Dorian is an artist who works miracles with the color and the scissors. Known by many as the hairdresser of the artists, he is the creator of the image that quite a few famous persons currently presume of (their hairstyles).
Photo by Izuky PérezDorian Carbonel is only 33 years old, he studied Social Communication and was a model. Six years ago he founded his Donde Dorian beauty parlor. He makes live demonstrations showing his haircut skills, teaches the future generations of hairdressers, presents several collections a year, and his eyes shine when he speaks of his three-year-old son who, according to him, is who inspires him and gives him the strength to be better each day.
Creative, talented, a transgressor and very daring, that is the Dorian who spoke to OnCuba about his story of entrepreneurship and perseverance.
I always wanted to have a trade. Ever since I was very young I worked as a model in La Maison, the style, fashion and tendencies attracted me a great deal. When I finished the Provincial Barber’s School I continued having a thirst for knowledge and, at the same time, I felt there was a great shortage of male hairstylists in Cuba. Women were mentioned, but the men weren’t mentioned in any conference, as if the men didn’t follow the fashion. I consider myself a pioneer in the care of men’s image, I consider I have contributed to them caring more for themselves and being concerned about their appearance. I don’t only devote myself to caring for the image but also creating different and a bit more daring looks.
What defines your style?
I am not subject to the tendency that predominates at the moment, I try to come up with a similar style that has to do with our climate and our idiosyncrasy. I use colors a lot, which started in a subtle way and has gained a great deal of popularity. I think it has to do very much with the Cuban because we are very cheerful and colorful. Working the image takes a prior study, which forces me to prepare myself a lot, especially with the image of artists, so that they are differentiated and also to make my hallmark that way.
How are you able to differentiate them?
It’s all a question of inspiration. At times it emerges while I’m listening to or studying them, at others I am cutting their hair and something new comes out, fresher. I try to make an effort so that the artists can have a new, unique image that characterizes and identifies them and that it have to do with the genre they are defending. In some cases the styles are more aggressive, others gentler, it depends on the artists’ own style and what they want to project.
As a good artist, have you framed your work in collections….
It all began with Illusion and we have launched several. We present several a year. Everything emerged because I was linked to the world of art. Before we used to do it in the Fábrica de Arte Cubano, now we have our own space. Since late July, on the rooftop of our parlor, we have the Encuentro Bar, a well-known place which changes direction. It’s a perfect place, as its name [Encounter in Spanish] indicates, to meet with friends and to find the Havana nightlife and organize our shows and presentations. We share the public and now the geographic space. I was their client and its owners were my clients and now we joined in this project.
There are many parlors that have taken your style as reference, what do you propose that is different?
I have decided to revolutionize the concept of barbershop or traditional parlor in which one gets bored while waiting for one’s turn. I put myself in the client’s place and I wanted to find what I wanted as a client. I hope that whoever comes here feels they are in a very different place. Our hairstylists are young like the majority of my public, although we also do senior citizens. Our professionals make an effort so that those who choose us come out pleased.
What have been your career’s greatest satisfactions and challenges?
I feel very proud of working with so many famous people because I started in the world of the state-run barbershop as a hobby and I did not precisely feel proud of this. We are making an academy, we have made many presentations, conferences, we invited entrepreneurs to participate in the event and to see people from different countries with similar ideas. Getting to know how they do it was a very enriching experience. The way I found to feel fulfilled was to improve the service’s quality, to achieve excellence. The hairstylist’s work is a bit monotonous and it gets to bore you because it’s all the time on a chair and if you don’t find a way to have fun and to enjoy your job you end up doing the same thing and the routine gobbles you up. I looked for the way to enjoy what I do, of sharing my knowledge, of making live presentations, of getting out of that monotonous chair. The greatest challenges are working the image of renowned artists, who already came with an established style. I try for the style, despite the colors and cuts and fantasy hairstyles, to be as natural as possible. I tell the artists when they need a change, and I have achieved that they respect me. In the beginning it was more difficult for me, but they already trust me and let me decide. That is a great satisfaction.