Spotlight | Hairstylist Wesley O’Meara
Meet The Wall Group hairstylist Wesley O’Meara. O’Meara’s clientele includes Sarah Jessica Parker, Chloë Sevigny, and Uma Thurman. He regularly collaborates with photographers such as Richard Burbridge, Sebastian Faena, and Ryan McGinley for publications such as Vogue, Interview, i-D Magazine and V Magazine. Entirely self-taught, the hairstylist channels his raw talent into creating unconventional, yet effortless and daring styles. Mixed with his lively personality, his unique vision makes him an industry favorite. This week, O’Meara took some time to answer a few of our questions. Make sure to participate in his instagram/twitter contest, details at the bottom of this post!1. What inspired you to start doing what you do?
WO: I worked in the fashion industry for quite a bit in my early 20′s. I had jobs ranging from PR/Fashion Assistant at Bergdorf Goodman to Executive Assistant to the SVP at DKNY Jeans, and on to a booker at Wilhelmina Models and an agent for photographers and illustrators. All of these positions helped me to truly understand how the fashion industry worked in all aspects. As far as I could see from where I stood, the only thing I missed from everything I had accomplished was a role on the creative side. From an early age, I knew I wanted to do hair but it never resonated with me until I came to that ‘aha!’ moment. When I realized I could emerge as a gay boy’s childhood fantasy of doing actual hair (and not hair on my sisters barbies) for the fashion industry, it clicked! I then made the jump into hair styling.
2. If you could go back in time and give yourself advice when you were just starting out, what would you tell yourself?
WO: Assist assist assist! It may seem trivial and sometimes degrading, but assisting is the only real way to learn. I am self-taught for the most part and only assisted a couple of times. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs on set because of this. Knowing when to talk and when not to, who to give respect to and who not to, what to wear and what not are all things you’ll never learn in hair school.
3. What is the single most defining moment in your life?
WO: Everyday! I’m not kidding… working freelance is an emotional roller coaster. Basically every time a client requests me I am humbled and so grateful. I feel like I’ve just climbed a mini Mount Everest.
4. What is your greatest achievement to date?
WO: As superficial as it sounds, probably buying myself a Cartier watch. While the watch is whatever, it’s knowing that I followed my passion and accomplished enough to allow myself to afford something like that which has made me want to work even harder and make even more money! Next stop: HOUSE UPSTATE!
5. What are you working on now and what would be your dream project?
WO: I would really love to open my own shop. I find that ironic, mostly because I never worked in a salon! I went straight from hair school to session work. This may or may not be in the works… it is my secret!
6. What are 5-10 items you’re loving right now?
- Oribe products
- Loafers with no socks
- Internet memes
WO: This isn’t your show. You’re going to have to find your way to please 10 different people with 10 different opinions. Be humble and don’t over do it.
8. What is your sign, do you think it fits your personality?
WO: I’m a Libra and it basically means I’m vain and artistic. Therefore, I’m in the right profession.
9. What would your spirit animal be?
WO: The taco bell chihuahua.
10. How has the industry changed since you’ve started out?
WO: I don’t know if it’s so much that the industry has changed, or I have. When I started out, I was so green and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about everything. I saw everything through a filter. Now that I’ve been around for a while and know the ropes I can say that this industry is everything I hoped it would be. My jobs are on a larger production scale, my income has improved and I have matured so much in the past 7 years. It’s great!
11. What do you think about digital/social media?
WO: I still think it is young and everyone is trying to figure it out. I use most social media platforms as well, and now that I am getting so busy with work, it is hard to keep up. I can say that it is great for press and to get your work out there to a larger audience than ever before. Maybe all of this will stick and become a way of life for everyone. It is also the perfect vehicle for wasting time, and you know we all need that!
Recreate Wesley’s modern take on a 30′s style and tag @thewallgroup on instagram or twitter and Wesley will select the winner next week to be featured on our Pinterest winner’s board!
Permalink Background Photography: Photographed by Jean-François Campos for Vogue India August 2010. Hair by Wesley O’Meara.