Where do I begin to explain about the hair guru Didier Malige??
First off I want to mentioned how honoured I am that he wanted to do a Q&A for me. He is literally one of my hair heroes, together with only about 2 or 3 other hair stylists, so I want to thank him for that!
His career began in the mid 60s when, as a teenager, he joined Carita Paris’s salon as an apprentice. He went on to work at the salon of former Carita stylist, Jean Louis David, who made him part of a little group of young hairdressers for any magazine work. As he was offered to work with photographers Helmut Newton, (who he credits for his first big break on a French Vogue sitting), Bob Richardson and Guy Bourdin, his career took off in the editorial world and in the 70s, America was calling so he left France to launch his career in New York where he first worked with Brice Weber.
Over the decades Didier has gone to work with some of the biggest fashion photographers and designers in the world.
He has been living with his partner, Grace Coddington, the Creative Director of US Vogue and their now infamous collection of cats, (made famous by the book ‘The Catwalk Cats’ in which Didier had taken photographs of his home life and their cats whilst Grace wrote and illustrated how she perceived the cats’ personalities to be) for over 25 years,
So without further ado, I give you the one, the only Didier Malige.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP?
A hairdresser, that was the only thing I did in my life but I am still growing up
HOW DID YOU BEGIN HAIRDRESSING?
I was very lucky my mother knew one of caritas sister who at the time was the best salon in paris
IS THERE ANYBODY YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE IF YOU WEREN’T YOU?
Yes definitely, when I look at the achievements of other people that is an amazing thing, I like the idea of being a rock star
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
New York City
Just a few of Didier’s Vogue covers!
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING IN YOUR CITY WHAT WOULD IT BE?
The amount of noise
LIST YOUR TOP 5 FAVOURITE BEAUTY PRODUCTS.
Kerastase shampoo for myself
I don’t use many products
WHAT ARE YOU INTO RIGHT NOW ( MUSIC, FASHION , ART, FOOD )?
Reading and my Instagram
Some more of Didier’s editorial work.
HOW MANY CATS DO YOU CURRENTLY HAVE AND WHAT GAVE YOU THE IDEA FOR YOUR BOOK “THE CATWALK CATS”?
2 cats, Bart and Pumpkin
The idea for the book was Grace!
I like to take pictures of my cats but not digital photos but film
WHAT MUSIC WERE YOU INTO GROWING UP AND ARE YOU STILL INTO IT NOW?
Definitely rock and roll and that became classic rock and i still listen to it, and i like opera
IF YOU WERE PUT ON A DESERT ISLAND AND COULD CHOOSE ONLY 10 SONGS TO HAVE ON AN IPOD WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
The 1st Led Zeppelin album
IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE BESIDES WHERE YOU ARE, WHERE WOULD IT BE?
WHO OR WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
Grace and people in general.
Some more examples of Didier’s amazing editorial work.
IN A FILM OF YOUR LIFE, WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY YOU?
I never thought someone would like to play me that is a difficult question, although I do like Gerard Depardieu
WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNERS THAT YOU WOULD WEAR?
YOU’RE PACKING TO GO ON A TRIP FOR 2 WEEKS AND CAN TAKE 5 FILMS ON ITUNES OR DVD’S WITH YOU, WHAT WOULD THEY BE, AND IF YOU WANT, SAY WHY YOU LOVE THEM? ( IT CAN BE SOMETHING YOU HAVEN’T SEE YET)
5 films that i have never seen is what i would take
YOU’VE WORKED WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHY LEGENDS, GUY BOURDIN, HELMUT NEWTON AND BOB RICHARDSON. HOW DOES SHOOTING NOW, COMPARE TO SHOOTING WITH THOSE GREATS, WHO SADLY ARE NO LONGER WITH US?
For a start with you never got breakfast on a shoot it was only a croissant and coffee and the size of a shoot now is huge. For lunch it was a sandwich baguetter, jambon and beurre cornichon
Didier’s most recent Vogue cover, shot by Patrick Demarchelier starring Cara Delevingne.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE DESSERT?
My mother used to make an incredible apple pie with a very thin crust in puff pastry
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE WORD.
WHAT ANIMAL WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
One of my cats
WHO WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL FOUR GUESTS TO A DINNER PARTY AT YOUR HOUSE ( THEY CAN BE DEAD OR ALIVE)
J P Goude
DO YOU HAVE A GUILTY PLEASURE, IF SO WHAT IS IT?
Didier’s work on the most recent Chanel no.5 advertising shot by Patrick Demarchelier, starring Gisele Bundchen.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO NEXT?
Back to New York – Im in London whilst I’m answering your questions.
NAME ANY TYPE OF PRODUCT IE: FOOD, TOYS, CLOTHES, OR COSMETICS ETC THAT YOU ONCE LOVED BUT IS NOW EITHER DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND?
I’ve learnt how not to attach myself to products
Some of the campaigns featuring Didier’s work.
A huge thank you to Didier for taking the time to answer my questions and a special thank you to Allegra Amati for putting me in touch with him.