Posted by models.com | December 13th, 2019

Industry, Now

JOEY GEORGE

JOEY GEORGE

Portrait by Ben Hassett for Models.com

#IndustryNow The cycles of social media impel us to embrace then move on from trends and discourses faster than ever before. The life span of a single work––an editorial, a campaign, a show, a stint––is shorter for it. Fashion’s only unconditional term is the future: operating a year ahead, after all. So, in an industry where change and relevancy are the full stops at the end of every sentence, Models.com wanted to highlight individuals who add permanence to the community–some at their start and some at their top. Photographer Ben Hassett gets up close and personal for Models.com with the creative forces often behind the scenes. They are the Industry, Now.

New York City based hair stylist Joey George has become known for experimenting with the boundaries of hair, in turn elevating himself to that of a creative and collaborative force. Often employing wigs that are sculpted and painted, George’s results on set are closer to a piece of art than anything else, yet still act as part of the team effort to reach a single editorial image. His visual journal has not only documented his process as a transfixing, technical artist but has become a substantial part of his work as a whole. It’s these qualities that has seduced and wowed publications like various editions of international Vogues (UK, Paris, Japan, Italia and others), WSJ, Dazed, Harper’s Bazaar as well as a list of clientele like Givenchy, Tommy Hilfiger and more. His wigs have made impressions off the pages of print as well with his striking pieces having been worn by Lady Gaga on her ARTPOP tour or by Aquarias at the Met Gala.

How has the heightened attention to self-image influenced your work and craft?
For the better part of my career, I have been shaping my aesthetic to be more in line with hair as art. I like to challenge what can be perceived as traditional beauty and find a way I can make it a bit more edgy or abstract. Personally, I have never fit the mold of the mundane. With every project, I try to find a way that I can put my artistic flare on it, while being true to that person’s self-image.

Have the reasons you started doing what you do changed along the way?
Of course. I was passionate about hairdressing. As my career progressed over the years, it evolved. I began to experiment more and realized there is more artistry that could be incorporated into my process.

What is your favorite part of the process?
I enjoy working in my studio, where I can truly escape. The process of creating has been a constant evolution for me. Whether it’s working on my ever-growing scrapbooks or my sculptured wigs, it’s an opportunity for me to have creative freedom. The scrapbooks started as a documentation project. I wanted to test hairstyles from “behind the scenes” to use for future credited projects. I began creating sculptured wigs by simply experimenting with new textures and inorganic materials in my studio and now it has evolved. I’m humbled by the positive reactions my original pieces receive.

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