Hollywood Hairstylist Oribe Canales Dies at 62

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images
Oribe Canales prepares backstage at the Cosabella Mare 2006 fashion presentation.

The revolutionary hairstylist created bombshell hair in the '90s.

Oribe Canales, a legend in the fashion and beauty industries, has died at 62.

“Oribe was an amazing hairdresser and friend and will be missed," Canales' rep told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday. "Out of respect for his partner, Zaki, and his family, we have no further comment at this time."

Details surrounding the death were not immediately available. 

The Cuban-born hairstylist rose to fame in the 1980s when he worked with photographer Steven Meisel on editorial shoots, often using wigs and hairpieces to add mega volume to hairstyles. In the 1990s he became the go-to pro for the mainstay of supermodels gracing every magazine cover: Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. He was flown between New York, Paris and Milan for fashion shows, where he made waves with eye-catching styles at Marc Jacobs, Chanel and Versace. It heralded a switch: No longer were shows just about the fashion. He and the likes of makeup artist Francois Nars changed the direction to a whole package look.

In 1997, Jennifer Lopez requested him for the shoot for her On the 6 album cover. Her then-boyfriend, Sean Combs, told her not to let the hairstylist get away, and over the next decade, the stylist helped shape her bombshell image.

In an Instagram tribute, Lopez wrote, "The next 10 years I would spend with Oribe by my side in every waking and working moment. We fell in love with each other. We traveled the world. He made me love the glam part of things. He loved beauty and wanted women to feel beautiful and sexy. He loved the messiness and the imperfection. He was a true artist. He made me feel special and beautiful for so long."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

When I was 16 I was fascinated with Vogue magazine I would ride on the train and look at all the images of the supermodels and I was obsessed with the hair!! When I saw an image I loved I would check who did it and it was always someone named Oribe... Wow... he’s amazing I would think!! Cut to years later I was making my first album. I started working with Benny Medina and he said to me we have to do an album cover shoot who do you want for hair and makeup... honestly I was so new to the industry I knew no one and remembered my time flipping thru those magazines on the 6 and said ummm Oribe and Kevin Aucoin... Benny laughed and said oh OK! The next 10 years I would spend with Oribe by my side in every waking and working moment. We fell in love with each other. We traveled the world together. And along with Scott Barnes they helped me blossom into JLO. It was a magical and exhausting time...And when I was tired he would say to me... “You are gonna get up and go out there and be beautiful and fabulous bc that your job!!” We’d laugh bc that sounded crazy and then we would get to the business of doing our “job” !! He made me love the glam part of things. Bc he loved it so much and saw it as a powerful tool to empower women. He loved beauty and wanted women to feel beautiful and sexy. He loved the messiness and the imperfection and saw how interesting that was. He was a true artist. He made me feel special and beautiful for so long. I could go on and on but I will just say with a heavy heart... Thank you sweet, beautiful man... I will miss you. I love you Oribe... so much... #latinolegend #artistextraordinaire #hairgod #familia

A post shared by Jennifer Lopez (@jlo) on

His client list continued to grow, both at his eponymous salons in New York and Miami and through editorial and red-carpet work. Meghan Markle also worked with the pro. 

Scarlett Johansson's makeup artist, Frankie Boyd, told THR on Monday: "I met Oribe on set in Barcelona when I was still working as a makeup assistant. I was nervous to meet the man that created so many iconic looks that shaped beauty as I knew it. Oribe had a very glamorous and chic persona that would be intimidating to most. To my surprise he was very sweet and had a way of connecting with everyone and making them feel special -- even the assistants. That week at work he shared the most outrageous stories about heydays of fashion in the '90s. We gossiped and laughed so loud we got a lot dirty looks from everyone working on set. He was a legend and will be remembered not only for his gifted hands but his handsome smile and impeccable tan."

Canales, who, with partner Zaki Amin, spent most of his downtime in Miami, launched his Oribe product line in 2008 with Dry Texturizing Spray. Hairstylists, including those on THR’s inaugural list of Hollywood’s Top Glam Squads like Nicole Kidman’s pro Kylee Heath and Claire Foy’s mane man Ben Skervin, frequently name Oribe products as essentials in their kits. The latest launch included home fragrance. Fans of the brand, including Miley Cyrus, often noted the smell of the hair products and wanting to wear them all day. 

Of the new line, Canales said: “When I worked on the Cote d’Azur line, I was inspired by the same things that usually inspire: Things that are glamorous and sophisticated, but sexy at the same time.”

As Nars once said, "I believe his only drive is to make women sexy, gorgeous and as beautiful as possible. That is the vision he has in mind all the time. Not too many people have that today. That's why there is only one Oribe."