Alex Valverde and Ed Moelands are two names that are well known in the high-fashion industry. After a decade working abroad, Boys are back in Antwerp, running their successful Studio at the riverside of Schelde. Some say, they're the best hairstylists in town and we can confirm this to be true. Ahead of the Midnight Chardonnay Festival at Het Bos on 31st of March, we decided to throw a little Apéritiv soirée at Alex & Ed’s Studio this Saturday. We take five minutes to chat with the talented masters of hair about their passion for Beauty, their global career, style and trends.
GASS: Hello Alex and Ed, Can you tell us a bit about yourselves? Where are you from?
Alex: I'm French, originally from Paris. I was a bit too "off the wall" at school and wanted to stop my studies at the very early age ( 15y o ). It was accepted with one condition: I had to find my direction. At the time, I was already in the Paris night scene, hanging out at the most famous club in Paris of that time, called LE PALACE, where all international celebs would go when in town, such as Grace Jones, Boy George, Keith Haring, YSL, Karl Lagerfeld, David Bowie, Madonna, Jean-Paul Gaultier... At that time, I was into wearing excentric make-up & hair, It was only natural for me to chose the beauty school!
Ed: I was born in the Netherlands. I studied Arts, Graphic and Publicity Design. Moved to Antwerp in the early 90’s to start a carreer in fashion and beauty as a hair stylist and enrolled to hair school.
GASS: How did you get into fashion and hairstyling?
A&E: We’ve always been interested and working in the industry. Ed got into hair styling accidently ( never thought of it as a profession ) but always has been playing with hair and got asked to work on a show by a young stylist.
GASS: How did you two meet and how did you come up with an idea to work together?
A&E: We met 25 years ago on the dancefloor in Antwerp! ( at the reknown club called Café d’Anvers ) Fell in love from the first sight and only found out later we were both sharing the same passion for BEAUTY! So we naturally started building our carreers and work together, and we moved to Paris.
GASS: You have worked and lived in Paris for a while. Why did you come back to Antwerp?
A&E: We came back to live in Antwerp because, already for a while, we were coming back every month, at least for a weekend. Visiting our best friends and hanging out. As our international career was kind of settled, we decided to choose better "quality" living which is less stressful and more of a freedom lifestyle. Paris was all about “workworkworkwork” and most of the people we knew there were all Fashion-related. In Antwerp, our people are all friends from different walks of life - a melting Pot ( Artists, Designers, Craftmen, Intelectual human beings ).
GASS: What does Antwerp mean to you?
A&E: Watch the map of Europe: Antwerp IS the center of Europe. So easy to commute to London, Paris, Berlin. Traveling all over, keep doing our international assignments and always coming back to our cosy life in Antwerp. Above all, Antwerp offers a lot of inspirations as a cosmopolitan city, a world harbour & cultural lifestyle, great galleries, restaurants and underground scene.
GASS: Can you tell us more about your Antwerp Studio?
A&E: After years of working for the exclusive fashion & showbiz world, we also welcome private clients to benefit from our experience & skills as make-up & hair stylists in a very homey/cosy athmosphere.
Welcome along: http://alexedstudio.com
GASS: Who are your biggest inspirations? The people, who, you could say, formed you to become who you are right now.
Alex: Our biggest inspiration in life might definitely be the research of the world, humanity, life. How and where did it all start. Biggest passion/inspiration is music, dancing, architecture and, of course, BEAUTY. What I already told you earlier, personal moments that shaped us, who we’ve become. Our friends and some designers we’ve been working with, whom we will forever be thankful to.
GASS: Who is your favourite client?
A&E: It is too difficult to say as all of them have formed our style & what we stand for. Our work has appeared on numerous covers & international magazines such as Vogue ( France, Italia, UK, ...), Numéro, Dazed & Confused, Purple, i-D, LOVE, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE France & many more. We were leading hairdresser teams as key hairstylists on shows all over the globe such as: Christian Lacroix, Cacharel, Véronique Leroy, Véronique Branquinho, Walter Van Beirendonck, Martin Margiella, Ann Demeulemeester, AF Vandevorst. To have the chance and opportunity to collaborate with them was very inspiring but as well Thierry Mugler, Dior haute-couture and John Galliano was a “ top glam experience”. Campaigns such as Jean-Paul Gaulthier, Dolce & Gabanna, Christian Dior... Also Haircare brand Goldwell, who gave us a lot of freedom in developing our visions as global creative directors.
GASS: What do you think about Belgian creativity? For me, there are so many talented people here, It is really a very special place as far as fashion or culture goes. I feel like a lot of the times, this country is a bit overlooked and underrated but when you look around more carefully, you see so many people, who are doing huge things worldwide, are from here. Say, Raf Simons, Martin Margiela just to name a few...
A&E: Antwerp has always been a source of talent full of creativity for centuries, not only the last decades. Think gothic architecture, from midieval painters to contemporary artists and designers known worldwide, for example: Luc Tuymans, Antwerp 6 etc. For sure, it has its own aesthetics that you can’t find anywhere else.
GASS: What do you think is the future of the hair? What is the most exciting thing right now and few seasons to come?
A&E: As long as the humankind will exist, hair will keep on growing. Nowadays, we have developed great haircare technologies. We can always look for new inspirations in history. We think there are very eclectic styles with many specific colors and, in a genius way, extravagant cuts. We come back to the 80’s, to an aesthetics of New Wave. Many different styles mashed up together. So the most exciting thing at the moment is that everything is possible.
GASS: What would you advice for the young people who want to look stylish and original without breaking a bank?
A&E: What we would advise for the young people is to reflect themselves with their idols and icons. Do a research on who you are and become what you're interested in, create your own image, even if it's temporary. For example, for one night out and change it again. Take it as a natural process of evolution: Dare!
GASS: What is your favourite thing to do in Antwerp on a weekday, Saturday night and Sunday?
Alex: My favorite thing to do on a weekday: Work ( of course! ). Explore the world, discover new inspiring places.
On a Saturday: seeing friends, going out.
On a Sunday: chating with the family members and staying in my pyjamas... or not...
LIVE EVERY DAY...