Styling the Way to New York Fashion Week

Lynee Ruiz is a hairstylist who started in the Milwaukee and Brookfield areas doing local test photoshoots and charitable runway shows, along with some smaller company photoshoots. She was working at Corenza Salon in Brookfield, Wis., when a spark lit inside of her.

Friends of Ruiz have said that she simply stated to herself and her co-workers that she wanted to do hair for the next New York Fashion Week. Ruiz went on to do hair at some of the 2014/2015 NYFW shows. Having worked with Ruiz, I have personally experienced how she changes a set’s atmosphere. There is a seriousness and attention to detail, but it never distracts from her connection with the model or client. Her success derives from her spirit and determination.

What New York Fashion Week shows have you participated in? Do you have a favorite show?

I’ve done NYFW Spring/Summer 2014 Azede Jean Pierre and NYFW Spring/Summer 2015 Badgley Mischka and Sophie Theallet. The spring/summer shows are always held in September. My favorite was Badgley Mischka! I was on Peter Gray’s hair team and he was the most genuine, pleasant leader to work under. As I was waiting for the models to walk and giving them their last look touch ups, Naomi Campbell walked passed to surprise Mark and James (the two creators and designers of Badgley Mischka). There was press and cameras everywhere. It was a true New York Fashion Week experience!

In your travels, have you experienced any “fashion culture shock”? Did it inspire or influence you in any way?

I literally went from working in a salon in Wisconsin and doing a few amateur photo shoots to sitting at a table at one of New York’s hottest clubs overlooking the Hudson River. I was responsible for keeping a model looking great all night for a hair company. I was surrounded by Victoria’s Secret models, and I remember this strange man walked past our table wearing a cape and muzzle, much like Bane from “Batman.” So my first experience in fashion was the most shocking. I wanted to make sure I went back and got to know the city well and I have!


Hairstylist Lynee Ruiz. Photo by Bryan Whitely.

What hair products did you use at NYFW? What products are your go-to for shows and shoots?

For NYFW, you are on a hair team that is sponsored by a hair brand. I’ve worked with Amika and Moroccan Oil. My personal choice for my kit is Oribe and Balmain hair products. They are high end and sophisticated. ... And they come with a price tag! I believe in investing in your career, and I don’t skimp on my products. The bottles and the scents are beautiful and have an impact sitting in my hair and makeup area. They work very well, but honestly more important than products are your techniques.

What products work the best on male models on shoots or in shows?

For male models, I use Oribe, whether it’s the pomade, fiber groom or molding wax.

Is there a certain product that you use on both men and women?

The only hair spray I use is L’Oreal Elnett, on men and women. It holds the hair when you need [it] to and brushes out and disappears when you need to change the hairstyle. It also gives hair a beautiful shine that isn’t greasy or overwhelming.