Haute Stylist James Pecis Dishes On Finding Inspiration—And Quitting Plastic
Editorial and runway hair visionary James Pecis lends a distinct, organic and ethereal touch to his work that lets you know this is someone who’s creatively inspired—and certainly not bound by convention. Having worked for W, Love, i-D, and Vogue (all Vogues, I should say) as well as ads for Dior, Chloé, Alexander McQueen, and Isabel Marant, Pecis has shared his mane art around the world.
Pecis is committed to more than beautiful hair, however. The stylist is vocal about his passion for the ocean and even worked on a book of hairstyles inspired by nature called Noodled to raise money for Mission Blue, which works to support marine protected areas. Furthermore, Pecis is down with ditching single-use plastic (more on that below). But first—his thoughts on developing your career and cultivating your craft will give you major mid-week motivation.
Defining your career is a process that can’t (and shouldn’t) be rushed (phew).
“I think you have to develop it over a long time,” he explained to Coveteur. “I’m pretty young in the game compared to Jimmy [Paul] or Didier [Malige] or some of those guys. It’s a lifetime achievement to figure out what you do.”
Hard work is a part of the process, too, of course.
The best advice Pecis received from a mentor was, “Act like a swan. Look calm and collected on top but paddle like hell below,” he told Modern Salon.
Rediscovering the lost art of writing can help your creativity blossom (à la Salvador Dalí).
“I love writing things down. I always do notebooks. It’s fun to doodle in them. There’s the space in between sleep and awake when you go to bed where usually you come up with good ideas, and if you don’t write them down, you’ll forget them. Salvador Dalí used to purposely train himself to get to that place. But you just have to be disciplined and make yourself write it down. But the best ideas you get just by looking around. I come up with ideas just like seeing kids on the subway or going to a new city and seeing what people are doing. And a lot of times you just take what they give you, and you just twist it.”
There are people who love their reusable water bottle—and then there’s James Pecis, who really takes it to the next level.
“I was trying to find a water bottle that not only can be refilled but you can also refill from a public restroom in Mexico. There’s this company [ÖKO], and then there’s another company called LifeStraw. It’s not just like a carbon filter, it’s a very advanced filter. Technically, you can take water out of a gutter in India and drink it and you won’t get sick. I’ve tested this thing. It’s cool because you realize, especially in this business and travel, just how much waste [there is]. The carbon footprint is the scariest thing. I haven’t used a plastic water bottle in two years.”
He’s about the fashion and beauty industries getting onboard with more eco-friendly materials and practices.
“The biggest challenge is the amount of waste from photo shoots and fashion shows,” he shared on Rosie Inc. “Some people and brands are making big changes in the industry and we can join them to create lasting improvements. With more people on board and changing our small habits, we can create something new with longevity.” Pecis is also known for using various byproducts and found items in his work, proving that beautiful isn’t always synonymous with new and shiny.
Have you ditched single-use plastic yet?
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