With a name like Michael Angelo, of course he's good. And this Angelo has created his own Sistine Chapel in the form of his color-drenched salon, Wonderland Beauty Parlor, where models, fashion designers, musicians and more flock to receive one of his famous signature haircuts, and where you can always find the charming, flamboyant and charismatic Angelo in the middle of it all. "The clientele at Wonderland are creative people who don't just follow trends, they're out there creating them," says Angelo of his fabulously funky workplace. "Our salon floor is a place for community, for ideas to be built."
And it's no accident Angelo, a New Jersey kid who spent his weekends in the city, constructed his masterpiece in the meatpacking district. "New York fuels me on every level. The immense diversity here inspires every facet of everything that I do," says Angelo.
Just as diverse are Angelo's own interests. Besides receiving international acclaim for giving A-list models such as Devon Aioki, Lydia Hearst and Carmen Kass the looks that launched their career (it's even rumored an actress once chained herself to the front door to get an appointment, while divas from Bette Midler to Beyonce have also graced his styling chairs), Angelo also dabbles in his other life-long passion, photography, whilst shooting celebs like Susan Sarandon for various charitable causes, and his knack for quirky interior design has produced a wonderfully whimsical Scratch & Sniff wallpaper. "I have to work hard to really schedule everything (thank you, iCal!), and I do try to set some boundaries for myself, although it would appear that I don't know how to stop working!" laughs Angelo. "But when I do unwind, I surf, go for a run, take a bicycle ride, and once in a while, smoke a little dope!"
He also likes to take a walk, and we have an inkling that this week the busy entrepreneur's stroll will include the 2007 Gay Pride Parade, part of Gay Pride Week. "It's about pride in general: every single one of us has something to be proud of. We all need to get out there and march as proud as we can, every day of our lives for the people that we are," says Angelo. "Sometimes it's tricky being in the beauty business. People so often come to me and want to be made into something else—I love to kind of help them find the self that they can be the proudest of. So for me, the Gay Pride Parade is about freedom and justice for all."
Pride in his work, pride in his neighborhood, and pride in who he is. Sounds like the stylish Michael Angelo is a work of art in and of himself.
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