BAZAAR’S TOP 10 STYLIST
Korea’s fast-moving beauty and fashion industry has seen the meteoric rise of many celebrity stylists. In the last decade, none of them proved to be a bigger rising star than Baek Hyun-Woo, who rose to prominence in South Korea styling Korean superstars on a weekly basis. Hungry for a challenge, he soon found himself in Hangzhou, China, as a leading hair designer, before riding the wave to Malaysian shores, making his permanent home as hair director at the renowned Leekaja Beauty Salon.
Lauded for his flexibility and resourcefulness, Baek specialises in total hair makeovers, often based around the natural lines and angles of his clients’ faces. With a utilitarian and unapologetic view on beauty and styling, Baek’s 13-year journey across borders has borne an eclectic sense of style, setting him apart from other cookie-cutter stylists. He often finds himself trying to convince less adventurous clients to experiment with the Korean Perm, a look he believes to be underused in other parts of the world. “The Korean Perm is indeed popular where I’m from—a lot of K-pop stars are sporting it right now.”
While there is a marked difference in male-to-female ratio in terms of clients, Baek finds pleasure in working with both men and women, often seeking ways to express himself as well as his clients’ personalities artistically. “Nowadays, everyone is constantly scrutinising each other’s looks. This has put pressure on even men to look their best,” he observes. “We live in a time where even men don’t mind primping themselves.” These expectations have stirred great change, not just in Korea, but Malaysia too, and one that Baek embraces with open arms.
Leekaja Beauty Salon, G5-9, Robinsons, Shoppes at Four Seasons Place. Tel: 012-833 0040. www.leekaja.my