Name: Mordechai Alvow
Title/Position: Editorial & Celebrity Hairstylist, Founder of YAROK Hair Care & Yarok Beauty Kitchen Salon, Certified Aromatherapist & Green Beauty Enthusiast
Mordechai Alvow is the creator of YAROK Hair Care & Beauty Kitchen Salon, Certified Aromatherapist, Green Beauty Guru, and Editorial & Celebrity Hairstylist. His YAROK brand is the convergence of Mordechai’s global perspective and commitment to preserve the planet, with his intuitive styling approach and his ongoing quest for performance-driven products that are healthy for both clients and stylists. By modifying traditional recipes, YAROK products are formulated exclusively from organic, wild crafted and otherwise responsibly harvested plant ingredients that are are handpicked for their medicinal and sensory benefits, and are sourced from pristine locales around the world.
Mordechai also travels the world sharing his perspective of beauty that is Food for the Head & Good for the Earth as an editorial and celebrity stylist interpreting fashion and trends into uniquely fresh and wearable hairstyles. He has worked with scores of designers, advertisers, photographers and celebrities. His work has graced the pages of VOGUE, Allure, ELLE, In Style, Marie Claire, New York Magazine and the Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Mordechai’s celebrity clients include Melania Trump, Naomi Watts and Catherine Zeta Jones, and his international runway experience includes Alexander McQueen, Anna Sui, and Yohji Yamamoto. He brings this runway influence to his salon clients through his technical mastery of cut and color.
Previously Mordechai owned the MOTY MOTY Salon at the swank Equinox Sports Club on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It was here the idea for YAROK, which means “green” in Hebrew, was born and where he experimented with homespun, oil-based formulas to revitalize and replenish the hair and scalp of his health and fitness minded New York City clients. YAROK has since grown into a flourishing hair care collection, embraced by the media and expanding its presence to high-end salons, medical spas and specialty retailers across the US.
Mordechai was originally born in Jaffa, Israel and now resides in New York City.
DT: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? And some highlights in your career? Please name drop (laughs).
MA: I was born and raised in Israel to a family that immigrated from Turkey. After completing my army service, I moved to the US in a search for bigger career opportunities. First stop: Los Angeles. I ended up doing hair for the video clip of White Snake (“Is This Love”) – big hair/end of the ’80s was my thing. Shortly after, I landed in New York, which made me realize that there is where I want to be; to later on work on editorial shoots for the Sport’s Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue, WWD, VOGUE, Allure, ELLE, In Style, Marie Claire, New York Magazine, and more. I was lucky to have agents that introduced me to celebrity clients like Naomi Watts, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and the Williams sisters; supermodels like Alessandra Ambrosio; and, international runway shows of Alexander McQueen, Anna Sui, and Yohji Yamamoto. I previously owned the MOTY MOTY Salon at the swank Equinox Sports Club on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where the idea for YAROK (my haircare brand) was born. I experimented with homespun, oil-based formulas to revitalize and replenish the hair and scalp of health and fitness-minded New York City clients. YAROK has since grown into a flourishing hair care collection; embraced by the media and expanding its presence to high-end salons, medical spas and specialty retailers across the US and now available in 22 countries.
DT: Why is it important to have diversity in the beauty and fashion industries?
MA: We are all looking, behaving, and expressing ourselves very differently. Social media platforms helped in discovering that, “you,” as an individual, don’t have to be the same as others; and, being different is a good thing. In more of the practical meaning of diversity, for example, I used to also do make up for photoshoots; and, I would struggle [to find] shades of darker foundations for dark skin models. Often times, I would be super embarrassed; diversity, in that case, is so important. Today, that is not the case…Rihanna’s make up line has 40 different shades and great variety for darker skin. Everything is changing constantly; so, we need to check ourselves and keep tapping into that change.
DT: Have you seen shifts in the last decade?
MA: You know things are shifting once you hear that governor Cuomo signed an assembly bill to prohibit “race discrimination based on natural hairstyles” in the state of New York. Something women have had to change or hide for years.
When I announced that I am working on my haircare brand that will be non-toxic, based on food ingredients, I got many looks that felt like “oh, good luck,” and now 10 years later, I see how customers and hairstylists are open to [trying] non-toxic, healthy hair products. They crave healthier solutions…we came a long way!
DT: In a perfect world, what would be an ideal evolution in the industries of beauty and fashion?
MA: I would say not using plastic in all industries and especially in the beauty is the #1 evolution that needs to happen. We are consuming more than ever, and doing it as an excuse to our fast-paced lifestyle, when in reality, it is possible to change. I’m looking to replace plastic containers for my brand as we speak.
DT: Do you realize that your presence in the industry, inspires many people around the world?
MA: I believe that because we are living in a world that is in many ways faster than ever, all of us are looking for moments of healing. I know that people are choosing today to prevent and that is inspiring for me to continue and perfect what I do.
DT: What advice would you give your younger self?
MA: “Whatever seems impossible is harder to do, but possible to achieve. Choose to live your life in a way that could benefit and empowers others. Don’t wait for the next big thing to make you happy. Be happy and make others happy.”
DT: Are you living your purpose?
MA: Somewhat yes, living means that we keep experiencing and that is what keeps us alive… every day is a struggle and I work towards living my purpose.
DT: Finish this sentence, “I am grateful for…”
MA: “..the people, encounters, opportunities, and challenges that life has been presented me with.”
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