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Male Vanity: Head Master

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"I call him the king of hair," says Joe Armstrong, vice-president of Talk Media. "I've only had a haircut by one other person -- when I was stranded in California." When Laurent De Louya opened La Boite a Coupe on 55th Street in 1977, it happened to be situated just steps from the William Morris Agency. From this prime placement grew a client list of entertainment and finance figures who keep referring fellow Wall Street Journal-profile subjects, as in that Wella Balsam commercial.

Owen Laster, worldwide head of literary operations at William Morris, says that De Louya is "very creative." "Anyone who could make sense of my bouffant is a master," says Gary Ginsberg, News Corp's head of corporate communications. "I have very fine hair," explains Steve Scheffer, president of film programming at HBO, where practically everyone from the president on down does time in De Louya's chair. "I never could get it to do anything. I'd have to plaster something on it because if it got loose it would fly all over the place. Laurent fixed it!" "We got rid of my part," reports twelve-year client Ed Kosner, editor-in-chief of the Daily News. Not everyone is as amenable to De Louya's alterations. Peter Martins, head of the New York City Ballet, "likes to keep it long and I want to keep it short," says De Louya. "But I'm pretty convincing."

He's also a "consigliere," as Daily News columnist Michael Kramer puts it, one who encourages networking in his shop. "Laurent stood between me and the next chair," recalls Jerry Goodman, CEO and chairman of Adam Smith Global Television, "and said, 'You two should know each other.' It was David Mamet. We discussed the use of language in Adam Smith's Money World and American Buffalo." "Laurent is the most important Jewish hairstylist in the entertainment industry," confirms HBO's Scheffer. "He is to me what Sydney Guilaroff was to Clark Gable and the other MGM stars."


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