How can one even begin to fathom the inner workings of a creative mind? Michael Haase has definitely had a colorful mixture of life experience, the ability to think outside the box, and the dedication to make his dreams a reality. Being in the right place at the right time has something to do with his success. Those who know him, however, have witnessed first hand his endless passion for the craft of hair.
The descendent of a German acrobatic family, Haase was accustomed to the adrenalin rush of performing. He mastered acrobatics and daring feats on the trapeze. Haase LOVED the gypsy life-style. The constant change of scenery, wide array of colors, shapes and sounds enchanted him. His heritage is what first put him in touch with his creative side. His father designed a high speed skating routine and engineered tables and an apparatus which not only thrilled audiences of that age, but something so marvelous that it would be adopted and later utilized with Cirque du Soliel. How could anyone at that time realize that the thrills of the European Circus were actually the stepping-stones to his fascinating career?
Charting a path of his own, Michael headed for New York. At the age of 16, found himself at Woodstock of all places. He couldn't have planned it any better. He managed to cross paths with a very well known photographer by the name of Francesco Scavullo. Realizing the need for shelter of this young lad, Scavullo graciously arranged for him to stay with a friend. As it turned out, that friend was none other than Andy Warhol. That is the epitome of the phrase “being in the right place at the right time”. While growing up, Michael continued to be inspired by those around him. His mother had since become a hairdresser. It occurred to Michael, that this might be something to expand on. Apparently, 'hair was his THING'. Haase had found his niche. He dreamt of perfecting the masterful haircut.
Upon graduating from beauty school at 17, he became the youngest stylist to ever join the core team of the prestigious Vidal Sassoon. There he began his study for methodology and haircutting design. Though having learned much, Haase realized that there was so much more to having amazing hair than just a cut. Vidal was instrumental and quite supportive of his growth within the industry. He was then given the rare opportunity of working with Annie Humphrey's in London in the early 1980's. Humphrey's is known for being the second part of the Vidal Sassoon "Dream Team". If you're going to be taught something, you might as well be schooled by the best. And he was. While name-dropping is normally a bore, it’s certainly part of what makes his story so amazing… On returning to Europe, he studied make-up design with the house of Christian Dior. He was able to work with the 'Alexandre de Paris' (Louis Raimon). It was an honor to learn French hairstyling techniques of such a talented coiffeur.
“As it turned out, that friend was none other than Andy Warhol”.
Haase loved watching Raimon's hands as he worked and feels most fortunate to have helped him coif the European royalty. Haase decided it was time to make a move.
It just so happens that upon returning to the States, MTV was coming into its heyday. The timing was impeccable. This was THE opportunity Michael Haase had dreamed of his entire life. He implemented his cutting edge vision of hair and makeup by creating the 'look' of many of the iconic videos. Robert Palmer, The Cars, Duran Duran, and Berlin... the list goes on of people seeking his creative input and sense of style. Not surprisingly, Michael Haase won both recognition as well as the MTVAward for Best Hair and Makeup. To add to his long list of accomplishments, the fast pace of the music video industry contributed significantly in creating runway artistry. Collaborative efforts with fashion house's Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Oscar de la Renta, and Yves Saint Laurent (along with others) helped him realize his designer visions for runway shows of New York and Los Angeles fashion weeks. Haase is happy to work with the 'up and coming' just as much as he is the 'iconic' designers.
Today, Haase is both an educator and stylist, working with Wella Professionals. He is also the head stylist at his own Salon Platinum Black. Quotes: "the most important tools a successful hairdresser can have are a good set of blades, a premium quality performance color product, and the patience to create". He credits his success to education, and he holds to the integrity of his teachers, even while incorporating the latest technology into his craft. Haase's goal is to create a "high quality magazine image" that makes his clients feel beautiful. Each person is an individual, unique piece of art just waiting to happen.
Haase continues to design and re-design as fashion trends are always in a state of reinvention. He has cemented his place in the industry as a professional hairdresser, educator and artist. Haase now believes that by passing his knowledge to other hairdressers they will continue their path to become "the NEW elite" in the fashionable world of hair artistry.