Sarah Jessica Parker, guest editor on Nordstrom.com’s The Thread blog, debuts her SJP Collection looking flawless, thanks to her trusted hairstylist Serge Normant. As the pair embarks on the SJPxNordstrom cross-country shoe launch, she puts the spotlight on Serge, camera-phone interview style, to candidly discuss how their storied relationship started at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards.
Best on-the-fly styling advice from Serge Normant:
“When all else fails and you’re in a panic, just do a timeless ponytail.” —Sarah Jessica Parker
If Hollywood handed out awards for best hair, Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker and Julianne Moore would need to prepare acceptance speeches. We imagine they’d first thank their parents for the genes that coded their luscious locks, then give all remaining credit to their mane man: hairstylist Serge Normant.
Born and raised outside of Paris, and a New York City resident since 1988, Serge is adored by all of his celebrity clients. Not only does he make them look like goddesses, they call him a trusted friend. After meeting the iconic stylist at a local appearance to promote his eagerly awaited Serge Normant Hair Care Collection, we quickly understood why. Warm, philosophical and suave in a très français (translate: authentic) kind of way, Serge charmed—and sometimes surprised—us with his ideas about beauty, style, success and serendipity…
American beauties or French belles?
There’s this perception that Europeans think American women are over the top with beauty, but actually we are fascinated by how American women pay attention to looking beautiful, to enhancing and celebrating the fact that they’re women. Sometimes French women go too far the other way, wearing absolutely no makeup or looking disheveled because they think it’s cool. What’s beautiful to me, whether you are French or American, is subtle glamour: taking care of yourself and making an effort to play with style. I think French actresses like Charlotte Gainsbourg and Marian Cotillard embody that effortless chic in the same way Julia and Sarah Jessica do.
Long hair or short?
Hair length is not a question of age—it’s about style, personality. I have a friend who’s 70, and she has had the same long hairstyle for 50 years. She should never cut her hair short—it just wouldn’t look like her. Look, I’ll admit it: I love working with a gorgeous, extravagant head of hair like Julia’s, but I’m not saying that a woman has to have long hair to be beautiful. What’s important is how a woman feels about her hair, not what society dictates she should look like. Hair is such a great accessory—you can make mistakes and it grows back! You have to have fun with your hair, to enjoy it. Fashion changes, taste changes, play with your hair.
Hair apparent: Serge styled Julia Roberts for the cover of his book Metamorphosis (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2004) and Sarah Jessica Parker for the Harper’s Bazaar September 2013 issue.
(Images courtesy of sergenormant.com)
Timing or talent?
Early on, I got introduced to the right people at the right time. I never forced anything; I never had a career plan—all I wanted was to do great work, to be part of a great team creating great moments, great photographs. Things just happened for me: I met Julia on the set of her first Vanity Fair shoot with Herb Ritts. I met Sarah Jessica on a shoot in Los Angeles. As a hairstylist, you’re in so many different intimate situations with your celebrity clients—you fly together, you eat together, you’re in a small room at 6am to get ready together. To sustain these relationships, you have to connect on a personal level.
Image or inspiration?
At the end of the day, I am a hairdresser, providing a service. When a client walks the red carpet, I don’t want her wearing ‘Serge Normant.’ She needs to be herself first, and my job is to enhance her. I am so inspired by women—I was inspired by my mom when I was growing up, and I’ve continued to be inspired by all the women I meet. The problem with being too focused on yourself is that whenever you do anything in the spotlight, you’re always judged. So I’m only as good as my last haircut, which keeps me grounded!
Serge created his hair care line using products he has relied on for his entire career to create hair that looks luscious, healthy and gorgeous. Along with luxurious shampoos, conditioners, volumizers, styling and finishing products, Serge recently introduced ‘Avah’ Eau de Parfum, an exotic fragrance you can mist on your body and your hair. Shop our complete Serge Normant collection to add a little ‘Serge glamour’ to your life.