Nelson Vercher

Nelson Vercher

Name: Nelson Vercher

Title/Position: Editorial & Celebrity Hair Stylist; Casting Director

Instagram/Website: @nelsonvercher /

Chicago native Nelson Vercher started his career as a hairstylist at home-by experimenting on his four sisters. A major part of his work has been inspired by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. As a young boy, Nelson was so amazed by his architecture, he would take the train from one side of town to another just to go look at his original homes in Oak Park, Chicago. Which is still a major part and inspiration in his work today.An apprenticeship at Vidal Sassoon catapulted Nelson into the position of west coast instructor for the company's San Francisco location. He later moved to New York and worked at such esteemed salons as John Frieda, Oribe, eventually settling at his long time friend Rita Hazan salon. Where his station is always buzzing.
Known for his sexy wash and wear cuts, Nelson's work has been featured in the pages of such magazines as:

Amazing, Blank, Bullett, Details, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Interview, Italian Vogue, kurv, Nylon, L'Officiel, Oyster, Treats, Vogue, VVV, Wonderland.

As well as runway shows of such designers as:

Alexander Wang, Calvin Klein, Costello Tagliapietra, Denibi, Donna Karen, Giorgio Armani, Halston, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Oscar De La Renta, Phillip Lim, Prada, Valentino, Veronica Beard, Willy Chavarria, Zac Posen, and Y3.

His extensive celebrity clientele consists of:

Aisha Tyler, Arlens Sosa, Britney Spears, Calista Flockhart, Carmen Ejogo, Carrie Keagan, Chanel Iman, Chloe Moretz, Donatella Versace, FeFe Dobson, Hannah Ferguson, Iman, Indya Moore, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, Jessica Stam, Joel Edgerton, Karl Glussman, Kat Dahlia, Kelly Rowland, Keyshia Cole, Kim Kardashian, Lydia Hearst, Madonna, Mary J. Blige, Naomi Campbell, Nelly Furtado, Tamia, Tommy Genesis, Sienna Miller, and Solange.

"I love making a woman look beautiful with what I call modern, easy hair," says Nelson, "and if you want to style it on top of that, even better."


DT: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? And some highlights in your career? Please name drop (laughs).

NV: I am an editorial/celebrity hair stylist in NYC,  well I've always been around hair , growing up with all sisters in my home, so the fact that I'm doing hair styling as a career is not that surprising.

Although, once I really knew what being a career hair stylist is really about, I'm not sure it was the right fit. (laugh)

With that said , hair has been very good to me , I've traveled the world , seen so many wonderful  places I never thought I'd see, met tons of  amazing people. Also I've taking my work trips serious , and learned about every place I've been.

For me, being  a young man growing up in Chicago in late 70s/early80s and being very strange kid , the kind of kid your parents were embarrassed of or by.  That loved to dress weird and do odd things to my hair and clothes, and just be creative overall. I've always been a natural  loner, words from my mother's mouth. I had know idea what she was speaking about until years later.

This is why I say hair styling career would have been a 2nd or 3rd choice for me.  So much about working on the top level is about your personality, not just your skills, and I'm for sure from the school of skill (technique) over anything else. This in no way means  I appreciate someone who's  rude or  horrible to be around , but so many of the top hair stylists have these specific personality types, and I for sure don't have that. Also its a very social job , and I'm a very laid back person , prefer to be at home. However, when it comes to doing hair i still light up, and want to be the best, I'm very competitive, but in a good way I hope.

I never had  really strong desires to work with celebrities. For me it was all about the  models and photographers, and doing iconic images for ads, was the thing that inspired me the most. So, when I started to  work with celebrity clients it took some getting use to.

i still prefer working with a  serious actress over a "celebrity", and a model even more.  But I must confess , I love working with a great singer, they can be  so much fun and very inspiring to me and you to get to marry all genres.

NEW YORK – JUNE 03: Singer Kelly Rowland arrives at the 2010 VH1 Hip Hop Honors at the Hammerstein Ballroom on June 3, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
NEW YORK – JUNE 03: Singer Kelly Rowland arrives at the 2010 VH1 Hip Hop Honors at the Hammerstein Ballroom on June 3, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

And if I'm honest, the  one and only time I was  ever star struck , was the time I worked with Madonna. It was for sure a highlight in me career , and I really liked her. She also is an amazing mom!

Also my first work trip to Africa, I have no words to express what that was like, and if I had to pick one it would  be magic.

DT: Why is it important to have diversity in the beauty and fashion industries?

NV: Simply, so I can stop being mistaken for delivery person or messenger, when I arrive to work for a photo shoot. People in fashion really need to open their  eyes to type casting or stereotyping like this.

I can't count the time its happened to me, it happens more if I'm dressed casual, like everyone else. But has also happened many times when I've been very dressed up.

DT: Have you seen shifts in the last decade?

NV: Yes, I've seen some movement, for sure. At one point, I was the only African American hair-stylist on 5th avenue. I think it use to be one or at the most two a decade, and that's changed, for sure. Now, you have more African American women; and, for sure, seeing young men and women of color hairstylist working in the celebrity world. Some in the fashion world , but not as much,as you see working with celebrities. Another crazy thing is , whenever I'm the Key Hair Stylist for a fashion show ,the editors act as if they just saw a unicorn. There are lots of us working on fashion shows , but almost never do you see a African American hairstylist as the "Key" for a show. I've seen one other, so has things  have shifted, but nowhere near enough.

DT: In a perfect world, what would be an ideal evolution in the industries of beauty and fashion?

NV: I don't believe in perfection , as a matter of fact I hate the whole idea of something being perfect.  So I can't give you an example of a perfect world in beauty and fashion. What would be a great change, is to give to people of color with the same experiences, training, vision, and  the same opportunities. And  "profiling" because of race in beauty and fashion should not be happening in 2019.

DT: Do you realize that your presence in the industry,  inspires many people around the world?

NV: Yes, I think seeing me on sets  does inspire.  I have young people of color from everywhere, always reaching out to me and asking what step to take to have a successful career  in beauty and fashion. Most of the time, I'm not sure they like the answer.

London, UK – Madonna gives cameras a slight smile as she arrives at Heathrow Airport.
London, UK – Madonna gives cameras a slight smile as she arrives at Heathrow Airport.

DT: What advice would you give your younger self?

NV: I would tell my younger self, 'to pay close attention to the fine lines, most all relationships are business."

"Don't take anything personally." This one is very important, rebellion only takes you so far, and always work on the other creative gifts you have. This will help you stay ahead of the game. Never put all your eggs in one basket, and  always be nice to everyone.

DT: Are you living your purpose?

NV: I am living my purpose somewhat, I am always pushing myself to get there.

DT: Finish this sentence, "I am grateful…"

DT: "…to not being afraid."

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