Modern Original People: Giannandrea

Giannandrea Marongiu, who goes by “G” or Giannandrea, enjoys an envy-inspiring career which he humbly credits to collaboration via cultivating good-energy relationships with colleagues – who in G’s universe comprise numerous A-list actresses and those destined for such status, the world’s top photographers, makeup artists, and fashion’s legendary editors – for building a world-renowned reputationas the go-to hair guru for major events. In fact, G styled Sharon Stone’s gorgeously tousled modern crop for 2018’s Golden Globes Awards using MOP’s botanically-based Basil Mint Revitalizing Shampoo, Lemongrass Lift and new Lemongrass Volume Whip, new Basil Mint Clay followed by C-System Firm Finish Hair Spray in a precisely-ordered product layering method for achieving la Stones sophisticated, softly-sculpted short and swept locks.

 As a much in-demand stylist for Hollywood’s red-carpet stars from every era, G always brings his best energy to every endeavor, embracing a philosophy of empowering those women relying on his talents for elevating and capturing beauty-radiating confidence. A quick peek at G’s Insta feed and 25,000+ following proves that and so much more.

 MOP’s chat with G, who epitomizes the very definition of what it means to be a Modern Original Person, is an exclusive take on this hair pro’s thriving career, which started as a teenager inspired by 1980’s punk and pop music-video culture, igniting influence on international iconic style. This initial spark was brought full-circle when he became an Emmy-Award nominee for NBC’s The Voice through his work with star panelist Christina Aguilera.

 When styling a star for a major event, what goes into your day? “After waking up, I hit Venice Beach for either a 90-minute run or bike ride, returning home and enjoying a light breakfast. Like homework, this is my time to visualize the task at hand while thinking about my client’s role at a major event, plus weather and lighting issues, and how everything affects hair when walking the red carpet, doing interviews and being photographed for the world to see.

 I conjure creative ideas while sipping espresso – a lot of it. Similar to an art director, each visible style focal point – the gown which I usually see two days beforehand, jewelry and makeup — informs the ideas I’ll present when arriving at her home. It’s very much about unifying each fashion and beauty facet into complete flawless style.

 I then prepare my bag with products and tools, and create an emergency kit composing extra items just in case there’s a change in plans – like a switch in wardrobe, jewelry or accessories – requiring a style swap of sorts. The only preparation a client performs on her own is freshly-washed wet hair. I share my vision with her, and once we agree, I take it from there.”

How did you tap into the zeitgeist when fashion magazines started featuring actresses instead of supermodels on their covers? “While it may seem somewhat serendipitous, in 2002, The New York Times Magazine sent me to LA to style a story featuring a group composed of young Hollywood talent including Kirsten Dunst, Sofia Coppola and Scarlett Johansson, who recently wrapped Lost in Translation, her first starring role. With a shared sense of humor, we immediately clicked onset when she just happened to mention her upcoming trip to the Venice Film Festival supporting the movie.

 While doing her hair for the shoot, I shared my story of growing up in Bologna and early career working in Milan on runway presentations and editorial shoots back when the city was arguably the world’s fashion capital. Upon mentioning that I was heading back to Italy for a vacation to see my family, she asked if I would do her hair during the festival. Funny enough, I ended up working as her translator too during what was then the first international press junket for both of us.

Our work together jump started my solo career; many of the young women featured in that story became regular private clients going forward.

Up tothat point, my work was always part of a very talented collective: I spent six incredible years with my life-long mentor Garren NYC‘s amazing team, producing era-defining editorial shoots for a multitude of leading fashion magazines, both in the US and abroad. Before that, a similar role with another mentor, Orlando Pita. It was a privileged career trajectory honed on an editorial and runway focus, defined by collaborating with fashion and beauty’s top influential tastemakers including Steven Meisel, Marc Jacobs, 90s supermodels, Laura Mercier and more.

But what anyone working outside this unique niche might not understand: editorial work pays very little per diem despite the glamour of seeing your name credited on the pages. Escalating NYC rents present a problem for many pros in creative industries, and after what became an endless search for affordable apartments, I moved to Los Angeles where increasingly so much fashion and beauty production opportunities — both commercial and editorial — were heading because of the shift-change from models to actresses and other celebrities, often with movie and televisions studios paying for my time.”

Yet you’ve never worked in a salon? “Not exactly. My first professional styling job was in my hometown, freelancing in-between school and on weekends for Marco Zanardi Orea Malia when I was 15 years old. I had been styling friends at school with shears from the pre-historic era; he showed me how to use modern state-of-the-art hair tools and products, launching and developing my skills. Marco also owned two salons in Milan — where commerce meets art —and his team needed assistance with their demanding schedule of high-end regular editorial commissions for Vogue Italiaand Marie Claireas well as runway work. Among my earliest professional assignments was creating the hair for Dolce & Gabbana’s first collection.”