29 November 2021

Enzo Angileri: coiffure ‘Made in Italy’ in the USA

Among the best-known hairstylists in the world of celebs and cinema, Enzo Angileri spokes with Estetica about his latest film with Sofia Loren and his vision of hairdressing after thirty years of experience.

“The man behind the Hollywood elite”, is how Enzo Angileri has been known internationally for more than thirty years. And is still one of the best-known hairdressers in the world of celebrities and cinema. His clients include Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez, Katie Holmes, Renee Russo, Lucy Liu, Nicole Kidman, Dakota Johnson, Reese Witherspoon, Shakira, Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Madonna, Jodie Foster, Katy Perry – just to name a few. A true hairdressing legend, Enzo Angileri succeeded in importing “Made in Italy” taste and expertise to the United States.

Born in Marsala, in Sicily, he did some training in Milan. Then, after several stays in New York, Enzo Angileri decided to move to Los Angeles, where he succeeded in breaking into the world of cinema, television commercials, publishing, and music videos. One of his most recent cinematographic works was the styling di Sofia Loren in “La Vita davanti a sé” by Edoardo Ponti. The film received two Golden Globe 2021 nominations for Best Picture – Foreign Language and Best Song in a Motion Picture. Indeed, Laura Pausini, even won an Oscar 2021 nomination for the song. 

Unique and extraordinary,” shares Enzo Angileri with Estetica, describing his experience with Loren. “The cherry on the top of my career. The only difficulty for me was the heat, having filmed in Apulia during the summer. But for the rest, Sofia was 100% cooperative with me and the entire team. Right from the beginning I believed firmly in this project.I was certain that everything everyone was doing to create the character, from the make-up to the hair, from the costumes to the lights and direction, would have given extraordinary results. The greatest personal satisfaction during filming was this: every time Ms. Loren appeared before the camera, she actually became Madame Rosa!

What differences are there, in terms of the skills necessary, between working on a movie set, a music video, and a photo shoot?

Each of these cases requires expertise, because preparation is always important before beginning any project. But there are substantial differences. In photo shoots very often decisions are somewhat spontaneous. On one hand this can certainly spur creativity. On the other hand, it can also leave open the possibility of inaccuracies that are neither serious nor outstanding. There are not usually many repercussions.

In cinema, instead, there are many meetings and the collaboration on ideas. This consolidates the creative choices with plenty of time available for reflection, to reconsider and make any changes necessary before filming starts.

In my opinion, experience gained on the set of fashion photo shoots is added value. It sometimes helps me to deal with a last minute situations, when I must take a decision on the spot. Also because is sometimes happens on the movie set!

Music videos are somewhere between cinema and a photo shoot.

In your opinion, how has show business coiffure changed?

In my opinion, for good hairdressers all aspects have evolved: colors, cuts, and accessories. Hairdressers are seeking more and more to give clients a product that they can take home. A look that will be the same every day, shampoo after shampoo, until the next cut.

However, there is also a certain tendency to attempt cuts/looks that are a bit trendy. Not always do they consider the overall needs of the client: the shape of the face, the type of hair, the lifestyle, the cut, and the person’s height. This way they risk repeating the same look infinitely, even when it is no longer the right one for that specific client.

What do you think are the future prospects for the hairdressing sector?

I believe that the pandemic is creating different bases for a new path forward. The clients’ needs, their preferences, their awareness have all changed. We think, for example, about positive hair and the gray trend. These were certainly born of these long months spent at home. Moreover, growing attention is being paid to green and wholesome products and treatments. It is precisely due to this innovation, in my opinion, that cosmetic products can bring about big changes, from their formulation and their performance, but also due to a targeted training of young professionals who, perhaps, prepare for broader roles, where the consultation is increasing more important than the desire to follow the latest trend.

What advice would you give to young people who enter this sector and aspire to a successful career?

They should choose this career only and exclusively for passion. This profession requires artistry and the opportunity to express your creativity. You must do it well, to the best of your ability, day after day.

Which of your skills do you think was the most useful in obtaining the results you have achieved?

I have always wanted to be a hairdressing from seven years of age! For me there was never any doubt that it was what I wanted to do. In Milan I assisted many hairdressers and I took something away from each of them, whatever interested me the most. Towards the late 1970s, I had a great opportunity: to become part of the Friends Vidal Sassoon Salon and with them I was able to benefit from truly important training. Then I attended the Morris Academy in London.

All this went into my baggage of know-how and training and made it possible for me to express the artistic side of this work. Today there is a sum of this training and all my experiences. Today, this is all enhanced by my more than forty years of racing left and right, from one set to another. Then if I have to think about the skill that has best served me, I would say there are at least three: passion, commitment, and the ongoing desire to always do my best.

What differences have you found between USA and Italian hairdressing?

USA and European hairdressing have one element in particular that differentiates them: the naturally tousled and sexy look of the European woman. Especially Italians and French. Where the cut is more important than hair spray, freedom of style is more important than the quantity of hair. Very often we can recognize an American in Rome by her hair. In the United States, there is also this “big hair” madness: “If you’ve got it, flaunt it”. This is opposite of my “less is more” philosophy!

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