Hair Stylist Derek J Feels Responsible for 'Creating' Kim Zolciak
By Maggie Coughlan Posted Sep 13th 2010 02:03PM
Having appeared as Kim Zolciak's right hand man on 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta,' a fierce competitor in Chris Rock's documentary on the African American hair industry, 'Good Hair, ' and now as a judge on Oxygen's 'Hair Battle Spectacular,' hair stylist Derek J is making America fabulous -- one fantasy hair creation at a time.
But what exactly is "fantasy hair"? For those unfamiliar with Derek J's world of over the top 'dos, Lady Gaga is often considered a modern day example of what fantasy hair stylists are capable of creating.
"Fantasy hair is wearable art. It allows the hair stylist to be creative, to do what they wanna do, to create whatever they wanna create and put it on top of somebody's head!" Derek J says of the genre.
PopEater spoke with Derek J about Lady Gaga taking the credit for fantasy hair, judging 'Hair Battle Spectacular' and just how responsible he is for Kim Zolciak's style! Read the full interview after the jump!
When people say "fantasy hair," they often reference Lady Gaga as an example.
I hate the fact that [people are saying] Lady Gaga did it ... even though she is part of it. You have Patti LaBelle, Cher, even Pat Benatar. They all had their time; that was their look. Before we allow Lady Gaga to take all the credit, there were some other artists that really wore [it].
They have always been there, but she has brought a 2010 twist to it. She has brought it back -- each generation has their person that really steps across the line.
People may best recognize you as Kim Zolciak's hair stylist on 'Real Housewives of Atlanta.' Kim's look is nothing without her wigs, do you feel at all responsible for creating her over-the-top look?
Yes, I do! She was a hot mess on the first season. [Laughs] I told her that there's no reason she should have $300,000 worth of jewelry on, $200,000 worth of clothes and then you have a $50 wig! That just doesn't make sense. She started to understand that, and I do feel responsible for helping create the monster that she is.
Are you still working with Kim on a wig line?
We're still working together on it, but what it is, she wants the quality of the wig to the be same quality as what she wears ... but that's gonna cost the consumer $3,000! Everybody can't get there. So I'm trying to get her out of that mind frame, to make the wig line consumer friendly. It's hard for her to kind of grasp that.
You dress like no one else! Pumps, handbags, you are never without an accessory. How has America reacted to a man in pumps judging a competition?
Surprisingly, people are really accepting! When I started, I started because I bought some pants that were too long -- I didn't have time to get them hemmed, so I just bought some heels to make me tall enough to wear the pants. I never would have thought that it would have moved into this cultural phenomenon. Everybody is very accepting, even from the older generation to a younger generation, it's just accepting. It's surprising! Like, "You're the only one who can do it!" When I'm out, people just automatically expect me to have [heels] on and if I don't have them on, they're upset! Women don't wear heels with everything. Why do I have to wear heels everyday?
If you could give anyone one of your fantasy hair creations, who would it be?
I still love Patti LaBelle. If I could give her one of her LaBelle 'dos from back in the day, I would not fight that!
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