FACT: When we set up this interview, we did not know the extent that Mane Masters David Von Cannon and Chris Mcmillan knew each other. In fact, upon talking to David, we discovered that he was actually Chris’ assistant nearly 10 years ago at his namesake salon! David Von Cannon is known for styling some of the most innovative editorial spreads as well as countless celebrities (including Gisele!). Chris is a man who needs no introduction. With one of LA’s busiest and more famous salons, he boasts an elite clientele. He’s the man behind ‘the Rachel’ and Kim Kardashian’s wedding day locks. So without further adieu, take a look at what a conversation between these two talented stylists is like and learn a thing or two about what goes into making a #manemaster.
DAVID: Hi Chris. How’s it going?
CHRIS: Good Good! I was just thinking that the last time I saw you was on that GQ shoot.
DAVID: In Brooklyn right?
CHRIS: Yes exactly. I wanted to say that every time I see a picture that I like lately, you’ve done the hair.
DAVID: Haha. Shut up Chris.
CHRIS: No I mean it! Like Allison Williams for Glamour Magazine, then I saw these guys that had middle parts super slicked hair- so good! Then this other picture that had all these ruffled up nuances. You have this whole signature look thing going for you now. These sort of glamorous, yet not so perfect styles with all these intricate nuances that I love. I couldn’t be more happy for you. You’re kind of my favorite hairdresser to follow right now.
DAVID: Haha thank you Chris. But you know it all started with you.
CHRIS: It’s funny because in the salon, you were an assistant, and at the same time Jen [Atkin] was an assistant, and here we are her website, Mane Addicts. I love seeing that the assistants are doing so well.
DAVID: Thank you Chris, thank you. What’s new with you?
CHRIS: You know, it’s still the same. I’m still standing at the same station, talking on the phone the same way I used to when we worked together. I’m doing a haircut as we speak, and doing this interview with you at the same time! What’s new with you?
DAVID: Well, today’s my first day off in 10 days and I’m just so glad to be talking on the phone with you!
DAVID: I’m still in New York. I’ve been here almost 10 years!
CHRIS: I remember when you first moved there, and we went to that installation at the park.
DAVID: Yeah I remember, it was snowing! I wanted to just say that looking back, you’re talking about me having a signature style now- that all really started with you. I was straight out of hair school when I started working for you and all those little detailed things I learned from you.
CHRIS: Well I remember your signature style on yourself back then! That crazy asymmetrical cut you were wearing! You need to send me a picture of what was going on with that.
DAVID: Yeah and color! It was dark, and blonde, and red.
CHRIS: You definitely don’t look like you used to!
DAVID: No I don’t! Not at all.
CHRIS: You’re all about the beard and long hair now.
DAVID: Well, I had a bit of a Britney Spears moment and I cut my beard and my hair off!
CHRIS: Did you just shave your head?
DAVID: No, I shaved my beard, but just chopped at my hair.
CHRIS: Do you have a bob now?
DAVID: How did you know?!
CHRIS: Or do you have a lob?
DAVID: It’s a little shorter than a lob, it’s a bob! What kind of hair are you into doing these days?
CHRIS: My favorite thing to do, if I’m allowed, is to cut hair short. I love a great pixie haircut.
DAVID: Yeah I mean, you’ve always been great at that.
CHRIS: I love a good pixie haircut. But also, because we’ve cut so many bobs on everyone these past few years, I’m really into shagging the hair out as it grows. Kind of like that model Mica [Arganaraz]. You know me, I always grab onto a model and obsessed, and I love that model Mica. I love letting people’s hair dry natural, and just giving them a great haircut.
DAVID: YESS! That’s the thing, with a good haircut you should be able to just go natural.
CHRIS: Yes, if you have a good haircut, you shouldn’t have to style it! Just let it go natural, like in the 70’s.
CHRIS: Oh you weren’t around in the 70’s?! Well I was.
DAVID: Do you know how good it is to hear your voice?
CHRIS: Yeah you know, when they approached me about this, they suggested another hairdresser, but I was like you know what, ‘How about David?’ I’ve been really enjoying you as a hairstylist lately.
DAVID: Aww that’s so nice of you! I left a comment on one of your Instagram posts the other day, just going through memory lane, I still use those scissors that you gave me.
CHRIS: Oh you do?! They were Hikari.
DAVID: From the guy that would come into the salon.
CHRIS: Oh I know… From the guy that owns Ibiza- Aaron! You know he’s a hairdresser now?
DAVID: Oh really?
CHRIS: Yeah he saw what we do, then he went to beauty school, and now he’s doing hair!
DAVID: Well, I think you have to really love hair to do what we do. If you love hair, then it’s an obvious choice.
CHRIS: That’s the thing. I agree. And you always loved hair, and you always knew. I have to admit, I was selfish back then and I have to apologize. I loved you as an assistant so much, I remember saying, ‘Why do you want to move to New York?!”
DAVID: I know!
CHRIS: Because it works!
DAVID: I know! I loved working for you, it will always be the start of my career.
CHRIS: Well, I stole you from Andy [Lecompte]
DAVID: You actually did. Well it wasn’t stealing exactly.
CHRIS: So are you married?
DAVID: I’m single Chris. Single, single.
CHRIS: You know I’m married now!
DAVID: I did actually. Fully, fully legally married?
CHRIS: 100% totally legal!
DAVID: When did that happen?
CHRIS: It happened November 1st at 1 in the afternoon, but we celebrated yesterday. Jennifer threw us a party yesterday on the beach in Malibu. And yes, I still do Jennifer Aniston’s hair.
DAVID: Hahaha I knew that you did.
CHRIS: She won’t let me go!
DAVID: Well, you’re the best!
CHRIS: Who is your Jennifer Aniston?
DAVID: I would have to say that my Jennifer Aniston is Gisele.
CHRIS: It is, isn’t it? Not a bad one to have! I was hoping you were going to say that!
DAVID: Well when you get to work with a friend and get to do something you love with someone so great it’s really amazing.
CHRIS: It is and I knew that. You know what’s so great, is that your W cover that you did with Terry Richardson and Gisele just proves that a good haircut and playing with someone’s natural texture can work! I was just so impressed with that picture and what you did with it- not that Gisele doesn’t know how to work a head of hair!
DAVID: She does. For sure.
CHRIS: But you got it to a quality of amazingness!
LUCY HALE: I’m not getting a shag, right?
CHRIS: No! I mean, it’s kind of a shag! Haha, no, it’s not.
DAVID: Chris can do about 5 or 6 things at 1 time.
CHRIS: No I don’t! I try to focus exactly on what I’m doing. I’m doing Lucy Hale’s hair right now. I’m giving her a haircut, and she puts a lot of rules and regulations on me.
LUCY: No I don’t!
CHRIS: Yeah you do! Haha! And I’m not allowed to do this and do that. When you first meet them, they’re like ‘sure do whatever you want!’ Then when they get comfortable with you, they start telling you what to do.
DAVID: Yeah for sure! Well, you know we can get going and sometimes and you end up with a shag when you wanted a bob.
CHRIS: Going back to your Jennifer Aniston- who is Gisele, is amazing. When I saw that photo by Terry Richardson, who is one of my favorite photographers to work with, I didn’t get the success from my pictures with Terry the way you did with Gisele and that picture. Because he wants to see skin and he’s always pushing the hair back. He doesn’t want to make it about hair.
DAVID: Yeah, it’s all about the sex appeal and the girl.
CHRIS: I just did a cover with him the other day and he kept pushing the hair back, and I was like ‘but the hair looks so good!’ But what was nice about your cover was that Gisele had clothes on, so it was all about clothes and hair.
DAVID: Well, what I have to say about that, Chris, is that a little bit of movement goes a long way with hair, and you know that too.
CHRIS: Absolutely! That’s what I love about Gisele.
DAVID: She knows how to work it too!
CHRIS: She knows how to work that hair!
DAIVD: No, she knows how to work everything!
CHRIS: Do you think that you’ve learned a lot from working with her?
CHRIS: About hair?
DAVID: Well, I think when you work with anyone who is so good with their own hair, I mean she knows everything, I’m not sure I can even put my finger on it, maybe it’s just an ease with hair.
CHRIS: Who is your favorite hairdresser? And you’re not allowed to say me!
DAVID: Oh, that’s a tough one, but I worked for Didier Malige for like 6 years! And I have to say, just sensibility wise, it would have to be him. But, there’s been a lot of hairdressers that have touched me, you know? But we all have our own style, we all have our own thing.
CHRIS: So would you say you learned the most from being an assistant to Didier over those 6 years?
DAVID: Well it’s a combination of working with Luigi [Murenu] at the same point.
CHRIS: That’s a whole other level of hairdresser, because it’s all about fashion shows, Vogue shoots, editorial shoots, things like that.
DAVID: Yeah, but I can say you and Andy did teach me a lot about working with celebrities. Everyone has something different that they’re so great at, so I took a little bit from everyone. You taught me a lot about blowdrying, you know what I’m saying?
CHRIS: Yeah, how to get that quality into the hair. Even working with you on that shoot when I hadn’t seen you in so many years! I love how you had those guitar pick clips, and the way you were rolling the hair up. Remember, I was watching what you were doing the whole time. I had an easy day that day, I just had that guy, so I was just watching you! You gave me one of your clips!
DAVID: Oh I have some new ones for you actually! My assistant made these new ones from all these odd playing cards we found.
CHRIS: Do share!
DAVID: I will, I’m heading there at the end of July.
CHRIS: You have to let me know!
DAVID: I wanted to tell you how honored I am to do this with you Chris.
CHRIS: Are you kidding?! I wanted to tell you that I’ve always adored you, and I love that you are doing so well in the business, and no one deserves it more than you! It makes me so happy to see all this happening for you! Keep it going, just show up on time! That’s always what I tell everybody.
DAVID: Chris- you are right on, more than you know.