top of page

Super Models a backstage story. Alek Wek

True story: I did Super Model Alec Wek's Balenciaga runway look using only water.

The scene:

Paris 2020 backstage at Mercedes Benz Fashion week in a mysterious location: a sunken theater outside of the city. The production team designed a runway that was underwater reflecting images of storms from the ceiling into the water & shiny floor.

A mysterious feeling in the air... it was the start of the Corona pandemic and every one was on edge. Ironically the theme was a sort of post armageddon scene. Knee deep water sort of set after a flood. The models were all ages and came lurching down the doomed runway with a dark confidence. Eerie and spot on considering the looming lockdown.

I was one of the assistants of Holli Smith for Balenciaga. I was excited to be referred by my mentor Tommy Hagan. I drove down from Amsterdam excited at the opportunity. After setting up my hair station the models were filling up the hair and make up seats.

In walks Alek and I was in awe. She was sent to my station by one of the lead assistants for me to prep her for the catwalk show. Alec's face was warm and she looked reassured to be with a fellow Afro natural curly girl.

After finding out we were practically neighbors in Ft Greene, the vibe was instantly like we were old friends. She was incredible humble and shared some really personal stories about relationships buying a house in Brooklyn. She shared that she was an advocate against domestic violence and stands up for women in need. Being one of the first black supermodels she has always been an inspiration so it was an honor to be working with her.

I asked her if she would mind if I could moisturize her hair and she agreed to come with me to the sink. I sprayed oil and warm water in her hair and combed it through. The team asked me not to twist or palm roll it.

So we decided to just hydrate it with simple good old fashion hot water. When it comes to thick dry coarse hair a bit of heat or steam can soften the hair. In this case hot water was the best styling tool.

Click here to watch a clip from the show

157 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page