Androgynous celebrity hairstylist and fashion influencer Alonzo Arnold is coming for his style crown this year, proclaiming today on Instagram, “When it comes to dressing, a lot of y’all ain’t seeing me.”
The Atlanta native, known for taming the manes of the African-American glitterati including Monica, Porsha Williams, and Megan the Stallion, hasn't always been known for his fashion killer status. Growing up in East Atlanta as the youngest of 3 children, Alonzo's parents worked in customer service and trucking. He said, "Growing up, I was not dressed at all. When I got my first job, I was maybe buying Jordans or Air Force 1's, but nothing brand name."
His life shifted in 2009, when he was diagnosed with a Prolactinoma, a rare noncancerous tumor of the pituitary gland, which is on the underside of the brain. The major effect of prolactinoma is decreased levels of some sex hormones — estrogen in women and testosterone in men. He explains, "I produced more female hormones than masculine hormones, which is why I look and sound feminine." After he got the tumor removed in 2017, he said, "It taught me to live my life and (not) give a f*ck about what anyone had to say about it. Just live my life and not take anything for granted."
A month before his surgery, he did a photo shoot with Atlanta's famed photographer Derek Blanks, almost signalling his new image of existing as both a man and a woman. He says, "I had my makeup on and a wig on, and I had on women’s clothes for the first time. I caught myself in the mirror, and was like, “I look so good!" [At that moment], I decided to rebrand myself as a hairstylist and a fashionista."
Arnold, who lists Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B, Zendaya, and Jenna Karleusa as style inspirations, allows his hair business, which includes his wig line Wigalicious, to fuel his fashionable penchants. He says, "My biggest splurge was my brown Birkin 35. It was $30,000. I bought that a year ago. I did a hair class, and made $150,000. I had someone source a bag for me, and within 2 days, it was here."
With a style he describes as 'Every Day Editorial," his looks range from avant garde to streetwear to glam. He says, "I think I’m ahead of my time like Lady Gaga. I'm versatile, I'm a risk taker, and I let people talk."
In terms of plans for the future, he says, "I want to have my own designer collaboration with a big designer brand like Fendi." He adds, "When the time is right, I want to put together an image consulting firm. I want to get someone to do hair, and [makeup], and have someone to source the clothes. I’m talking with my manager about filming and shooting a pilot." Whatever he does, we'll be watching.
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