First Lady, Michelle Obama, and celebrity hairstylist, Johnny Wright’sstarsi collided two years ago shortly after B.H.O made his presidential ambitions public. The hairstylist, at the time was working in Chicago’s Wicker Park and had already made a name for himself on the black social scene, evident by his high-profilebookings with Essence magazine, former FLOTC (First Lady of Turks & Caicos) LisaRaye McCoy-Misick and clientage which include actresses Lauren London and Vivica A. Fox, Victoria’s Secret model Selita Ebanks, WNBA star Candace Parker and “Sex and the City” writer Candace Bushnell.
“It’s exciting, absolutely, doing the first lady’s hair,” Wright say’s after meeting FLOTUS, they hit if off immediately, not surprising from all accounts she seems like a very charming lady.
And after only two months from the day of her husbands historic inauguration, Johnny Wright was named official stylist to our First Lady of The United States.
Wright, 31, was summoned from time to time to style Mrs. Obama’s hair for mostly high-profile events such as; the Democratic National Convention in Denver where she made her breakout speech, the highly coveted cover shoot for Vogue magazine and most importantly, for her official White House Portrait. Meaning, Mr Wright has earned bragging rights that a select few hairstylist will ever enjoy, to be forever ensconced on the walls of our nations most historical residence, The White House.
Johnny Wright’s beauty industry story ?
At age 3, Wright, the youngest of four sons, began much like every black child in the inner-city to down south, scratching and oiling scalps is a rites of passage. His first client just happened to be his grand-mamma, Ms. Minnie Brown, who also doubled as a kitchen beautician until she was 91.
“She’s where I got the desire to do hair.” says Wright.
In middle school, the back porch became salon central to his family and friends at his parents home on the South Side of Chicago.
“I washed hair in my mom’s hair in the kitchen sink,” Wright says. But his parents, Vernita and Edward, realizing that their talented and popular son’s business was outgrowing the size of the house, built him a booth in the basement of their house on Edbrooke Avenue. Wright shampooed in the utility sink and worked his ebony magic at an old desk his father hooked up with a mirror.
Johnny Wright displayed his business acumen early on by deciding to use the most popular girl in school as his first celebrity client. Ms. DeKeila Farrell was his ‘muse’ as well as his calling card around the town.
“She was the most popular girl in school, so I did her hair for free,” Wright says, laughing.
He illustrated all the hot new styles on Ms. Farrell from French rolls to finger waves. He hit pay dirt as all the wanna be DeKeila’s packed the basement throwing money at Wright clamouring to get the same look. “People would ask: ‘Oooh, girl! Who did your hair?’ ” says DeKeila Farrell-Gill, “He was very good back then, and its obvious that he still is,” she says. “The first lady has good hands in her hair.”
Direct quotes and interview for this post were from the March 26,2009 article featured in the Washington Post titled “He Dresses Michelle’s Tresses” by staff writer, Avis Thomas-Lester