramos

 It is no secret that hours and hours of work go into creating a single image for an editorial or magazine cover. From the clothing, to the photography and makeup – each aspect of the shot is the responsibility of a professional in that area. One aspect in particular I have been curious about is hairstyling - it is an aspect of editorials that can be overlooked because it is often perceived to be a simple task.

Renowned hairstylist Damian Monzillo is the answer to this misconception with 23 years worth of experience bringing creativity and life into countless looks featured in the pages of Vogue, Elle and more.

Monzillo's work on Cindy Bruna for V Magazine

Born in New York with an art school background, Damian concludes that his creative job in hairstyling is the “best balance of making a living and being [himself].” 

Monzillo's work for Vogue Mexico & French Elle

While he admits the task can be mentally and physically taxing, his passion and interest remain strong. “My favorite part [of the job] is when I when I come up with something I’ve never seen before. One of the things that keeps me interested and connected to hair in the first place is that I know I’m never going to know everything,” he said.

Although creativity is a work requirement for Monzillo, consistency is not.  “Every day is truly different,” he shared “Some days, I’m doing something classic and simple. Other days, I might be bringing paint, wire, headpieces I made, or literally anything depending on the references.”  

Monzillo's work on Talking Fashion collaboration with SVA

With an impressive portfolio and client list, I was surprised Monzillo was able to narrow down a few of his favorite projects and creations. “Working with Dita Von Teese was such a beautiful memory, my first Vogue and French Elle covers, and beyond that, whatever I’m working on next,” he said.

Monzillo's work on Dita Von Teese for You Magazine

Luckily for Monzillo, creativity for his next projects is not a rare commodity. Living in New York, and having been trained by Alexandre de Paris, finding and using inspiration has become second nature. “I’ve had a subscription to MOMA here for years which always helps. The best for me is taking some time to meditate in the outside sculpture park, tour the whole museum and in between, have lunch at the café there.”

Monzillo's work 

In terms of tips for fellow hairstylists, Monzillo suggests avoiding trends. "Following trends defeats the purpose of individuality," he said "You should be able to look at a client with their aesthetic, hair texture, skin tone and bone structure and figure out what to do with their look." 

Some essentials Monzillo uses to create these looks include products from brands like Seven Hair Care and Murray's. 

Damian Monzillo

Monzillo's advice for all creatives in general is to study as much as possible. "Study history, the masters in your passion and whatever interests you because it will end up seeping it's way into what you do," he said. And finally, Monzillo is passionate in sharing one message to all- Carpe Diem.