Charlie Le Mindu

haute coiffeur (Lady Gaga's videoclips)


Lady Gaga's wigs in the video for the chart-success 'Bad Romance' (2009) and especially the two huge black hair lips on her head in the 'Born This Way' clip (2011) made him internationally famous. The collaborations with the American singer/pianist, for whom Charlie Le Mindu also designed a sensational hair dress out of human hair extensions, were both free worldwide publicity and a career jump for the French-born self-declared 'haute coiffeur'.

Charlie Le Mindu

haute coiffeur (Lady Gaga's videoclips)


Charlie Le Mindu
Charlie Le Mindu | © Private Charlie Le Mindu

Although he had already made a name for himself with fantastic hair creations, this presence was like a knighthood of a special kind. After all, his client is known to work with some of the most creative minds of the moment and has a nose for talent beyond the mainstream. This publicity in the team of a global superstar was therefore further proof of the outstanding extravagance and creativity of Charlie Le Mindu's work. The bizarre mix of avant-garde and surrealism of the 2011 ON/OFF Visionary Award winner inspires stylists as well as photographers of the fashion spreads of glossy magazines like Vogue or Harper's Bazaar. Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger and Disneyland Paris also hired the man whose work is the epitome of the extraordinary and spectacular and guarantees a sensation not only in the media.

Charlie Pierrick, as he is known, was almost born into his career. Born in the southwest of France (* 9 July 1986) to a Romanian-French couple, he played with dolls as a child, cut, dyed and straightened their hair, and at the age of six he already wanted to be a hairdresser. This was soon to be fulfilled: Having just become a teenager, he first helped in his grandmother's hairdressing business and in 1999 switched to Le Petit Salon in Bordeaux, which specialized in punk looks. This, as well as his fondness for the film 'Cry Baby' by trash-movie-director John Waters, proved to be style-defining for him. Berlin-Kreuzberg was his next stop from 2003. Money came in not only from styling the hairs of drag queens in a French club, through which he developed his penchant for designing opulent wigs; income was also generated through his hairstyling service in techno-discotheques or through live-performances in galleries. Then, in 2007, the move to London. Two years later, he opened a salon under his own name. Charlie Le Mindu is anything but a conventional hairdresser, yet customers need to have no fear of resembling an alien like Chewbacca in 'Star Wars' after an appointment with him. The maestro, who loves experimenting, presents artful hair stagings and new wig-collections under the term "Haute Coiffure" at the Fashion Week in London and Paris as well as in the 256-page illustrated book of the same name.

The portfolio of the former student of the French hair academy nha Paris now also includes the fashion line 'Cheveux-centric', which includes dresses, stockings and capes. These are worn by top-models like Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell in fashion spreads in trend magazines. At the cosmetics’ world market leader L'Oréal, the tattooed artist, from whom a museum in Rotterdam/Netherlands acquired one of his gigantic human hair wig installations (3,600 to 10,000 British pounds), brought out a special edition of the hair spray 'Mademoiselle Infinium'. The appointment as "avant-garde director" in the beauty salon Urban Retreat of London's world-famous posh department stores' Harrods represented another facet of his exceptional status.

Charlie Le Mindu, who "does not want to shock but provoke extreme reactions in his shows", lives in Paris (France).  

Interview November 2015

Hair-rising: provoking extreme reactions


The Romanian-French sculptor Constantin Brancusi said about his creation process: “Things are not difficult to make. What is difficult is, putting yourself in the state of mind to make them.“ Before the creativity, there is intuition. Where does this intuition come from, what sparks it? How does it manifest itself – is it only a vague idea or tangible (for example, in pictures)?

my intuition comes like a flash really. I’m not anymore thinking of what could people like or not. I’m not in the state of mind to please people, but i just like to please myself the most now with my work! it comes a lot from amazing jokes i will say. start to say I’m going to do this and make that tonight. maybe sometimes when I’m drunk. but it’s actually sometimes a great base of ideas. the day later when i can actually think again, i remember what i wanted to do and make it even better.

Is the timeframe of intuition only temporary or can it be supported by external factors? Inspiration is supported by external factors, intuition is based on internal (conscious versus sub-conscious).

for myself intuition is temporary in terms of i like to think of a project for the next 5 months maximum otherwise it’s boring.

How important is the own physical constitution? Is it true that sadness equals creativity (or vice versa?) To quote the writer Miller Williams: „the saddest joys are the richest ones“…

i cannot work when I’m sad actually, but neither when I’m in the perfect state of mind. i can work when I’m cut out of the world. this is when i have my best intuition - away from media people, phones…

Do calm and relaxation further the „best“ or is a tight deadline a stimulant for creativity?

i like a tight deadline always and i do not rest. if i rest it 1 or 2 weeks a year then i just put everything off, but otherwise i need to be all intense

Which place/environment is best for the creation/work process?

a roof top penthouse with the sun coming in. UV and sun bring me joy and joy of working.

What, if there is a deadline, but no intuition?

there is lots of budget then. but there is always intuition when it comes to me usually

Prior to intuition is inspiration the primary catalyst? If so, what inspires you?

intuition comes first then i look into inspiration. intuition is personal, but an inspiration is visual, something you’ve seen - so it’s not your work actually. if you create something from an inspiration, it’s not unique, but from an intuition it’s a feeling and feelings are much more personal. That’s what makes it unique!

According to Philip Roth, “amateurs wait for inspiration while professionals sit down and work.” How do you feel about that?

i never really thought about that, but I’m more inspired by Amateur porn than professional porn for example - so I’m not sure if that’s so true :-)

How do you separate the good from the bad; how do you know which ideas to explore further, which ones are maybe even ahead of their time, visionary ideas and which are not?

i know an idea is ahead because usually it’s trying making something impossible, to separate the bad from the good is easy. i need to sell dreams. selling dreams is difficult for me, cos there is not much thing which could make me dream at all. so then i create feelings.

Do you write down an idea right away, because you might forget?

yes, i put it in my phone directly

Do you feel if an idea has the potential to be something big? How long do you ponder an idea before creatively working on it?

this is something you can’t control, and even if i could feel it sometimes, i don’t make it for this. this would mean I’m like a product or a pop-artist doing things to make money or to get likes.

How long do you ponder an idea before creatively working on it?

i directly work on an idea in the same second. usually work on it for 2 days then or keep going or put it on side to do another idea. it happens to have lots of project at the same time, that’s when it gets very funny.


Is it magic and fun or torture/blood, sweat & tears to be creative?

creativity is a natural thing for me. It’s just fun

Can you force creativity? Are „drive“ and efficiency counterproductive?

yes, you have to force creativity making a collection for example. because it’s hard to have pieces looking good together

How do you stimulate your creativity/are there specific rituals therefore or a muse?

yes. i go out dancing a lot, and i always laugh. this stimulates my work a lot.

When you are in a creative phase, are you working as if in trance?

i think I’m always in trance. this is why unfortunately i cannot go on holidays cos can’t stop anything

How important is talent for creativity? Is art of any kind based on talent?

i guess if you’re not talented u don’t have creativity, but then opposite to that, i do feel lots of people are talented but have no creativity.

Do you archive certain ideas to maybe check back when you are in a less creative phase?

of course. i have about 2 hard drives of future projects.

Did you ever revisit an older idea, that you thought would be worthless but it turned out to be great/good? If so, why do you think that is?

no, i don’t look at my past work and try to do something new. but I’m inspired sometimes by shapes I’ve already made.

Is it better to be creative on your own, only trust your own instinct, or in a team? However, in a team - how much of your own, personal idea is really left afterwards?

both. the main idea comes from me. i do like to listen to my friends and my team, but I do not listen not too much. we all have different inspirations in life and different lifes. It’s all good to take in. it’s like politics: there is good in every party, but in that case i take all in and try to make the best party.

Is it true talent to trust other people to fill the gaps of your own deficits/ lack in creativity to produce something significant/great?

not true. i do not do that

Who’s leading in the creativity-process: craftsmanship or spontaneous intuition/inspiration?

the leader is the one with the technique always.

What is the individual satisfaction based on: a) self-realization and individual fulfilment b) the (artistic) recognition or c) commercial success?

a mix, but I’m much more happy to have artistic recognition.

What is your personal motivation for creative activity?

i like to sell dreams. i just want to show people what we can do with hair and different forms of beauty

How much does routine influence creativity?

routine is the best. It’s great to be in the same mood 24/7 to work on a project and do nothing else outside.

How is it possible to stay true to yourself artistically, but stay innovative at the same time? Can you keep re-inventing yourself without renouncing/denying your style?

I’m always true to myself cos I’m having fun in what i do.

Is it desirable to be ahead of your time or does it cause to be misunderstood (or not being understood at all)?

i don’t think too much about time in terms of being creative, but i just want to please myself first with creating my dreams, art-performances …


Is there a rule for successful artistic work, an individual prototype for success? In short: Is success projectable?

I have no idea. I doubt it or we would all be successful. There’s no formula or quick road to success.

When something is successful, how big is the temptation to recycle it, to repeat the successful prototype and not develop further?

It’s often a failing to repeat the same journey, because it proved to be successful in the past, and the re-invention of oneself or ideas is an essential part of life’s progress. Don’t become like a stuck record.

How big of a role does coincidence play when it comes to mass reception/popularity? Or: why is someone successful and someone else is not, even though they are similarly talented?

Coincidence plays a big factor in life – for me anyway. You can plan all you like but when the stars are all aligned – well, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Should you be able to predict characteristics, needs and desires of your potential audience to be successful?

Yes, I think the intelligent artist would have a pretty damn good idea what the audience wants. It’s like the Rolling Stones. If they play a concert to 50,000 people then they had better play 70% of their old familiar songs or the crowd will become restless struggling to listen to the unfamiliar new ones. Strategy is everything.

How do you stay open to critique despite success?

As I have said – nothing is ever perfect – so when you make an error – move right along and dump any feeling of regret. It is what it is and what it was. Being an artist is a tough business so wake up and smell the coffee.

Do you have to be driven, do you have to be addicted to achieve the next time, what didn’t work this time?

i do listen to my manager, yes

Did you ever deliver something that you thought was mediocre, but was successful?


How do you deal with failure? Is it important to have perseverance because success might come later on?

i have to deal with it everyday and success too. i think failure is part of success, because it makes you think about your company and how to renew yourself and make thing better.


”i don’t have a favourite product or look that i have made, but it’s more a project: my last one – “charliewood”. it did teach me so much - for mise en scene, to hair to couture to dance. all of it. i think it’s the project I’m most proud of.”

Charliewood supported by Hairdreams
My favorite work: Charliewood supported by Hairdreams

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